Prospera in Retrospective

A brief look into 2020

To our partners, advisors, allies, and friends, Greetings in 2021 from Prospera International Network of Women’s Funds!

As we begin this year with big hopes for funding feminist futures, we are excited to share with you some of our highlights of 2020. Even with all the difficulties, challenges, and pain that the pandemic has brought us, the women’s funds community is more resilient, ready, and committed than ever to support, sustain, and be in solidarity with women’s and gender justice organizations, activists, networks, and movements worldwide. The Network has also seen unprecedented growth, collectively mobilizing over USD 500 million (with Prospera mobilizing USD 200 million in 2020 and the Equality Fund’s model building on a CAD 300 million contribution over the next 15 years) to leverage more resources over the long term and to support groups of diverse and often marginalized communities and activist constituencies, including Indigenous and Black women’s groups, LBTQI groups, sex workers, migrants, environmental justice defenders, and many others. Our 44 diverse and autonomous network members are leading the charge in adapting to mobilizing flexible resources in creative ways where health crises, economic strife, and environmental destruction are increasing challenges for reaching communities at the forefront of the fight for gender equality. With the Generation Equality Forum coming up this year -as well as our own 20th year anniversary and strategic planning process for the next decade- Prospera looks forward to continue strategizing with all of you to mobilize, decolonize and reclaim funding towards ensuring the freedom of all women, girls, and trans people everywhere. Only in our ability to acknowledge difference and work together with all of our diversity, will we be able to build a better future for all.


Prospera INWF Board of Directors

Tulika Srivastava

Executive Director Women’s Fund Asia

Carla López Cabrera

Executive Director FCAM – Fondo Centroamericano de Mujeres

Leila Hessini

Vice President Global Fund for Women

Kate Kroeger

Executive Director Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights

Nadezhda Dermendzhieva

Executive Director Bulgarian Women’s Fund

Mary Rusimbi

Executive Director Women’s Fund Tanzania

Alexandra Garita

Executive Director Prospera INWF


Women’s Funds quickly adapted to the virtual needs brought forward by the pandemic, making sure they continued to be responsive to all grantees. Women’s Funds developed and provided innovative ways of mobilizing resources and supporting groups, activists, organizations, and movements in times of crisis by creating emergency funds and making sure resources reached those needing them the most.


In 2020, Women’s Funds increased and almost doubled their grantmaking, in some cases even up to 200% between April and December.


In the COVID context, Women’s Funds focused on the survival of feminist organizations and grassroots movements; an effort that will continue as we move into multiple crises triggered by the pandemic. For many members, placing collective care and solidarity at the center of their work is a critical element of funding and supporting movement building.


Prospera INWF has devoted significant efforts to highlight the links between environmental and gender justice in the philanthropic sector. An example of this is the Funding Learning Community created by Prospera and Global Greengrants, where private foundations, women’s funds, activists, practitioners and academics have gone on a learning journey to increase their knowledge on the intersection of these movements and pressing issues. Another example is the Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action- GAGGA- which has been renewed for the next 5 years, yay! We look forward to continue working on ensuring that more and better funding goes to environmental and gender justice movements and communities in intersectional ways.


Prospera INWF strengthened its participation in the philanthropic ecosystem by advocating for different ways of funding for more horizontal and participatory practices. An example of this is the launching of the Women’s Funds Collaborative, where women’s funds and private foundations representatives have an equal voice, participation, and decision-making. The WFC gave $3.5M USD to 40 members of the Prospera network with a solidarity grant of $75,000 USD to each one for organizational strengthening.

Text in purple says: Prospera Member Highlights

Fondo Alquimia changed the grantmaking strategy to become virtual. The fund has been very responsive to the needs and requests of feminist and LGBTIQ+ communities, movements, and organizations both for the Chilenian social protests (since October 2019) to the COVID-19 crisis.

In the COVID context, Apthapi quickly adapted and provided effective and flexible emergency responses to women’s movements. The total number of projects supported and accompanied during 2020 is the highest ever. Also, a new line of work was created with the participation of grantees and with a feminist approach on “Resilience and Economic Recover”. This new line of work will focus on supporting projects framed in feminist economy and collective organization. The fund also had a successful local fundraising campaign that funded six projects within the new feminist economy framework

Astraea’s COVID-19 Collective Care Response raised and regranted an additional $1M in flexible funding to their grantees. They also launched a report with Mama Cash ( on funding for LBQ groups.

