Get to Know the Global Fund for Women

The Global Fund for Women was founded in 1987 by Anne Firth Murray, Frances Kissling, and Laura Lederer, three women frustrated by traditional philanthropy’s lack of interest in funding women-led organizations around the world. They sought to create a new kind of nonprofit – one that would focus on giving women worldwide the resources they need to help themselves, their families, and their communities.

GFW was founded based on the idea that women are “powerful catalysts of change” who are uniquely positioned to impact their families and communities. Studies have shown that investing in women pays off. The UN reports that economies in the developing world grow 3% for every 10% increase in the number of women receiving secondary schooling. Increases in women’s education also make the biggest impact in reducing rates of child malnutrition. Additionally, the UN Population Fund (UNPF) found that women’s empowerment and girls’ education are the most effective strategies for reducing population growth.

GFW is a global network funded by 20,000 people and institutions, including the Dutch foreign ministry, invested in improving women’s human rights. The Fund focuses on three key issue areas: ending gendered violence, empowering women politically and economically, and improving sexual and reproductive health and rights.

GFW provides flexible grants to women-led organizations around the world to help them advance these causes. In addition to being run by women, grantee organizations and groups must use a rights-based approach that contributes to the larger women’s movement, and be connected, networking with stakeholders in their communities to tackle issues faced by marginalized populations.

Since it was founded, GFW has invested more than $110 million dollars to support 4,600 women’s organizations across 175 countries. Since April 30, 2013, it has already doled out $1.1 million in flexible funding to 52 organizations in 17 countries, serving 192,278 million and training 11,544 women and girls as leaders. GFW grantees have gone on to be elected to parliament, overthrow regimes, win the Nobel Peace Prize, and help end wars.

In addition to being highly effective, GFW is also popular with donors and volunteers. It was honored in 2011 as a “top nonprofit” by review site GreatNonprofits, where GFW enjoys a rare 4.8/5 star rating based on opinions and experiences of those who donated time and/or money. Earlier this year, GFW also won the Wheelock College Human Rights Leadership Award for advancing girls’ and women’s rights worldwide.

Those looking to donate to an organization with an excellent reputation and impressive impact record need look no further then the Global Fund for Women. Go to to learn more and donate today to empower women to create lasting social change.

Sarah Morrison

Sources: Global Fund for Women-2, Global Fund for Women-3, Global Fund for Women, Great Nonprofits, PR Web
Photo: Global Fund for Women