Our goal is to increase the percentage of women in the region earning a living wage.

Our Grantmaking Process

Funding priorities for the 2024 round of funding are as follows, in no particular order:

  • Education and training programs that better position women for living wage employment opportunities, including financial literacy programs.

  • Programs that lead to systemic change to improve safety, well-being and empowerment/leadership skills.

  • Early childhood education initiatives that promote improved access to and quality of services.

  • Reproductive health initiatives that promote improved access to and quality of services.

All successful grants shall demonstrate their alignment with one or more of these priorities.

Our 2024 – 2025 grant cycle is now closed. Please check back in 2025 to learn when our 2025-2026 grant cycle will open. 

Our indirect cost rate cap is 10%. 

2023 Grants


A project of the Community Economic Development Center (CEDC) , Mujeres Victoriosas aims to increase opportunities for Central American women to take full advantage of their capabilities to succeed in this country. Mujeres Victoriosas works with women to develop at their personal level in order to positively influence families and communities. But the ultimate goal of Mujeres Victoriosas is to mobilize women to organize around systemic and sustainable change.

The Coalition for Social Education Fund advocates for economic security for working parents and those on a fixed income, with a focus on race and gender.

Their vision is to produce systemic change in early education and child care through increased affordability; access to wrap-around services for children and families; adding non-traditional hours; increasing early educator pay, benefits, and opportunities; and keeping small agencies, programs,  and family child care businesses open through a stable funding source for those willing to open slots for low-income families. Affordable child care will lead to financial independence for women and give children a chance to enter school on a level playing field. 

Located in New Bedford, the nation’s most valuable fishing port, New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center is dedicated to preserving and presenting the story of the fishing industry past, present, and future through exhibits, programs, and archives. Herstory is an intergenerational oral history project pairing students in high school and college with older women who have ties to New Bedford’s fishing community.

“Voices; A Young Women’s Diary” is a young women/youth-led collaboration book project that provides coaching for its participants around the importance of writing their own narrative. This model is intended to strengthen their ability to use their voices to empower each other. it will promote self-expression and create a sense of value and self-worth in all participants. This model will also develop leadership skills with its participants and teach strategies that promote safe and healthy living.


T.R.U.E. is a grassroots civic and social organization dedicated to providing preventative programming, advocating for diverse resources, events and cultural exposure within our communities. 

TOGETHER & READY connects youth and adults to solutions in affordable, quality childcare, while creating opportunities for children and youth. TOGETHER offers specific classes for girl empowerment, advocacy, health and hygiene, sex education and through Love your Menses offer period products during our health and hygiene class.

This project includes two programs that meet the YWCA Mission of eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all:  Menstrual Access and Economic Empowerment.  Their goal is to increase opportunities for low- and moderate-income girls, BIPOC individuals, women and their families by providing access to health education. Their ultimate goal is for cities in the region and the state of MA to pass pro-menstrual equity policies and legislation.  To achieve this goal we must mobilize public support, engage stakeholders across the region, and participate in statewide activities to raise awareness. 

Past Grants

The Community Economic Development Center (CEDC) grant helped to create a program, Mujeres Victoriosas, a support and resource group for immigrant women and mothers from Central America.

The goal of the program is to help participants share lived experiences, to develop mutual support actions, and to hone their leadership skills so they can become increasingly a voice in the community. The grant stipends provide a lead facilitator and community outreach coordinators to address barriers immigrant women face, such as language, lack of formal education and legal immigration status. Immigrant women are important contributors to the local economy by forming the backbone of labor in New Bedford’s $1B fishing industry. This program helps to mobilize and to lift up their collective voices to speak out and affect societal change.

The group meets bi-weekly and includes a Spanish-speaking regional resource on topics such as education, health, housing, benefits, trauma, abuse, sexism, racism, and xenophobia. From these meetings, leaders emerge who become resources for other women in their community.

Through CEDC’s broad partnerships in the community, we have been able to connect the group to a wide range of organizations in New Bedford including: New Bedford Public Schools, City of New Bedford Health Department, SC Fair Housing, the New Bedford Women’s Center, The Greater New Bedford Health Center, South Coast Counties Legal Services, United Way/Family Resource Center NB Immigrant Support Network.

Located in New Bedford, the nation’s most valuable fishing port, New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center is dedicated to preserving and presenting the story of the fishing industry past, present, and future through exhibits, programs, and archives. Herstory is an intergenerational oral history project pairing students in high school and college with older women who have ties to New Bedford’s fishing community.

