All WFSA grant applications are hosted by Common Grant Application.
During our open grant cycles, applications are submitted through the following links through Common Grant:
First-time users to Common Grant Application register here.
Returning users to Common Grant Application login here.
Technical questions and/or support related to the Common Grant online application portal can be directed to Common Grant by clicking here.
The mission of the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona is: We collaborate to achieve social, political and economic change that empowers women and girls. One of more than a 160 women’s funds globally, the Foundation advances women’s leadership and philanthropy by raising, managing, and granting money to meet the needs of women and girls.
The Board of Trustees, a community-based volunteer board, sets the funding priorities of the Women’s Foundation.
Grant proposals to the Women’s Foundation are reviewed by community-based groups of volunteer grant evaluators who make funding recommendations to the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Our Community Impact Committee exemplifies the Foundation’s commitment to inclusiveness by utilizing comprehensive evaluation methods and techniques. Committee members are individuals with a wide range of experiences and knowledge as well as diversity in ethnicity, race, income, sexual orientation, and age.
Below is a list of frequently asked questions regarding our grantmaking. If you do not see your question listed below, feel free to contact us with your question.
Applicants must be a 501(c)(3) organization in good standing or a grassroots organization with a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor conducting charitable work in Southern Arizona.
The Foundation awards unrestricted grants up to $25,000 for organizations whose most recent actual annual expenses were $250,000 or less and up to $40,000 for organizations whose most recent actual annual expenses were greater than $250,000.
Smaller grant awards are available through the Harriet Silverman Small Grants Fund.
The Foundation does not provide funds for: individuals; campaigns to elect candidates to public office; capital fund drives; debt reduction; endowments; fund-raising events or one-time conferences or workshops; scholarships; fellowships or tuition reimbursement; programs inconsistent with federal, state, and local non-discrimination statutes regarding equal employment opportunity; programs that promote religious activities; programs outside of Southern Arizona; individual classrooms or schools.
When awarding grants restricted for a specific program or research project, the Foundation stipulates that no more than 9% of the award may be allocated to indirect (i.e. G&A or F&A) expenses.
The Foundation defines Southern Arizona as Pima, Cochise and Santa Cruz counties.
The Foundation recognizes significant need among commonly overlooked populations. We strive to ensure that our grants fund a broad spectrum of populations including: girls; women of color; older women; women and girls with disabilities; lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons; low-income women and girls; women and girls outside Metropolitan Tucson; immigrant, undocumented, and refugee women and girls; and incarcerated women.
The Foundation uses proven methodologies to identify and assess an organization’s merit based upon priorities set by the Board of Trustees and criteria developed by the Community Impact Committee. The Foundation’s process is designed to facilitate “effective decision making by committee” which means: grant evaluators are representative of Southern Arizona communities, decisions are aligned with the Foundation’s mission and strategic objectives, the strength of individual perspectives thrives vs. “group think”, knowledge of applicants' impact is gained and shared,and all perspectives are accounted for resulting in a collective decision.
The purpose of evaluation and reporting is to help grant recipients reach their stated goals. Evaluation also helps the Women’s Foundation assess the quality of its grant-making. Organizations receiving funding from the Foundation will have the opportunity to work with a WFSA-contracted program evaluator who will provide assistance and tabulate the data during the grant year to measure and collectively report key indicators.
The Women’s Foundation considers organizations for funding on a year-to-year basis. Proposals must be submitted each time a grant is requested. Previous funding does not guarantee continued funding. An agency cannot apply for funding unless all reports required in previous award contracts have been received according to the agreed upon schedule.
The Equity and Opportunity Fund grant-making initiative strives to build the long-term economic security and financial independence of low-income, women-headed families. Each of these recipients are receiving three-year grants to expand and enhance their existing services.
Melody S. Robidoux Public Policy Grants invest in organizations influencing legislative and/or workplace policy change that improve the lives of Southern Arizona women and families in economics, safety, health and leadership.
Harriet Silverman Small Grant Fund Grants invest in small, grassroots organizations in our region that exemplify the vision of the WFSA.
The Founder’s Award, as designated by WFSA founders Melody Robidoux and Harriet Silverman, exemplifies the mission of the WFSA.
Annual grants are awarded to organizations that demonstrate measurable impact in economic change that empowers women.
Unidas Grants are awarded to organizations addressing needs identified by the young women participants of the Unidas Leadership and Philanthropy program.
In partnership with University of Arizona Health Sciences, this three-year collaborative addresses behavioral health needs of women in border communities to reduce health disparities.
Special Thanks to the Connie Hillman Family Foundation for partnering with WFSA to increase the impact of our grants
“Unidas” is the feminization of the Spanish word for “United.” The program gives high school aged young women the opportunity to give away $5,000 per semester to non-profit organizations that support the type of social change important to them. Throughout the program, participants gain hands-on experience in community service, leadership, social justice, and grant-making – all centered around helping to improve the quality of life for women and girls in Southern Arizona.
Check back in the Fall 2019 for the next Unidas grant RFP opportunity.
WFSA provided two Spring 2019 Unidas Girls’ Leadership and Philanthropy grants, one focused on men’s work and the other on sexual violence prevention. These grants were issued to:
FAQ’s on the Unidas Grant-making process are listed below:
Unidas will invest $5000 in one organization to address and/or support the issue of homelessness in Southern Arizona.
● Programs must serve communities in the greater Tucson area.
● Applications are not accepted from individuals, sports teams, political or lobbying organizations, organizations that discriminate, or religious organizations formed for sectarian purposes.
● Grant requests will not be considered for auctions or fundraising events, debt reduction, endowment funds, capital campaigns, litigation or legal expenses, productions or performances.
● Exhibit a meaningful need for the financial support provided through the grant
● Improve the quality of life for high school-aged girls
● Address the causes of problems, as well as provide solutions
● Encourage broad-based community involvement
● Have programs that may be replicated
● Have a long-term perspective
● Have demonstrated successful outcomes or are willing to evaluate the effectiveness of their programs
● Collaborate to improve efficiency or effectiveness
Please contact our office for assistance with your Donor Advised Funds or to establish a Fund with the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona.