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. It does 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 four reports: about women’s economic status, occupational segregation by gender, women’s business ownership, and women in leadership.

What We Fund

In an effort to achieve a deeper and more strategic impact, the Vermont Women’s Fund will focus its 2018 grantmaking on an area highlighted by the research of our primary initiative, Change The Story, that is especially critical for women’s long-term economic security and Vermont’s economic future: 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 is particularly positioned to make a difference on this issue.

In 2018, 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
 Proposals that include the following components will be prioritized:
  • a compelling articulation of how the proposed work will catalyze change
  • 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 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 with less duplication of services
Proposals may seek funding for program support, for awareness-generating activities, or to complete needed research as identified by Change The Story. The Vermont Women’s Fund favors projects that have support from a variety of sources and rarely funds an entire project. A two or three year funding commitment may be considered for organizations whose proposals include compelling evidence that multi-year support will catalyze greater change, leverage greater funds and/or leadership, and promote longer-term program sustainability. 


The majority of this year’s grants are anticipated to be in the $5,000-10,000 range. One or two larger requests of up to $30,000 may be considered. If you are interested in applying for a larger amount, we encourage you to contact us to discuss your project. The grant timeline is April 2018 and March 2019.  

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 2018 is 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 8. 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 2018 application questions by clicking here.

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