MATCH International Women’s Fund

The MATCH International Women’s Fund is Canada’s only social innovation fund for women. MATCH is unique in that we bridge feminist grassroots human rights movements and the world of social innovation. We believe women are at the forefront of innovating social change globally. We fund women’s rights organizations around the world to make lasting changes in the lives of women and girls.

MATCH operates on the basic principle that women’s ideas and participation are crucial to successful development – a principle that has been honored by MATCH since our inception in 1976. For us, equal participation means ensuring that more money and resources reach the hands of women working for change in their communities.

What we do

  1. Provide direct funding and support for women’s rights organizations.
  2. Provide scale-up funding for women social innovators.
  3. Generate and leverage opportunity to accelerate and scale social innovations that promote equality and human rights.
  4. Identify and promote the value of social innovation from a gendered perspective.
  5. Convene and collaborate to advance systems change.

What do we mean by social innovation?

Social innovations are new ideas, products, practices, relationships or strategies that offer fresh and often critical perspectives to advancing social and economic progress.

Examples of social innovations abound – from co-operatives, to the fair trade movement, to open source software, to crowdsourcing platforms, and women have a long history of engaging with social innovation. From the victories of the early women’s suffrage movement in the United States, to the on-going battle for women’s reproductive freedoms around the world women’s rights organizing has evolved as intellectual, cultural, political and economic movements and thousands of social innovations have, and continue to, grow from these movements. Today we are seeing a proliferation of social innovations designed and led by women from a taxi company exclusively owned and operated by women in New Delhi and women’s use of smokeless stoves in Uganda, to the development of a urine-powered generator by four teenaged girls in Nigeria, to smartphone applications that locate and document street harassment around the world, to women’s funds and gender specific crowd-funding platforms, examples of women’s engagement with social innovation are plentiful.

Supporting women to hold ground and break ground

Recognizing that social innovation is not a linear process the MATCH International Women’s Fund welcomes proposals that fall under the following streams:

Stream 1: Holding Ground.

Every day, millions of women seek out critical support from women’s organizations in their communities. Women’s shelters, drop-in clinics and support groups provide women with the care they need to escape violence, understand their rights and plan for a better future.

Around the world women’s organizations play an even greater role in the protection of women’s rights through family planning, protection from violence, legal advice, education and psychosocial support. Although these organizations are vital to the well-being of women, they are greatly underfunded and can rarely meet the demand. MATCH works to support these organizations that continue to hold ground for women by providing them with core support.

The Holding Ground funding stream supports organizations that are contributing to the sustainability of women’s rights, women’s justice and equality. These will be organizations that face financial or political vulnerabilities in delivering programs and are in need of financial and other kinds of support from MATCH.
MATCH International’s ‘Holding Ground’ grants are designed to:
  • Provide flexible core support to organizations working to ‘hold the line’ by providing critical services/programs in response to increasingly violent backlash against women’s equality globally.
  • Support capacity building and/or strengthen organizational sustainability.

  • Stream 2: Breaking Ground.

    Changing the attitudes, behaviors and policies that oppress women requires new thinking – innovations which harness new ways to bring about social change. Around the world, women are developing new and innovative solutions to challenge the barriers they face.

    Today, we find ourselves in a unique moment for women’s rights where we can challenge the systems that oppress women – whether that is the laws that discriminate against them, the culture of shame around women who are raped, or the barriers that exist for women in leadership. The Breaking Ground funding stream supports organizations that have proven or promising early stage innovations and that need additional support to create the capacity and conditions to effectively sustain them.
    MATCH International’s ‘Breaking Ground’ grants are intended to support:
  • A tested innovation that is grounded in systems change (i.e. with intent to shift the framing an issue, shift in behavior, shift in engagement, or shift in policy).
  • Innovation and/or demand for program expansion.
  • Collaboration and partnerships across sectors (e.g. with government and/or private sector partners).
  • New infrastructure demands and activities for growth and transition to scale.
  • Business planning and capacity building needs.

    Grant Allocations

    Minimum grant amount will be $10,000 and will not exceed $20,000 CAD.

    General Grant Criteria

    Both Holding Ground and Breaking Ground grant streams require that organizations meet these three essential criteria:
  • Are governed, directed, and led by women.
  • The primary focus is advancing women’s equality and human rights.
  • Have a demonstrated track record and community support.

    General Grant Priorities

    In addition, we look forward to working with women’s rights organizations that:
  • Are women-led, working at the grassroots level to support women and girls.
  • Do not have access to funds from larger donor agencies.
  • Are based and working in the Global South.
  • Are working on issues that are difficult or controversial for women to raise in their communities, yet are critical to the realization of women’s human rights.
  • Are organized and led by women from particularly marginalized populations, including but not limited to: refugees, rural women, economically disadvantaged women, women with disabilities, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQI) populations, sex workers, women affected by military occupation, women in conflict and post-conflict regions, girls and young women, and women from ethnic, religious, and cultural minorities.
  • Actively include the perspectives of those served by or benefiting from the group’s activities.
    Please note that the MATCH International Women’s Fund does NOT fund the following:
  • Individuals
  • Scholarships
  • Government entities
  • Groups without a strong women’s rights focus
  • Groups whose sole purpose is to generate income or to provide charity to individuals
  • Groups headed and managed by men, without women in the majority of leadership positions
  • Political parties or election campaigns

    Review Process

    MATCH International accepts applications in three languages: English, French, and Spanish. Online applications are preferred, but you may submit an application by email, fax, or post. Once you have submitted a proposal, you will receive a notice of receipt.
    Final grant recommendations will be made by an internal grants committee with final approval by the MATCH International Board of Directors.

    Successful applicants will be notified in January 2014.

    The deadline for applying to the MATCH International Women’s Fund is: FRIDAY December 6th 2013.
    • For more information about the 2013 ‘Call for Proposals’ click here.
    • To apply, please click here.
    • To download required financial forms click here.
    • **You are highly encouraged to complete your application online. If, however, you are unable to submit an online application you can download a copy of the application form here and submit:
    By Mail/Fax your application to:
    MATCH International
    1404 Scott Street
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Canada
    K1Y 4M8


    By Fax to: 1.613.789.0990
    By email to: application@matchinternational.org

    Moreinfo: http://matchinternational.org/apply
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