The Fund For Women And Girls of the Princeton Area Community Foundation

2017 Grant Guidelines


A community where women and girls reach their full potential.


To improve the lives of economically vulnerable women and girls in greater Mercer County through community investment, education and collaboration.


The Fund for Women and Girls’ membership is a diverse group of women and men who have come together and pooled their financial resources to invest in organizations and programs aimed at improving the lives of women and girls in our community. In addition to providing funding, the members of the Fund for Women and Girls lead the annual grantmaking process; members review applications, conduct site visits, and determine which organizations and programs in which the Fund will invest.


Globally, women face greater social and economic barriers than men and are more likely to live in poverty. The same holds true here in Mercer County – women and girls in our community face numerous social and economic obstacles. Without positive role models, education to understand and protect their bodies, and viable pathways to careers, women are often caught in a vicious cycle. Nonprofit organizations and government agencies that provide women and their families with vital services are needed now more than ever; these organizations are stretched thin by increased demand and strained resources. Women are more likely to spend their funds on health, food and education for their families, thus a dollar invested in women is a dollar invested in the entire community.


As a thriving constituency within the Princeton Area Community Foundation, the Fund for Women and Girls focuses on providing support to programs and projects that benefit women and girls in Mercer County, New Jersey. The annual grants process is competitive; the Fund awards one-year grants of up to $25,000 each, and at the discretion of the Grants Committee, organizations may be invited to apply for multi-year grants of up to three years. We encourage tax-exempt 501(c) 3 nonprofit organizations to submit applications each year from April through May. Our online application can be found at


Women and girls are more likely to succeed in school, work, and life when they are physically and emotionally healthy, are able to develop skill sets to address life’s challenges and opportunities, and have the guidance and support of mentors.

Our research-based funding priorities reveal major social and economic obstacles faced by women and girls in Mercer County, including

  • Childcare
  • Domestic violence
  • Education
  • Leadership and Mentoring
  • Reproductive Health

To address these needs, the Fund for Women and Girls invests in projects and activities such as counseling, education, health services, leadership development, mentoring, outreach, skill building, support groups, and training. The Fund will consider investing in capital projects that support these endeavors.

We place a priority on projects that demonstrate measurable impact, are evidence-based and grounded in best practices. We encourage proposals that foster collaboration among organizations and welcome those that demonstrate innovative ways of thinking about old problems.

To read the research report that informs our Mission, see “Shaping the Future,” (


We do not fund:

  • Endowment-building campaigns
  • Fundraising appeals, events, and routine expenses of raising money
  • Field trips, unless part of a larger educational effort
  • Sports teams, unless part of a larger educational effort
  • Sponsorship of conventions
  • Lobbying and other political activities
  • Fraternal and religious activities
  • Tax-supported and government-operated basic programs and services (e.g., core curricular school activities or essential police and fire services)


Nonprofit organizations with tax-exempt status under Section 501(c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Service Code are eligible for funding. Eligible nonprofit organizations must be registered with the State of New Jersey as a charity, unless they are religious organizations or schools that file their curricula with the Department of Education and are exempted from the provisions of the New Jersey Charitable Registration and Investigation Act. (For further information on New Jersey charitable registration go to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs web site at


The Fund for Women and Girls will only support organizations that promote inclusiveness and that do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, or any other characteristics protected by law.


The application will be evaluated on and should contain clear evidence of the following criteria:

  • The project fits within the Fund for Women and Girls grant guidelines.
  • The project’s rationale and implementation plan is grounded in relevant research and best practices.
  • The project has a meaningful impact on the its intended beneficiaries as demonstrated by measurable outcomes.
  • The project is grounded in the expressed needs of its intended participants.
  • The organization seeks out collaborative partnerships and leverages them for efficiencies and greater reach.
  • The organization shares its knowledge and experience with the broader community and aspires to be a leader in its field.
  • The organization is building capacity to sustain the project beyond the grant.
  • The project contributes to the growth and future success of the organization.
  • The organization’s Board demonstrates its commitment via financial support and time, talent, or in-kind support.


The Princeton Area Community Foundation offers Grant Information Sessions for all interested applicants at its office, located at 15 Princess Road, Lawrenceville, New Jersey, on designated dates in April. These sessions acquaint participants with grant guidelines and application processes, and provide opportunities to ask specific questions. Attendance at an information session is not a prerequisite to apply for a grant. You may register for the sessions online at

Nonprofit organizations may apply for a grant from the Fund for Women and Girls regardless of whether they have applied for funding from the Community Foundation’s Greater Mercer Grants. The Fund and the Community Foundation welcome follow-up questions.

The Fund for Women and Girls accepts completed applications from April through May. Grant Committee members evaluate proposals from June through September, making occasional site visits. The Committee recommends three to five finalists to the overall membership. Organizations that are not finalists receive notification at this time.

The finalists make a brief presentation at the Fund’s Annual Grantmaking Dinner in late fall, followed by voting (based on voting criteria outlined in the Fund for Women and Girls Charter) to select the organizations that will receive one-year and multi-year grants.

Following this meeting, the Fund issues information about the grant recipients, using both print and social media, newsletters, web sites, and annual reports. The Fund also encourages grantee-partners to publicize their awards themselves through press releases, and the Community Foundation communications staff is available to assist with those efforts. We request that grantee-partners acknowledge the support of the Fund for Women and Girls as a component of the Princeton Area Community Foundation in releases as “The Fund for Women and Girls of the Princeton Area Community Foundation”.

 fwg schedule 2017






Grant money must be used exclusively for the purposes and activities specified in the grant application. The Fund for Women and Girls requires grantee-partners to notify the Community Foundation as soon as possible if their needs or circumstances change. Grantees are required to submit brief six-month and end-of-grant narratives and budget reports on their projects. The Community Foundation provides reporting forms in advance of the due dates.

For additional information, contact us.