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Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility Questions


Who is the free fund GRANT FOR?


The FREE fund provides direct grants to:

  • Youth-led, women-led, and other community-based, non-profit organisations (including self-help groups, informal groups, collectives, social enterprises).

  • Women’s Funds whose focus include adolescent girls and young women at a grassroots level.

  • Individual women (18+) with a proposal to increase economic opportunities for themselves or other adolescent girls and young women in their community.


FREE invests in organisations and individuals that are directly supporting and targeting the following participants:

  • All cis, trans, non-binary and all other underrepresented groups and communities such as black, indigenous, people of colour, LGBTIQ+, refugees, and migrant adolescent girls and women with or without disabilities, sex workers, aged between 12 to 35 years.

  • We anticipate a high number of applications to FREE, therefore priority will be given to underrepresented and traditionally excluded groups. 

Who is eligible to apply for a grant?

Currently, we are open to applications from organisations or individuals from the following seven countries: Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, the Philippines, Nepal, and Bangladesh


If applicants meet all of the following criteria, they can apply for FREE:

  • Your organisation or group must align with the mission and vision of FREE.

  • Your organisation must be registered in some capacity. 

  • Your project proposal must include and align with two of the Grant Parameters of FREE.

  • Your organisation or group must have at least 60% of women in leadership positions. Priority will be given to women-led organisations. 

  • Your annual organisational income must be within the following range: $20,000-$250,000. Priority will be given to grassroots organisations. (If you are unable to meet the 2020 minimum annual income, your 2019 income statement will also be accepted).

  • Your organisation or group can only apply for a grant that is 50% or less than your annual organisational income (e.g. if your organisation's annual income for 2020 was $20,000, then you are only eligible to apply for $10,000). 

  • Your organisation or group must have experience working directly with adolescent girls and young women and can demonstrate a track record.


If applicants meet all of the following criteria, they can apply for FREE:

  • You must align with the mission and vision of FREE.

  • Your project proposal must include and align with two of the Grant Parameters of FREE.

  • You must have a demonstrable understanding of the challenges and barriers that adolescent girls and women face in your community.

  • You must provide the name of a host organisation* 

    • *This is a registered youth-led, women-led, women’s fund or community-based organisation or group that FREE can contact to learn more about you. 

We are an organisation/group led by both women and men - can we still apply?

Yes, you may apply, however, please note only organisations and groups that have 60% of women in senior leadership will be eligible. Priority will be given to women-led organisations. 

The application asks for the names, positions, and gender of 3-5 of your senior leaders. This includes organisational leadership and/or board of directors. 

We are an emerging group and do not have annual income - can we still apply?


For organisations:

No, you are not eligible to apply at this time. For the grants available an annual income and demonstrable track record must be submitted. The requested grant amount cannot equal more than 50% of your annual income. 


For Individuals:

Yes, you can still apply. In the application form, you will be asked to provide the name and contact details of a host organisation or group that you have previously worked with, whether formally or informally, which will allow us to confirm and verify your initiative.

Our organisation/group does not have official registration - can we still apply?


Your organisation or group must be registered in some capacity. This could mean being registered locally, as a self-help group, or another local institution. We are not accepting applications from unregistered groups or organisations at this time. FREE will verify registration details with shortlisted/successful applicants.

Application Questions

Can we apply for the FREE Fund in our own language?


At this time, we are only accepting applications in English.

Can we submit our application form by email?


Where possible, we would prefer applications to be submitted using the online form on our website. However, if you are having any issues in submitting this form, please reach out to us on the following email address: 


You can also download the application form as a PDF in case you would like to have a look at it beforehand.


What do you mean by annual income and what currency do you use?


Annual income is the amount of funding your organisation or group receives in a fiscal year for its operations, excluding any physical assets that you may have. We are asking organisations and groups to indicate their annual income from 2020. We are asking for this to be submitted in US Dollars (USD). ​​


How can we use the funding from the FREE Fund?


The FREE Fund will fund initiatives and projects that:

  • Incorporate at least 2 of the 10 grant parameters

  • Address SDG 5 and/or 8

  • Include some of the following approaches:

    • Providing seed money to individuals

    • Regranting to smaller groups within your community

    • Conducting programmatic activities (such as financial inclusion, vocational training etc)

This will require project plans and budgets from successful applicants. 

FREE will NOT fund:

  • For-profit organisations

  • Large scale/capital intensive infrastructure

  • Projects with more staff costs or overhead compared to project costs. The majority of the budget must be allocated to project costs over staff costs, but of course, staff costs and overheads are permissible

  • School fees and tuition

What is the maximum amount of funding we can request?


Individuals can apply for: 

  • Up to $2,500

  • Up to $5,000


Organisations and groups can apply for:

  • Up to $10,000

  • Up to $25.000 

  • Up to $50.000


Please note that organisations can only request a funding amount that is 50% or less than their annual income (e.g. if your organisation's annual income for 2020 was $20,000, then you are only eligible to apply for $10,000).


Do we need to have a bank account to be able to receive funds?


Yes, it is preferable that you have access to an organisational bank account, in order to receive international transfers.


Individuals may be able to use the host organisation’s bank account or personal bank account to receive funds.


What is the FREE Fund selection process?


The FREE Fund selection process has 2 phases: 

  1. A screening process will be conducted by Women Win staff in order to create a shortlist of organisations and groups.

  2. This shortlist will then be sent to the FREE Advisory Committee and Youth Peer Panels, who will review the applications and make a final decision on which organisations and groups will receive funding.


Is this the only call for FREE Fund applications?


This will be the only call for FREE Fund applications in 2021. However, a second call for applications will open in 2022 if appropriate resources are mobilised.


What information will be collected from applicants, and who has access to this information?


Within the application form, we ask for the contact details (name, email address and telephone number) of someone from your organisation or group, as well as those of a reference. Only Women Win and the Advisory Committee will have access to this information. Additionally, we will ask for some general information about your organisation/group.

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