Women Give San Diego Grant Application Process 2020/2021

Women Give San Diego (WGSD) is a non-profit organization that funds programs that help women and girls of San Diego achieve economic self-sufficiency. We do this by providing grants that help women and girls (including nonbinary and transgender individuals):

  • Develop skills to improve financial literacy and prevent poverty
  • Prepare for first-time employment or jobs in higher paying fields
  • Maintain independence, social welfare and economic security

Funding Opportunity
In 2021, WGSD grants will support dependent care (including children, elders, and other dependents) and digital learning programs that advance the economic security of women and girls in San Diego County. Grants will be provided as general operating support over two years (2021-2022). Approximately $100,000 will be available and there are typically four grantees per cycle.

Women and children disproportionately experience the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to create challenges in managing health, childcare, education and work in our local community and beyond.

September 2020 data from the UN Women[1] the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, reports that women globally are bearing the brunt of the economic and social fallout of COVID-19. We see this same challenge locally, compounded by existing disproportionate impacts on women. Even prior to the health and economic challenges of COVID-19, women already:

  • Tend to earn less than their male counterparts
  • Have fewer savings
  • Are disproportionately part of the informal economy
  • Drop out of the workforce at a higher rate due to bearing a disproportionate burden of unpaid care and domestic work
  • Make up the majority of single-parent households

Alleviating the pressures associated with child and family care and digital disparities supports the ability of women and girls to participate in school and work opportunities. This, in turn, contributes to their current and future economic self-sufficiency.

More than 1.6 million women live in San Diego County, the territory that WGSD serves. An estimate 270,000 of those women live in poverty and 80,000 are single mothers. Additionally, a recent report from the Public Policy Institute of California[2] indicates that women, and particularly women of color, have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Therefore, WGSD will fund child and family care programs to help ease the burden of unpaid domestic work, such as caring for family members, maintaining the home and managing remote learning schedules, for local women and ensure they can remain in the workforce and/or recover more quickly from lost economic opportunities brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Dependent care: care for elderly parents, adult children, partner/spouse or other relatives who live with the primary caregiver. The primary caregiver is also the head of the household and she is fully responsible financially and emotionally for this person’s well-being. Care services could include home health aides, adult day care services or other services that would enable a better quality of life for the dependent and allow the caregiver to more fully participate in work or other family needs. 

Digital, distance learning: instruction in which the student and instructor are in different locations. This may include interacting through the use of a computer and communications technology, as well as delivering instruction and check-in time with the teacher. Distance learning may include video or audio instruction in which the primary mode of communication between the student and instructor is online interaction, instructional television, video, telecourses, or other instruction that relies on computer or communications technology. It may also include the use of print materials incorporating assignments that are the subject of written or oral feedback. This page provides guidance and information for teachers, students, and parents who are transitioning, or have transitioned, to a distance learning model.[3]

How to apply

Women Give San Diego Members will nominate organizations that meet the WGSD grant criteria and proposals submitted for funding should clearly outline how this work benefits underserved women and communities as defined by Women Give San Diego’s areas of focus and this grant cycle.

Women Give San Diego’s areas of focus are:

  • Low-income and working poor women
  • Transition age youth, pregnant & parenting teens
  • Immigrant and refugee women
  • Women and girls who are victims of domestic violence, sexual exploitation & human trafficking
  • Elderly women in economic crisis
  • Military women & wives/partners

Funding might support organizations advancing:

  • Technology to support distance learning for families struggling with remote classrooms
  • Child care options for children of all ages in WGSD priority populations
  • After school or other academic enrichment programs to help women-headed households maintain full employment
  • Tutoring or distance learning support for families with more complicated needs
  • Adult or elder care options for underserved communities
  • Other programs


  • Geographic Range: San Diego County
  • Programs eligible for funding must be predominantly female focused.
  • Priority will be given to organizations in which women are the primary decision makers.
  • Must demonstrate outcomes that contribute to women’s economic self-sufficiency and security.
  • Gives voice to female constituents at all levels, and be willing to implement their ideas for change within the organization’s structure and programs.
  • WGSD encourages collaborative efforts between non-profit organizations to leverage greater impact than would be accomplished individually.
  • Formal 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organizations, as well as informal groups of women or emerging groups of women or organizations that can secure the cooperation of a 501 (c)(3) organization willing to serve as a fiscal sponsor, are eligible to apply for WGSD funding.


  • Healthcare programs or concerns
  • Organizations or Activities, which use religion or religious teachings as integral part of programmatic materials or content, or as a means of determining eligibility for service
  • Retro-active funding
  • Reduction of an operating deficit or to liquidate existing debt
  • Agencies of state of federal government
  • Organizations or groups that oppose a woman’s right to self-determination
  • Fundraising events
  • Individuals
  • Capital campaigns
  • Organizations outside of San Diego County
  • Women Give San Diego does not consider overhead/indirect costs ineligible, but does prioritize proposals in which our funds go to supporting the economic empowerment and self-sufficiency of women and girls. So, for organizations that serve only or primarily women/girls, overhead would be considered in line with our mission. For organizations that serve a broader constituency, requests to expend funds on projects that focus on women and girls would be more competitive, and the indirect costs should be proportional to the project.
  • A past grantee is ineligible to apply again until one year after the last year of WGSD funding. These organizations will be eligible to re-apply for grant support after the off year has elapsed.

WGSD Members to Submit Nominations – Deadline: Sunday, January 24, 2021 11:59 PM Pacific Time


Step 1: WGSD Members Submit Nomination Online

Women Give San Diego Members will nominate organizations that meet the WGSD grant criteria. Click here to complete the nomination form by Sunday, January 24th, 2021 11:59PM Pacific Time.

Step 2: Schedule a Zoom Call

We will contact qualified organizations and schedule a Zoom call in mid-February with the organization’s point of contact to get to know more about the organization. This step is intended to be simple and offer Women Give San Diego a brief summary while not requiring a significant time commitment from agencies. Please consider this a chance to provide an “introduction” of your organization and basic information about how your work aligns with WGSD priorities and/or focus areas.

Step 3: Invitation to Submit LOI

Organizations that move forward in the application process will then be invited to submit a letter of intent (LOI) by Friday, February 26th, 2021, 11:59PM Pacific Time. The LOI is designed to provide detailed information about the organization and project, including a budget, the organizations Board members, and key goals/outcomes.

Step 4: Zoom Site Visits

The Women Give San Diego Grants Team will review proposals and ask select organizations for virtual site visits. Organizations will be notified in mid-March of 2021 and site visits will take place between late March/ early April 2021 (exact dates to be scheduled based on availability). The site visits are designed to offer Women Give San Diego and applicants the chance to meet staff and engage in dialogue about the proposed project. We always welcome a conversation with program participants/clients.

Award Notification

Agencies, organizations will receive notification about final funding decisions in late April 2021.

Grants Celebration Event

Organizations receiving grants will be invited to our annual Women Give San Diego Grants Celebration in May 2021.


For more information, please contact Megan Thomas at or 858-247-2022.

Thank you for your interest in building better lives for women and girls in San Diego County!