AWDF raised the highest amount of money ever in a single (yet challenging) year, $45 million USD. AWDF also went through two important transitions, the CEO leadership transition and moving the office to a virtual environment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020 FIMI turned 20!!! They collaborated with Indigenous Women organizations and Indigenous Women from 5 regions of the world (Africa, Americas, Arctic, Asia & Pacific) representing 54 countries; accompanied 116 Indigenous Women organizations, groups or coalitions with their community project implementation; and brought together 500 Indigenous Women to be part of their political processes and dialogues through various webinars.

Bulgarian Women’s Fund (BWF) established a Reserve Fund. Also, self-care was integrated as part of the organizational culture and Theory of Change. In the COVID-19 context, BWF adapted quickly to the virtual requirements of the pandemic. Despite the pandemic, BWF managed to run a successful campaign for the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women.

In the COVID-19 crisis, Calala responded effectively to the needs and requirements of communities and collectives in Spain. On the same issue, Calala has been very involved with an initiative on collective care. The fund received grants from both private and public new donors. Additionally, even if COVID-19 changed many plans, Calala continued to coordinate On The Right Track.

Despite the many challenges faced in 2020, Ecumenical Women’s Initiative increased funding for regranting to the highest level ever. Similarly, to meet the growing grantmaking program’s needs, EWI introduced a new staff. Additionally, in 2020 EWI was awarded the Krunoslav Sukic Peace Award for 2020.

ELAS had a positive influence and collective impact on its networks which enabled them to launch a call for proposals for the first time in a way that is fully flexible and focused on strengthening women’s rights and LBT organizations. The methodologies and tools of their processes were updated to become entirely online, therefore reaching many more organizations, activists, and movements. ELAS’ Women in Movement Program significantly increased the number of indigenous and trans-people’s groups supported by the fund.

Amid global challenge, The MATCH Fund completed its transition to becoming the Equality Fund. Building upon a $300M CAD contribution from the Government of Canada, the Equality Fund will create one of the largest self-sustaining feminist funds over the next 15 years and beyond. In this first year, the Equality Fund supported more grantee partners than ever before, including underfunded regions such as the Caribbean; refined its investment strategy, launched new philanthropy programs and with AWID and sister women’s funds from around the world listened to over 1,000 feminists in an in-depth consultation process to understand the hopes and expectations for the Equality Fund.

In 2020, FCAM increased its grantmaking by 60%, giving $ 4,124,778 to 176 women’s rights organizations in Central America. In addition, through joint initiatives FCAM gave $ 5,805,242 to partner organizations in other regions. FCAM was granted another 5 year partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to lead the Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA). They also started a new 5-year alliance with HIVOS for young people and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights called “We Lead”; and solidified a partnership for a second year with Fondo Semillas on Alternatives to Restorative Justice for economic and climate justice from a feminist perspective for Mexico and Central America.

After two years of intense rapid growth, FemFund took a necessary step back to consolidate previous achievements and strengthen institutionally. Similarly, FemFund recognized the importance of having holistic security, including digital safety and collective care as an essential part of the fund’s culture.

In 2020, the FWF began its process towards registering as an independent entity by developing our Trust Deed, our vision, mission and values. Learning from the context of a pandemic , natural disasters and a 3 year review of the Fund, we realigned our grants mechanism to be responsive to the needs of feminist and women’s movements and gender non conforming people in Fiji.

filia started a Refugee Empowerment Program in Germany with participatory grantmaking. Despite COVID and all restrictions, along with partners in Georgia, Ukraine, and Armenia, filia developed an online campaign to strengthen a positive narrative around feminism.

Supported more than 100 grassroots, intermediate, and large women’s rights organizations in 2020. They also mobilized greater resources for Paraguay and Uruguay, and renewed its Leading from the South program for another five years with double the budget which will be implemented with all of the Latin American Women’s Funds. Most importantly, Argentina’s legislature passed safe and legal abortion in the country, where FMS contributed by supporting over 20 organizations and a national network over the last five years, contributing to this enormous achievement for the feminist movement.

Fonds pour les Femmes Congolaises launched a project to fight against gender-based violence in schools, trained girls on feminism, and built their leadership skills. On the COVID-19 context, with the support of UNTRUST FIND For Health, FFC supported organizations responding to the pandemic and disseminated health prevention messages.

Welcomed over 90 new grantee partners and a Global Advisory Board of 75 members, 6 new Board members, and 13 new staff! FRIDA created a new Community Resilience Grant window to support partners during these challenging times, and also launched a new user-friendly, accessible, and secure website. They also mobilized the largest number of funders (and funding) ever in its herstory, with a new relationship with a bilateral funder in line with a new Ethics Policy, secured FRIDA’s annual budget for 2021 early on, and created a reserve fund.

Global Fund for Women worked on a new strategy focused on collective action. Given the COVID-19 crisis, GFW has been providing additional resources to grantee partners. And, with sister funds, they have developed a crisis response model.

The pandemic is a challenge but also an opportunity. For HER Fund, 2020 has been an opportunity to educate funders on the needs of having sustainable organizations and democratic practices. Additionally, in the past years, HER Fund has become more strategic in the relationships with donors locally and the region.

Lunaria Fund has been very effective and rapid to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. The fund opened two very successful thematic lines: Young Women Building a Country Without Fundamentalism and Families: Spaces of Care and Well-Being.

Mama Cash secured the renewal of two large partnerships with the Dutch Government (CMI and GAGGA). The fund also increased the grantmaking budget to be able to provide ’emergency’ grants to partners based on their needs to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

MedWF doubled its grantmaking budget in 2020, supporting more women’s rights organizations than ever with close to half a million Euro. In addition, the COVID crisis and lockdown forced the fund’s team to develop mutual awareness of each other, build trust within, and heighten self-confidence, particularly for younger staff. This allowed them to become closer and create a more participatory culture, as well as more effective and strong team.

MONES successfully implemented the 5-year GAGGA project. Also, in 2020 MONES went through a leadership transition which was done successfully.

Reconstruction Women’s Fund managed to complete a large transition and there is a new team with a generational turnaround. The fund also concluded the TOC and Salesforce processes successfully.

In 2020 the Slovak-Czech Women’s Fund took one step back and use the time for (self)reflection and observation. In terms of support to grantees, SCWF provided grants to women’s and LGBTIQ organizations working on the themes of promoting sexual and reproductive rights.

In 2020 Fondo Semillas managed to go through a leadership transition and continued responding effectively to grassroots organizations during the pandemic. The budget was also incremented to more than 30%, allowing the fund to expand on grantmaking with a new resourcing model. Currently, Fondo Semillas has regranted to nearly 150 organizations.

Taso implemented two cycles of a humanitarian program intended to serve families and individuals in conditions of poverty. Thanks to the voluntary activism of grassroots-based social mobilization projects participants, grantees, and ex-grantees, Taso supported 640 families in the villages of Georgia and Tbilisi, the capital. The 2nd cycle is currently ongoing. Similarly, 67 rurally based vulnerable women received grants to start small businesses in 2020.

Tewa went through a learning process to transform into a virtual office to quickly support local communities. They then shared their learnings with grantee partners and volunteers. Tewa also secured granting from FJS from May 2020 to April 2023.

Despite the challenges of COVID-19, where, unfortunately, one of the Board members passed away, the Ukrainian Women’s Fund provided more grants in 2020 than ever before. Additionally, the fund facilitated the creation of a strategy for women’s organizations and movement to respond to COVID-19. Similarly, the fund held dialogues within the movement about the value of the movement and its future.

Urgent Action Fund – Africa came up with the strategic compass for 2021-2030. Also, they developed the Feminist Republik, which acts as a collective space for collective protection, care, and healing.

Urgent Action Fund Asia & Pacific completed a three-year organization reflective review, which is the foundation of the strategic plan for 2021-2023. Also, the fund more than doubled the grant-making in 2020.

In the COVID-19 crisis, Urgent Action Fund LA acknowledged the importance of balancing caregiving tasks with work, implementing a flexible working schedule. UAF-LA provided almost 50% more RRGs for Ww*men and trans HRDs and 200% more strategic grants for environmental defenders than in the previous year. Also, they launched a new online application platform accessible for w*men and trans HRD with disabilities. Additionally, with FJS they produced a document with recommendations to funders in times of Covid and beyond.

