fundsforNGOs – Grants and Resources for Sustainability

African Women’s Development Fund

Over the past ten years, the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) has blazed a trail for women’s rights and philanthropy across the African continent. The first pan-African women’s grant maker on the continent, AWDF has established itself as an innovative organization at the cutting edge of social justice and women’s rights philanthropy in Africa.

Since the start of operations in 2001, AWDF has provided US$17 million in grants to 800 women’s organizations in 42 African countries. AWDF’s grant making processes are uniquely designed to meet the needs of African women and include the provision of small grants ($1000-$5000) to community-based organizations, main grants (up to $50,000), capacity building support and a strong focus on movement building.

Members of AWDF’s staff and board provide capacity building support to grantee partners through convenings, monitoring, and evaluation visits as well as technical assistance to numerous national, regional and international processes. Advocacy and policy development are key areas of activity to support and embed the outcomes of our grant making in national and international legislation, and in development processes more generally.

Examples of our support to key development processes  include presentations to the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women Expert Group Meeting on financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women (2007); acting as a thematic lead for the International Colloquium on Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace & Security (co-convened by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia and President Tarja Halonen of Finland in 2009); and co-convening the first pan African assembly of the African GrantMakers Network in 2010.

Vision & Mission

The African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) is a grant making foundation that supports local, national and regional women’s organisations working towards the empowerment of African women and the promotion and realisation of their rights.   

The vision of AWDF is for women to live in a world where there is social justice, equality and respect for women’s human rights. To this end, our mission is to mobilise financial, human and material resources to support African women and the work of the African women’s movement to advance women’s rights and gender equality in Africa.

The AWDF believe that If women and women’s organisations are empowered with skills, information, sustainable livelihoods, opportunities to fulfill their potential, plus the capacity and space to make transformatory choices, then we will have vibrant, healthy and inclusive communities.


Over the past 10 years, AWDF has provided a much needed autonomous resource base to ensure that the needs, aspirations and contributions of African women are recognized, supported and valued. In partnership with our stakeholders, AWDF looks forward to another ten years of strategic grant making for the advancement of women’s rights in Africa, for strengthened women’s leadership, for better health, education and economic security for African women and for social justice in Africa.

Grant Making

The AWDF funds local, national, sub-regional and regional organisations in Africa working towards women’s empowerment. The AWDF is an institutional capacity-building and programme development fund, which aims to help build a culture of learning and partnerships within the African women’s movement. In addition to raising money and awarding grants, the AWDF will attempt to strengthen the organisational capacities of its grantees.

The AWDF will prioritise programs which develop and promote women’s leadership and advocacy across all these themes.  These thematic areas have been chosen because they feature very highly on the agenda of the African women’s movement.


Frequency of grant making

AWDF will make grants in three cycles each year. Applications can be sent in at any time.

Organisations can apply for grants ranging from $5000 – $50,000. Kindly note that most grants will be for less than the maximum. Grants over $20,000 will only be made to organisations which operate on a regional basis.


The AWDF will not support the following projects:

How to apply

Interested organisations should send in their proposals to the AWDF secretariat in Accra, Ghana, using the grant application guidelines. Applications can be sent in English, French, or Portuguese, by email, fax or post.Please note that whilst we will accept applications by email and fax, we still expect a hard copy.

In order to consider your request, the AWDF need basic and specific information about your organisation, its composition, and its purposes. They need to know how your organisation believes its work can be supported with a grant of $5,000- $50,000 from the African Women’s Development Fund.

All applications should be sent to:

The African Women’s Development Fund
Office: Plot 78 Ambassadorial Enclave, East Legon
Post: P.M.B CT 89 Cantonments, Accra, Ghana

Have you worked with the African Women’s Development Fund? Have you secured funding from the AWFD? Share your experiences in the comments.

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