International Partner Grant Winner!

The 2016 International Partner Grant Committee members completed an accelerated 12-week grant making process, researching and visiting a broad array of nonprofits in our region doing work abroad. Yesterday, the Committee announced the winner of their $15,000 grant. The winner is:



Photo of Washington Women's Foundation 2015 International Partner Grant committee with grantee Sahar and check

Sahar provides cost-effective, sustainable, high-quality education opportunities for underserved girls in Afghanistan. Since 2001 they have built or renovated 87 classrooms in a country where 45% of schools operate without adequate buildings. Today, Sahar operates 12 schools and serves 15,000 girls annually.

Photo of classroom of girls from 2015 International Grant grantee SaharOur $15,000 grant will support Sahar’s Early Marriage Prevention Initiative, a combination of school programs, community support programs and economic incentives designed to help minimize dropout rates among young Afghan women. This project will focus on two rural village schools in Dawlatabad district, Balkh Province, Northern Afghanistan, drawing upon Sahar’s decade-long relationships in the villages, and aims to impact 1,500 girls.

Please scroll down to read more about international philanthropy in our region and 2 other finalists.


Did You Know…?

At the beginning of the Partner Grant, we enlisted the expertise of Michele Frix (Director of Programs for Seattle International Foundation) in order to inform the Committee on the landscape of Washington-based nonprofits serving internationally.

Here are some facts:

  • With 40% of all Washington state jobs tied to international trade, and one in five people in King County born outside the U.S., it is no surprise that our state is home to more than 650 nonprofit organizations working on global issues.
  • Despite the great need abroad, only 6% of private giving in the U.S. goes to the international sector.
  • Of that private giving, only 7 cents of every philanthropic dollar goes to support women and girls.

These facts inspired our International Partner Grant Committee to focus their attention on women and girls around the globe.



The following organizations received Site Visits from the Committee and earned their strong endorsement. We hope you will consider personally supporting these nonprofits to empower women and girls across the globe.

Photo of two girls from 2015 International Grant finalist Days for Girls International
Days for Girls International
provides access to lasting feminine hygiene solutions and community-based health leadership programs. You may not have heard the term Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) before, but it is crucial for improving gender equity. Throughout the world, millions of women and girls go without access to feminine hygiene materials, which results in days, weeks or months without attending school, without income, and, for many, without leaving the house. In response to the need, Days for Girls designed a reusable kit for MHM that can be locally sourced and manufactured – a profoundly simple way to help women and effect social change. Days for Girls works in 87 countries, with 30,000 volunteers serving 200,000 women and girls.

Photo of child with outdoor faucet from 2015 International Grant finalist Splash International
a child’s right, Wat Chork Primary & Secondary School, Siem Reap, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia

Splash International secures clean drinking water and provides hygiene education programs for kids living in urban poverty. Splash works in in 6 countries with the goal of catalyzing local ownership of sustainable, culturally appropriate solutions. Splash serves more than 300,000 children a day. Their proposal would support a new program to introduce proven sanitation solutions—with an emphasis on menstrual hygiene management and girl-friendly interventions—to Splash’s current water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs.


Thank you!

We are deeply grateful to the co-leaders of the International Partner Grant Committee, Erin Barry and WWF board member Grace Chien, for their strong leadership. We also appreciate the thoughtful, dynamic engagement of the entire committee: Christine Atkins, Joyce Bamberger, Laurie Besteman, Kathleen Davis, Mary Diorio, Ann Duncan, Nancy Elliott, Barbara Fielden, Catherine Gelband, Jeanne Goussev, Yvonne Hall, Trish Keegan, Patricia Kiyono, Ann Kumasaka, Charmaine Stouder and Ginger Voorhees.

We also thank the many donors from the larger WWF membership who generously contributed to the Partner Grant pool!

Headshot of Washington Women's Foundation member Nancy Elliott

WWF Members Share the Scoop

“The International Partner Grant Committee introduced me to organizations from Washington doing terrific work throughout the world. I met many powerful, intellectual and compassionate women, who became friends to complete our project. The process helped me realize my passions and energized me to do much more.” – Nancy Elliott



About WWF Partner Grants

The WWF Partner Grant is modeled on the best practices of our Pooled Fund Grant Committee, operates on a shorter, accelerated time frame and offers an opportunity to take a more intensive look at a focused area or community. From September to December 2015, members participating on the International Partner Grant Committee researched a range of nonprofit organizations based in Washington state that are working on important issues globally, requested and analyzed proposals, conduct site visits and ultimately awarded a grant of $15,000 to Sahar.

Through our groundbreaking model of women-powered, collective philanthropy, Washington Women’s Foundation has given out $15 million in transformative grants that enable not-for-profit organizations to improve lives, protect the environment, advance health and education and increase access to the arts throughout Washington state.

We invite all women to join us to make a more powerful impact in our community. The challenges ahead of us are never as great as the power behind us. 


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