Since our founding, the collective membership of WA Women’s Foundation has granted millions of dollars to nonprofit organizations across Washington State. In spite of these investments, we are seeing inequality continue to grow at unprecedented levels in our communities – not just economic inequality but disparities in education, health care, environmental impacts, and creative and cultural expression.

For this reason, beginning with this fall’s grant making cycle, we have adopted new criteria focused on increasing equity and reducing disparities. Equity is the condition that would be achieved if one’s identity no longer predicted how one fared in life. Disparities are differences in life experiences, life outcomes and the distribution of society’s benefits and burdens determined by a person’s race, gender identity, and other characteristics historically linked to discrimination and/or exclusion. Through this year’s process, we seek to address these disparities and inequities in communities throughout Washington State as well as evolve our model of collective grant making.


Through our pooled fund, our members invest in the five areas which we believe are the foundational elements of a thriving and inclusive community – Arts & Culture, Education, the Environment, Health and Human Services. Each year, one Pooled Fund Grant Award is made in each of these five categories.

Pooled Fund Grant Awards are made on an annual basis. The application process begins with an online Letter of Inquiry, which opens in September of each year. Funding decisions are made and announced each June. Organizations selected for a WA Women’s Pooled Fund Grant Award will be asked to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that outlines the terms of the grant post-award reporting requirements and our impact assessment process.

Click here to see the Foundation’s funding history

Click here to see the funding timeline

Grant Criteria

While we do fund programs and projects, including capital projects, we encourage organizations to apply for general operating and capacity-building support. Regardless of the type of support requested, we want to understand your community’s needs and how your organization is addressing those needs through the delivery of services to those directly impacted by inequity.

We seek to support and collectively invest in organizations that are reflective of and embedded in the communities they serve, draw on the strengths and assets of these communities, and are accountable to these communities in order to achieve the long-term goals of increasing equity and reducing disparities.

This year, we invite Letters of Inquiry from organizations that meet the following criteria:

  • Is focused on providing services to communities affected by inequity due to race, gender identity, and/or other characteristics historically linked to discrimination and/or exclusion.
  • Is accountable to the community being served. “Accountable” means
    • Ensures that people or communities being served are visibly leading;
    • Develops leadership of the people being served;
    • Engages the community being served in ongoing decision-making, planning and assessment; and/or
    • Draws on the strengths and assets of the community being served to achieve the long-term goals of reducing disparities and increasing equity.
  • Has the expertise to do the work. “Expertise” includes being able to demonstrate
    • An understanding of the root causes of the issues facing the community being served.
    • A track record of success in reducing disparities and/or achieving more equitable outcomes

For more information on the Letter of Inquiry, please click the button below.

Letter of Inquiry