Our Grantmaking

Mama Cash’s grantmaking supports women’s, girls’, and trans rights around the world

Our grantees include groups, organisations, networks and other women’s funds. They are led by and work for sexual and ethnic minorities, adolescent girls, trans people, indigenous women, low-income women, single mothers, women with disabilities, migrant women, sex workers, rural women and women workers in both formal and informal sectors.

The groups that Mama Cash supports use a rights-based approach. They take into account the many layers of discrimination that often confront women, girls, and trans people who live on the margins of society.

They fight for the right to make decisions about their own bodies and to live in safety. They work to gain economic justice and independence. They stand up so that they will be seen and be heard in their families, their communities and their nations. They build new communities of activist donors in their home regions.

They understand that change needs to take place in formal policies and laws as well as in everyday attitudes and behaviours.

These groups of women, girls, and trans people are at the centre of our work because we believe that social justice and equality will be achieved only when those who exist on the fringes of their communities –those whose voices are often not heard and who face extreme forms of discrimination are enabled to take and make opportunities to gain power over their lives.

Our grantmaking support

Mama Cash provides core grants. This means that we support entire organisations as opposed to isolated projects or events. Core funding enables organisations and groups to set their own priorities, to respond to challenges and opportunities as they arise, and to cover essential operating costs that other donors may be reluctant to finance.

The groups that Mama Cash supports are often emerging, small or not formally registered. Emerging organisations address new manifestations of injustice, or they develop innovative approaches that challenge deep-seated discrimination. Women’s, girls’ and trans groups are typically smaller than mainstream nonprofit organisations; they often don’t have the capacity to raise funds from donors like those who give to Mama Cash.

Recognising the practical and political obstacles faced by many of our grantees, we do not require that groups be registered legally in order to receive our support. However, we do ensure that all groups meet accountability criteria regarding organisational decision-making and financial management.

Our aim is to build long-term partnerships. To achieve this, we provide multi-year funding to our grantees. They also receive tailored non-financial accompaniment support throughout the grant period.

These complementary aspects of our programmatic work enable us to support grantees’ organisational development. They also facilitate opportunities for learning and networking so that they can grow in power, scale and influence.

Read our grantmaking guidelines here.

Thematic portfolios

Each organisation and women’s fund that Mama Cash supports has its own set of goals and priorities. Three decades of work with women’s movements has taught us that certain themes and priorities emerge again and again despite important differences in context, identity and circumstance.

These themes are:

  • Body: bodily integrity and autonomy
  • Money: economic justice
  • Voice: agency and participation
  • Women’s Funds: access to a feminist resource base for organising women, girls, and trans people

The Strategic Partnerships portfolio supports organisations and initiatives that work across multiple thematic portfolios.

Our grantmaking process

Mama Cash aims to be transparent, respectful and efficient in our grantmaking process. Find out more here.