Apply for a 2016–17 Public Policy Impact Grant

The 2016-2017 application period is now closed.

AAUW Public Policy Impact Grants are awarded to selected state organizations in support of their grassroots efforts around AAUW’s member-voted public policy priorities. 2016–17 impact grants will be awarded for proposals focusing on voter education and equal pay. Impact grant funds can be used in a variety of ways and are intended to provide grantees with resources to pursue efforts that would otherwise be challenging to accomplish. Past impact grants have been directed toward voter education and registration efforts, database usage, necessary materials costs, and more.

Who can apply?

Any AAUW state organization can apply, provided they have approval from their state president and board as well as signed commitments from their incoming state board. Anyone on the state board can complete the grant application; it is not intended solely for state public policy chairs. Approximately eight to 10 states will be selected to receive a 2016–17 AAUW Public Policy Impact Grant.

What is the area of focus for this year’s grant program?

This year’s grants will focus on building momentum for equal pay. The focus and scope of the work should include state-level activities that bolster efforts to advance federal, state, and/or local legislation and action on the campaign for equal pay. Additionally, grantees should show one main activity centered on voter education, outreach, and get-out-the-vote (GOTV) efforts.

The November 8, 2016, election will provide an opportunity to make equal pay a central issue of candidate and voter discussions, helping to affirm AAUW’s role as the go-to organization for all things equal pay. With the combined benefit of candidate attention on this issue, AAUW’s research on state equal pay laws, and several recent legislative successes at the state level, the 2016–17 impact grant states will have an opportunity to build a strong drumbeat for progress on equal pay.

What key audiences should you try to reach with your grant?

  • Elected officials: local, state, and/or federal lawmakers
  • Coalitions and allies: like-minded nonprofit organizations, groups, or clubs; colleges and universities
  • Media: newspaper, TV, and radio reporters; social media influencers
  • Grasstops: high-profile business owners, community leaders, and local celebrities who have the ability to influence elected officials in your community
  • People in your community: voters you are trying to educate, potential AAUW members, other communities affected by unequal pay

What resources are available through the grant?

AAUW national staff will provide resources and technical assistance for your chosen activities, including

  • Two disbursements of $500, for a total of $1,000 in cash assistance*
  • An introductory conference call to review the impact grant application and process on the evening of May 3, 2016, at 6 p.m. ET
  • Group conference calls with other impact grantee states to share best practices, lessons learned, tactics, and skills
  • Regular communication with AAUW staff to help you design strategies and implement your action plan
  • Programs in a Box, issue fact sheets, and how-to documents for carrying out your activities and building relationships with your chosen influencers

An on-site visit from the AAUW national public policy staff may also be arranged to provide in-person support to impact grantees. Given constraints on staff time, requests for this assistance should demonstrate a specific need or significant opportunity. Consider building out a multi-day and/or multi-branch staff visit, such as for speaking engagements, training programs, or other branch activities.

*Given the 2016–17 AAUW Public Policy Impact Grant focus on GOTV efforts, recipients may request to receive the entire $1,000 disbursement at the start of the grant term. To request the $1,000 disbursement, please include a paragraph with this application explaining how you plan to use the funds prior to Election Day 2016. Determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis.

How do you apply?

The 2016-2017 application period is now closed.

Who should you contact with more questions?

Katie Simon, associate director of field services, at or 202.785.7786