In the first months of the pandemic, the UAF Sister Funds made over 400 covid-related rapid grants, pivoting the funding criteria and opening up additional monies to support feminist activism. UAF changed their name from UAF for Women’s Human Rights to UAF for Feminist Activism. This change embodies a more gender-inclusive approach (going beyond women to include trans and non-binary people) and focuses on movements (activism) over individuals. This name will be rolling out in 2021.

Women First launched their first emergency fund and is planning to expand this initiative. Additionally, the fund has a new 6-year flexible funding model, has introduced a platform for capacity enhancement to strengthen and support emerging women’s groups. They have also created peer learning sessions for grantees.

Women’s Fund Armenia developed a well functioning system of emergency funding and were quite successful in addressing the needs of partners during the lockdown and the war. Women’s Fund Armenia also revised the organizational strategy and incorporated elements of trauma recovery, healing justice, and psychological resilience in the work they do.

In 2020, WFA created the Kaagapay Fund to Support Feminist Resilience in the Face of COVID-19 and to extend emergency response to WFA’s grantee partners across 17 countries. Additionally, the fund provided the largest amount of grantmaking in 2020. WFA is currently in an extensive participatory strategy review, which will be concluded by March 2021. As part of this, the fund also has a new comprehensive Theory of Change.

Women’s Fund in Georgia has introduced the Urgent Response Women’s Solidarity Grants Program, answering those challenges COVID-19 brought among the most vulnerable communities of women. The fund has actively started working on the intersection of women’s and labor rights, preparing 17 local experts that have undergone intensive training of trainers and are spreading their feminist knowledge further. WFG has actively worked on developing a manual on collective care practices and Georgian herstory of healing, existing practices and wisdom. A manual will be published soon, available in Georgian and English Languages.

Women’s Fund Tanzania adapted quickly to the pandemic, prioritizing the health and safety of the team and the support to grantees. WFT provided grants to women-based organizations with a total of over USD 300,000,000. The fund also started the Leadership Transition Plan for a new Executive Director and is also finalizing the Strategic Plan.

Women Win significantly evolved as a fund with outstanding results. Together with other women’s funds, Purposeful, and numerous other private funders, they launched the Global Resilience Fund for adolescent girls during COVID, created the OnSide Fund, which mobilizes resources through participatory grantmaking to girls and sports, and has been at the forefront of participatory governance models for funding women’s rights with the corporate sector.

In 2020 Xoese continued to grow its team. The fund has successfully mobilized 75% of the 2021 budget and 38% of our 2022 budget. Xoese also initiated an advocacy strategy for the French government -that includes an Open Letter for President- about the strict conditionalities the initiative to mobilize 120 million euros to gender equality has.

Text in purple says: Highlights of  Prospera’s Secretariat

In 2020 we successfully completed a thorough revision and approval of Prospera’s Rules of Association -signed by all 41 full members, and launched “No Justice without Racial Justice: A Call to Account to Philanthropy from Women’s Funds around the world”, the beginning of a process towards becoming an anti-racist network. For Prospera’s Programs, flexibility and adaptability were key, particularly in 2020. As a response to the COVID-19 crisis, Prospera developed the Financial Health Assessment of Women’s Funds; which led the Secretariat to design the Financial Resilience training as a precursor to the Resource Mobilization Program -starting mid-March 2021-. The MEL Community of Practice made advances on network-wide indicators; created Feminist MEL tools, and provided guidelines for data security and safeguarding. Prospera and Global Fund for Women also launched its Salesforce pilot with five funds, which will serve the entire membership upon its completion this year. The Strategic Thinking and Impact Fellowship was active in 2020, where nine funds are close to completing their Theory of Change and are operationalizing their MEL systems to showcase their impact. The Research Program is drafting a collective article based on data and analysis from four national funds and has submitted a narrative piece on the experience of doing collaborative, feminist research during a global pandemic. Finally, the Leadership Program has been successful in supporting AWDF and MONES with successful Leadership Transitions. Regarding influencing work, Prospera INWF has been very active in the Women’s Funds Collaborative; the creation and development of the Feminist Crisis Fund, and in supporting the creation of the Numun Fund- a feminist tech + fund. Additionally, Prospera is actively involved in facilitating coordination for women’s funds in the Generation Equality Forum, and has also been working with bilateral governments, corporate foundations, and private philanthropic foundations to advocate for more and better resources going to women’s funds and women’s rights in commitments made globally for gender equality.