Girls on the Run is an after-school program that challenges young girls to embrace their inner strength, to gain confidence, and to foster care and compassion for others through the physical challenge of running. The eight-week program culminates with a 5K run that encourages participants to give it their all to reach the finish line. The Women’s Fund SouthCoast is sponsoring a local chapter of this national program and encourages you to volunteer as a coach or as an advocate. You don’t have to lace up your sneakers to make a difference in a young girl’s life. Head coach, Caroline O’Leary, who has taught in New Bedford for the last six years “cannot wait to see the growth and empowerment of this amazing group of girls!”


The Martha Briggs Educational Club, Inc. (MBEC) will develop a series of workshops to aid students of color and their parents or guardians to make appropriate plans and decisions for varying levels of education or training. Many students of color lack access to the sources of information necessary to make sound and viable decisions. The limitations of school staffing and a system that is based on unrealistic assumptions causes too many students to have major deficiencies in their planning as they progress through the New Bedford Public Schools. The path for a future surgeon is different from that of a potential plumber. Financial planning is different if one utilizes the state school system or attends private schools. Union apprenticeships offer different opportunities than do personal tutors.
In an effort to level the playing field, the MBEC will engage local educational professionals to develop and conduct two series of workshops this spring, one for younger students as they look towards high school options and one for post-secondary educational options. 

The Parenting Advancement Pathways Program at Bristol Community College Women’s Center, based on the LifeWork model, is an innovative program exclusively designed to support parenting students with wraparound services often found outside the college experience.

The initiative promotes economic mobility by providing holistic support and skills to help low-income parents, from diverse backgrounds, move toward economic independence and college degree attainment. It provides individual support and access to resources that are often difficult to obtain for low income/first generation parents. This program will help provide opportunity and stability for women to balance education while raising children on their own.

The program will provide resources such as holistic case management, financial and career planning, counseling, day and evening child care support, and on-going educational advisement that leads to degree attainment. 

The YWCA recognizes that coalition building, legislative advocacy, and the mobilization of public support requires a dedicated staff person to manage these responsibilities.

This multi-year grant provides salary relief to aid the director of advocacy and resource development, who sustains and grows the YWCA’s advocacy program, coordinating legislative campaigns and advocacy activities for Fiscal Year 2021.

This staff member develops and maintains relationships with regional and statewide associates, community groups, and other key partners, policymakers, and their staff. Other responsibilities include mobilization of public support and action, providing information to supporters about legislation, policies, social, or political movements related to eliminating racism, empowering women, and accessing information about how people can take action. Often individuals are asked to contact their legislators, participate in a rally, attend a fundraiser, complete a survey, and/or share information on social media about the importance of an issue. This staff member sponsors events that engage the local community on advocacy issues related to gender equity and racial justice.

Sacred Birthing Village focuses on revitalizing the community around maternal wellness and creating an experience and process that centers the voices, and experiences of the BIPOC community. Over and over we discuss poor outcomes of black maternal health specifically, however, fewer solutions are available and offered in our community and to the birthing individuals to create healthier changes for families and in turn the greater community. Sacred Birthing Village of Southcoast is a champion and a leader when it comes to educating our community and local stakeholders on the challenges and offers a unique and time-tested approach to create healthier outcomes and engage in healthier social and structural determinants of health. Our approach, collaboration, and partnership with the community is creating a pathway to support not only women but families and create generational wealth and health which starts with maternal, paternal, and infant health.

The Birthing Project is a volunteer effort to encourage better birth outcomes by providing practical support to women during pregnancy and one year after their child’s birth. The Birthing Project helps women find the emotional freedom necessary to identify and use the resources to care for themselves and their families. The beginning point is pregnancy. The final stop is a healthy one-year-old child and the ability to care for that child in terms of providing a source of income, housing, support system, and other factors involved in maintaining optimum health status.

Grants Committee

The Women’s Fund Grants Committee oversees grantmaking in accordance with the Fund’s mission. The Committee takes a strategic approach to accomplishing, over time, the recommendations of the Economic Blueprint for Women through investing our resources.

The Committee develops funding priorities, considers the timing of grants, refines grantmaking parameters, issues RFPs, communicates with potential grantees, and reviews proposals. It also maintains ongoing relationships with grantees, including assessing the impact of grants, and the needs of grantees to be more effective in their work. All projects are evaluated and shared with appropriate organizations and individuals.

Grants Committee Members

Meg Steinberg, Chair

Peggy Bacon

Jennifer Clarke

Donita Coburn-Amadio

Ruth Cooper

Marilyn Halter

Lori Kydd

Mary McCurry

Susan Perry

Darlene Spencer

What Drives Us

We imagine a world in which women and girls are valued and their voices heard.


Why Give

Local women helping local women. We advocate, we advance. Our collective voice initiates change.

Get news from Women’s Fund SouthCoast in your inbox.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: . You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact