How to Apply

The Vermont Women’s Fund, a component fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, was established in 1994 as an enduring resource for Vermont women and girls. The Fund remains the largest philanthropic resource dedicated exclusively to this mission. A council of women from around Vermont advises the Fund and participates in its grantmaking, fundraising, and leadership work.

The Fund’s mission is to ensure that every Vermont woman and girl can rise and thrive. We do this by targeting philanthropic giving, forging statewide partnerships, funding research, and supporting programs that address the fundamental needs of women and girls, with a particular focus on economic security. The primary initiative of the Fund is Change The Story, a partnership with the Vermont Commission on Women and Vermont Works for Women that seeks to fast-track women’s economic security in Vermont. To date, Change The Story has produced five reports about women’s economic status: wages, occupational segregation by gender, business ownership, and leadership.

What We Fund

To achieve a deep and strategic impact, the Vermont Women’s Fund will continue to focus our grantmaking on an area highlighted by the research of our primary initiative, Change The Story: namely, women and girls on the pathway to viable careers. We see significant funding gaps in this area and believe the Vermont Women’s Fund and its charitable capital are uniquely positioned to make a difference.

In 2020, the Vermont Women’s Fund will consider proposals that:

  • make pathways to viable careers more visible, accessible, and affordable for young women and girls, or
  • invest in the economic security and career prospects of low-income employed women workers.

Our 2020 competitive grant program awards one-year grants of up to $10,000 to support growth-stage efforts and programs seeking funding to pilot a model, demonstrate effectiveness, or expand program delivery. In response to exceptional proposals that include compelling evidence that multi-year support would catalyze greater change and leverage greater funds and/or leadership, growth-stage programs may receive a two-year funding commitment.  
The Vermont Women’s Fund favors projects that have support from a variety of sources and rarely funds an entire project.

Proposals that include the following components will be prioritized:

  • outcomes aimed at addressing proven barriers to low-income women accessing and maintaining viable jobs (ex. education/training, childcare, transportation, access to reproductive health care, paid family leave, etc.)
  • research-based career pathway strategies (ex. mentorship, work-based learning, exposure to non-traditional careers, etc.)
  • a compelling articulation of how the proposed work will catalyze change
  • a focus on low-income women and girls ages 12-25, although projects reaching women outside this age range may be considered
  • projects that exhibit a collaborative approach
  • delivery of services to women/girls who live outside of Chittenden County
  • a clear description of the vision for the program at the end of the grant term

What We Do NOT Fund:

  • Personal financial support given directly to individual women/girls
  • Individuals applying for scholarships or to attend school
  • Endowments
  • Campaigns to elect public officials
  • Programs with religious instruction
  • Projects that will be completed before the grant is awarded
  • Businesses, business start-up funds, or loans
  • Fundraising events
  • Organizational debt
  • Capital campaigns
  • Indirect expenses over 10% of the project budget

Who May Apply

Grant applications will be accepted from organizations that are located in or serve the people of Vermont. Organizations must be tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or be a public agency, school, or municipality in the state of Vermont. Nonprofit organizations or community groups who do not have 501(c)(3) status may apply for grant awards if another eligible organization acts as a fiscal sponsor. 

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity (as defined in paragraph 249(c)(4) of title 18, United States Code), sexual orientation, marital or parental status, political affiliation, military service, physical or mental ability be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds made available (meaning any funds having a competitive application process) by the Vermont Community Foundation, and any other program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds appropriated for grants, cooperative agreements, and other assistance administered by the Foundation. 

Grant applicants must employ staff and provide services without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity (as defined in paragraph 249(c)(4) of title 18, United States Code), sexual orientation, marital or parental status, political affiliation, military service, physical or mental ability.

Deadline and Notification

The grant deadline for 2020 is 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 25. No late applications will be accepted so please make sure to plan accordingly and submit early to ensure receipt. Applicants will be notified of our decision by mid-April.

Application Process

All Applications must be submitted electronically through the Vermont Community Foundation’s Online Grants Manager. Visit the Online Grant Center to learn how to use the Grants Manager, including accessing your existing account or registering for the first time. The electronic application form will be available after logging into your account. If you have questions about this process or would like to discuss an idea, please contact our grants team at or 802-388-3355 ext. 222.

To help you prepare, you may download the 2020 application questions by clicking here.

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