Frequently Asked Questions

Application Process | Application Eligibility

The 2015 grant-making cycle is now closed, and the Fund is no longer accepting applications. The frequently asked questions below are related to the previous call for proposals and are for information purposes only.

Are the categories of Catalytic and Implementation grants from the Fund for Gender Equality’s first grant-making cycle still applicable?

No. The Fund has changed its formula for funding based on lessons learned from the first Call for Proposals. Grants are no longer divided between Implementation and Catalytic Programmes. Instead, they are focused on women’s political or economic empowerment.

Application Process

What is the timeline for the application process?

The Call for Proposals for the 2015 grant cycle was published on 23 February 2015 to allow interested applicants to get prepared for the online application system’s opening on 9 March 2015. The deadline to submit applications online is 5 April 2015. Successful grantees will be notified in November 2015 to start implementing their programmes in January 2016.

When will the online application system be available?

The online application system is now open from 9 March until 5 April 2015. 

Where can I find the online application system?

To apply, go to this link and follow the instructions.

Is there a manual to help with the online application system?

Yes. The Online Application Guide and Frequently Asked Questions is a step-by-step description of the online system that is available for download in five languages as a PDF document here.

Can I submit my application by email, mail or fax?

No. Only applications submitted via the online application will be accepted.

Can I submit my application in a language other than English?

Yes. Applicants may submit their applications in English, French, Spanish, Russian and Arabic. No other language will be accepted. All documents to be uploaded in the online applications system should be translated into one of those five languages.

What are the required attachments for my grant application?

Please see the Call for Proposals for specific details regarding required attachments that must be uploaded through the Fund’s online application system. Applicants are encouraged to start preparing their documents and the necessary translations (if applicable) as soon as possible to allow for sufficient time to complete the online application process.

May I submit more than one application?

No. Organizations that submit multiple applications will be automatically disqualified.

How many grant applications will be selected?

The Fund is highly competitive, with only 5 per cent of applications being funded in past cycles.

Application Eligibility

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Type of organization: Women-led CSOs including, but not limited to: non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, trade unions or labour associations, agricultural collectives or associations, advocacy networks (national or regional), national or regional funds.
  • Legal status: The Applicant Organization must have legal status with the competent national authority. CSO networks must be have legal status in at least one of the programme implementation countries.
  • Gender equality focus: The applicant must demonstrate experience implementing programmes on gender equality and/or women’s empowerment through an organizational resume or CV of past implementing experience and areas of expertise.
  • Country of legal status and operation: Eligible OECD DAC list of ODA recipient countries only. See list here.
  • Women leadership: The Applicant Organization must have at least 50 per cent women in its Board and its staff, with substantive representation of women in leadership positions.
  • Audit reports: The applicants must have certified financial audit reports for two to three previous fiscal years – including 2012, 2013 (and 2014, if available)
  • Endorsement: All applicants must submit at least one Letter of Endorsement from a gender equality or women’s empowerment mechanism, governmental authority on gender equality, or other multi-stakeholder institution (including UN offices other than UN Women) which is based in the same country as the Applicant Organization. Please note: to ensure fairness, Letters of Endorsement by UN women offices will not be accepted.

Which other types of organizations are not eligible to apply?

  • Government agencies or institutions
  • Bilateral or multilateral organizations, financial institutions, development agencies
  • Private sector entities
  • Private individuals
  • CSOs not focused on gender equality and women's empowerment
  • CSOs with a lack of gender balance in their staff, board membership and leadership positions.
  • Research institutions, think tanks, or academic institutions
  • International organizations and international NGOs with global programming and/or with headquarters in the United States or Western Europe
  • Current grantees of the Fund for Gender Equality (whose grants have not been formally closed)
  • Applicants submitting proposals focused on ending violence against women (the UN has other funding-mechanisms dedicated for this purpose)

Can multilateral organizations (UN organizations and offices, international financial institutions, etc.) apply?

No. The Fund for Gender Equality seeks to fund local efforts and partnerships. Multilateral organizations (UN organizations, international financial institutions, etc.) are not eligible to apply for grants. They can however join the Applicant Organization as implementing partners as long as the Applicant Organization does not propose to transfer grant funds to them.

Can organizations that UN Women currently partners with apply?

Yes. This is permitted provided that the organization does not have an ongoing project funded by the Fund for Gender Equality at the time of the call for proposals. Please note that so long as an organization has submitted its final reports, complied with all grant closure requirements for its previously funded programme and received its final tranche of funds, it may compete again for funds.

Can several organizations apply together and how should they divide the roles and responsibilities?

Each application can only be submitted by a single organization. UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality will sign contracts with and disburse grant funds to the Applicant Organization only. The Applicant Organization is encouraged to find relevant gender equality implementing partners to complement its expertise, outreach capacity and build the capacities of grass-roots organizations. Implementing partners may be CSOs, but also governmental institutions, non-registered community-based organizations, academic institutions, private sector entities, international organizations or other. Implementing partners are not subject to the eligible country list and can be based anywhere. Transfer of funds by the Applicant Organization to UN agencies, private sector entities, international NGOs and international organizations will not be allowed.

Which are the eligible countries in terms of the origin of the Applicant Organization and implementation of the programme?

Applicant Organizations with legal status in countries listed in the OECD DAC list of ODA recipient 2014–2016 are the only ones eligible to apply. Programmes must be proposed for implementation in an eligible country from the same list. The country list is mentioned in the Call for Proposals document and can be found here.

Does the Fund for Gender Equality support regional or multi-country programmes?

Yes, the Fund for Gender Equality supports regional programmes or networks operating in a maximum of four countries).

Do I need to be legally registered entity/organization to apply?

Yes. The Applicant Organizations must have legal status with the competent national authority (of an eligible country). Proof of legal registration (or legal status) is a required attachment for any grant application. Applications without clear proof of legal status will be considered incomplete and will be withdrawn from the application process. Note that articles of incorporation are not proof of legal status. Civil society organization networks must be have legal status in at least one of the programme implementation countries.

Can another organization be an Applicant Organization on one application and an implementing partner on another application?

No, organizations can submit only one application either as the Applicant Organization or as an implementing partner.

What kinds of programmes are not funded by the Fund for Gender Equality?

The Fund for Gender Equality will not consider requests to fund programmes with an exclusive focus on the elimination of violence against women, as these can be funded by the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women.

What is the size range of grants?

Grant size will range from a minimum of USD 200,000 to a maximum of USD 500,000 distributed over a period of two or three years.

Can grantees with ongoing projects funded by the Fund for Gender Equality apply for new grants?

No, grantees with ongoing projects at the time of the Call for Proposals cannot apply for a new grant at this time.

Can an organization that has received a grant in a previous funding cycle submit a new proposal?

Yes, provided the organization has submitted their final reports; complied with all grant closure requirements for their previous FGE-funded programme and received their final tranche of funds, they may compete again for funds.