Start-up Organizations Invited to Apply for Foundation’s Inaugural Spark Grants

Mar 28, 2023

The Hadassah Foundation, the largest Jewish women’s foundation in the world, has issued a request for proposals for Spark grants, a new grant designed to help emerging organizations. The grants, $20,000 over 18 months, are for organizations in Israel and the United States focused on advancing women and girls in public and private spaces.

The Foundation, established by Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America in 1998, is helping to achieve gender equity in Israel and the American Jewish community. While the Foundation has allocated more than $11 million to over 100 organizations since its founding, it recently committed, to dramatically growing its impact. Among the steps the Foundation is taking to achieve this goal, it is transforming its grantmaking by:

  • Increasing annual giving to more than $720,000 by 2025 and ultimately to $1 million.
  • Awarding grants to Israeli and U.S. organizations at the same time (previously the two were considered in separate annual grantmaking cycles), with the goal of strengthening relationships and synergies among gender-equity advocates in both countries.
  • Awarding four different types of grants tailored to the different needs of organizations of varying sizes, maturities and track records.
  •  Offering more unrestricted and longer-term grants, including five-year and three-year grants.
  • Focusing grantmaking around specific themes related to gender equity. These themes will change on a rotating basis. The current theme is addressing biases in hiring and advancement and increasing the number and influence of women and girls in leadership. (More details can be found in the RFP, and applications can be submitted here.)

The four grant categories are:

  • Spark (accepting applications through May 1, 2023): Each grant is $20,000 awarded over 18 months. The Foundation plans to award two Spark grants in 2023.
  • Core: Each grant will be $80,000 awarded over three years. The Foundation is currently completing its Core review process and will announce the recipients publicly this summer.
  • Visionary Partners: Each grant is $130,000 awarded over five years. The first two recipients, announced in December 2022, are Jewish Women International (JWI) in the U.S. and WePower in Israel. (Learn more here). There is no application process for Visionary Partner grants; instead, the Foundation reviews previous grantees and makes decisions based on the organization’s track record and mission. The Foundation will name one additional Visionary Partner in 2023.
  • Discretionary: These enable the Foundation to quickly provide funds to address timely activities and needs that arise. Each grant is up to $5,000 awarded in one payment. These grants are distributed throughout the year in response to time-sensitive activities and urgent needs. There is no formal application process, and decisions are made by the Foundation director and chair. The Foundation expects to award up to four Discretionary grants in 2023.

View the RFP.

Read highlights of the Foundation’s strategic plan here.

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