COVID-19 puts pressure on all of us, but many women and girls are at higher risk of danger and oppression during these unprecedented times. A crisis like COVID-19 makes the widespread effects of issues like abuse, domestic violence, and rising barriers to educational, financial, and social survival much more intense–and often, much more deadly. The new Global Resilience Fund for Girls and Young Women seeks to answer this understated emergency with rapid, flexible funding to activist groups led by girls and young women.
The Global Resilience Fund supports informal collectives, registered organizations, and unregistered community groups led by girls, young women, and trans and intersex young people around the world. To reach populations that may otherwise have a difficult time obtaining funding, the Global Resilience Fund only offers grants to organizations with a budget of less than $50,000 per year. Successful applicants can receive “fully flexible rapid response grants” worth up to $5,000.
“We are accepting applications from all regions and all countries,” the team explains on the Fund website. “We are prioritising applications from girls and young women with disabilities, girls and young women of colour, LGBTQIA2S youth, afro-descendant, indigenous and immigrant girls and young women, as well as those living in urban slum areas, rural areas, refugee camps, occupied territories and in conflict affected settings.”
As a partnership between social justice funders, the Global Resilience Fund does not rest under the umbrella of one particular organization. It is housed and facilitated by the feminist movement building hub Purposeful, and run out of the organization’s offices in Sierra Leone. However, funding comes directly from the Fund’s member organizations, including:
- The Central American Women’s Fund
- Central American Youth Fund
- Disability Rights Fund
- FIMI (The International Indigenous Women’s Fund)
- Fondo Semillas
- Ford Foundation
- Global Fund for Women
- Plan International
- Ukrainian Women’s Fund
- With and for Girls Collective (WFG)
- Women Enabled International
- Women’s Fund Asia
- Women Win
“The most creative and innovative solutions often come from young women who do not yet have a stake in the status quo,” said Judith Diers of the Ford Foundation. The Ford Foundation hopes the Global Resilience Fund will help “young feminist organizers pivot from emergency rapid response to long-term opportunity to show us what a new feminist reality might look like.”
The announcement of this exciting collaborative comes at a much-needed time: with the world reeling from the combined crises of COVID-19 and the George Floyd protests, the nonprofit world took another blow with the announcement of NoVo Foundation’s cutbacks. The Global Resilience Fund serves as a critical boost for funding for women and girls, in a time where emergency funding is flooding to nonprofit organizations around the world with too little focus on the gendered impacts of our global crises.
One of the most important facets of this Fund is its immediacy: grantees can expect to receive funding in as little as seven days. To guarantee expediency, applications for the first round of funding are limited to previous grantees from the Global Resilience Fund’s sponsoring organizations.
This limitation is in place to shorten the time needed for references and due diligence. By guaranteeing grantees already have relationships in place with other funds and organizations, the Global Resilience Fund can disperse funds at a much more rapid pace than other “emergency” funding that gets hampered by red tape.
The Global Resilience Fund also shores up struggling sectors of philanthropy by focusing its funding on two main criteria: youth and gender. As an LGBTQ-inclusive fund, the Global Resilience Fund is focusing its efforts on girls, young women, and trans and intersex youth. In the words of Rosa Bransky, co-founder of Purposeful, the fund is designed to be inclusive like this because “trans, intersex and gender-nonconforming youth experience much of the [same] gender discrimination as cisgender girls and young women.”
“By putting decision-making into the hands of activists who live and breathe youth-led solutions, we are most likely to resource the groups who are doing the most impactful, liberatory work,” Bransky added. “Now, more than ever, we must trust the leadership of girls and young women who work every day to build better worlds for themselves and us all. They are the ones [we’ve been] waiting for.”
To learn more about the Global Resilience Fund, apply for a grant, or donate to the cause, visit their website at www.theglobalresiliencefund.org.