The INWF has two membership levels: Partners and Associates. Each Level has a set of Responsibilities. Find out more about the Membership Fees and Application Guidelines.
Criteria for Full Partners:
- Members should be independent women’s funds whose primary function is to give away funds to women’s organizations. Women’s rights groups, non-governmental organizations, or grassroots advocacy groups are not eligible for membership.
- By independence we mean the fund does not have to follow the politics of any given religious entity, political party or national, local, or state government.
- It does not rely on any one source of funding for its existence, whether national government, one donor, political party, etc. It has the ability to say no to certain sources of money, yet it has enough money to carry out its vision and work.
- By women’s fund we mean – an entity that distributes money through grants and/or loans to recipients that may include non-governmental organizations, women’s groups, and individuals, to support the advancement of women’s human rights and the improvement in the status and well being of women and girls.
- Membership is open to funds that are led by women. Funds must be governed by an independent Board of Trustees or Directors, of which a majority is women.
- Members are required to have been in existence for at least two years, to be legally registered as a women’s fund, and have given away grants for at least one full year before they are eligible for full membership.
- Members may be based in either the industrialized world (the global North), or in developing countries (the global South), or in countries in transition (former socialist countries).
- Member funds based in the industrialized world are required to allocate a significant amount of their annual funding to women’s organizations in the South or in the countries of transition to be eligible for membership in the network. Funds based in the global South or in the countries in transition are eligible for membership by demonstrating a commitment to funding in their own regions, but are not required to fund across countries, or to fund in the global North.
- Members should demonstrate autonomy in terms of their own program direction and vision. Members should also promote the autonomy and independence of the women’s groups that they fund.
- Members are organizations that raise funds to support their own operations and their grantmaking activities.
- Emerging women’s funds in either the Global North or South may apply to be Young Partner members of the network by demonstrating an intent to create or establish an independent women’s fund that aspire to meet the criteria described above.
Criteria for Associates:
- Associate Members may be peer organizations with an interest in women’s philanthropy, donors, or individuals with a strong interest in the mission of the network to promote women’s philanthropy.
- Associate Members will be able to participate in annual meetings of the network and may request to be included in the membership listserve that serves as a forum and discussion group for members.
- Associate members may not vote on decisions regarding governance issues for the network and will not be represented on the Executive Committee of the Network.
- Associate Members may apply to visit with or intern at full member funds as part of their learning experience. It is up to the discretion of the member fund to accept and arrange such applications.
Partner Level Responsibilities
- Partners are required to send at least one representative to the annual meeting of the Network each year. Associate members may choose to send representatives, but their participation in the meetings will not be mandatory.
- Partners are required to serve as members of the rotating steering committee.
- Partners are encouraged to consider hosting an annual meeting in their own country.
- Partners are required to participate in decision-making with regard to governance issues.
- Partners should serve on at least one other committee.
- Partners give the Executive Committee of the Network its annual mandate and oversee its effective functioning.
- Partners should be willing to mentor younger funds – individually and/or as functional groups.
Associate Level Responsibilities:
- Associates are able to participate in annual meetings of the Network and may request to be included in the membership email list that serves as a forum and discussion group for members.
- Associates may not vote on decisions regarding governance issues for the Network and will not be represented on the Executive Committee of the Network.
- Associates may apply to visit with or intern at a partner as part of their learning experience. It is up to the discretion of the partner to accept and arrange such applications.
All Members Responsibilities:
- All members should have a strong commitment to working collectively and collaboratively.
- All members should educate mainstream donors about women’s rights, raise awareness among new donors about women’s funds, and educate new and potential donors about issues pertaining to women’s rights.
- All members are encouraged to share information about their organizational structure, fundraising strategies, grant making guidelines, and governance with all members of the network. This information will be posted on the network website and updated as required.
All member funds are committed to pay a membership fee on a sliding scale, according to their operational budget from the previous year. The following is the table of dues approved in Rio de Janeiro, 2004:
Operational* Budget (in US dollars)
|Up to 250,000||250||125|
|250,000 to 500,000||500||250|
|500,000 to 1 million||1,000||500|
|1 – 5 million||2,000||1,000|
|5- 10 million||4,000||2,000|
|Over 10 million||8,000||4,000|
* Operational budget includes all granting plus the cost of running the Fund (staff time, office, etc). It does not include endowment or capital budgets.
Fees will be collected by the network coordinator during meetings. It can be paid in cash, travelers checks, or US Bank checks (in US dollars) by August 30 of each year. Checks should be made to the Global Fund for Women/INWF as the fiscal agent and mail it to: 1375 Sutter St. Suite 400, San Francisco, CA, 94704 USA. For a wire transfer please request the wire bank information to the network coordination.
All members are invited to provide the network with a voluntary additional financial contribution.
To apply to become a member of the INWF, a fund must prepare an application package that includes the information listed below to the network secretariat. The Executive Committee will review the applications in their subsequent meeting-and consult with the member Funds if necessary-and approve or not the new member. The Network Coordinator will welcome the new Fund to the network and request their logo and pictures of staff, board and grantees, as well as other printed materials, for a complete file in the INWF secretariat office. The process of joining the network ends with the receipt of the new member’s fee.
- Name of fund
- Contact information (postal address, street address, telephone, fax, email, website)
- Contact person’s name and title
- Name or names of the leader/s of the group (Director or President’s name)
- How did you learn of the International Network of Independent Women’s Funds?
- When was your fund formed and who started it?
- Why was it necessary to create a women’s fund in your country/region?
- What are your organization’s main goals?
- In which communities does your fund intend to make grants?
- What are the main issues and challenges to women in these communities, and how does your group address these issues?
- How long has your fund been making grants to support women’s rights?
- Why do you want to join the International Network of Independent Women’s Funds?
- Please describe how participation in the network will strengthen the work in your fund.
- What is the structure of your fund? Please describe your staff, board, advisors, volunteers, and members, including their roles and the gender breakdown.
- What role do the people who benefit from your fund’s activities have in the decision-making process of your group? Do they have input into the grantmaking process? Have any of their recommendations been implemented by your group? If so, please describe in greater detail.
- Are you an all women’s fund? If not, what role do men play in the leadership of your fund.
- Describe your fund’s past activities and/or programs.
- Describe your organization’s present activities and/or programs.
- Describe your organization’s plans for the next three to five years.
- Do you work with any other women’s organizations in your community or country? If so, please list a few of them, describe shared activities, and give contact information. We are interested in groups that can serve as a reference for your fund.
- What experience do you have in raising funds? Please provide some examples. What experience do you have in making grants? Please provide some examples.
- What was your organization’s total annual budget in the past calendar or fiscal year? Please list the main sources of funding, including names and amounts, and indicate the currency.
- What is your fund’s total annual budget in the current calendar or fiscal year? Please list the main sources of funding, including names and amounts, and indicate the currency.
- If you have received funding before from any international donors, please provide us with contact information for one or two of them who can serve as a reference for your organization.
- Are you able to pay a membership fee to participate in this network?