Community Action Grants
About the Grant
Since the inauguration of the Research and Projects Fund in 1972, AAUW has provided support to hundreds of communities around the United States to advance education and equality for women and girls. Early projects focused on public interest issues, including women’s struggles to balance home and work life, the establishment of women’s resource centers on college campuses, and the emergence of women’s political involvement in the antinuclear movement.
As the program evolved and grew, AAUW explored ways to strengthen support through community involvement. Projects have become increasingly collaborative and girl-focused, bringing together AAUW branches and local community groups.
Community Action Grants provide funds to individuals, AAUW branches, and AAUW state organizations as well as local community-based nonprofit organizations for innovative programs or non-degree research projects that promote education and equality for women and girls.
One-year grants provide funding for community-based projects. Topic areas are unrestricted, but should include a clearly defined activity that promotes education and equality for women and girls.
Two-year grants provide startup funds for new projects that address the particular needs of the community and develop girls’ sense of efficacy through leadership or advocacy opportunities. Topic areas are unrestricted, but should include a clearly defined activity that promotes education and equality for women and girls.
Applicants must be women who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Nonprofit organizations must be based in the United States. Grant projects must have direct public impact, be nonpartisan, and take place within the United States or its territories.
Special consideration is given to projects focused on K–12 and community college girls’ and women’s achievements in science, technology, engineering, or math.
Camp GirlForward (2012) is an innovative summer education program for refugee girls ages 14–19. With a social justice-based curriculum, Camp GirlForward empowers girls to understand who they are, where they are from, and how they can make a difference in the world around them. The program includes research projects, presentations, journal writing, and reading, and weekly field trips around Chicago.
What began as the 2009 project Coach Like a Girl expanded into Coaching Corps, an organization that provides girls in low-income communities access to after-school sports programs and the benefits of team-based learning.
With this project, Jessica Jennrich (2008) created financial planning services for the specific needs of low-income women in Columbia, Missouri.
Hidden Herstory (2010) is a national educational networking tour that features a screening of the documentary Top-Secret Rosies: The Female Computers of WWII. Targeting universities, museums, and archives, the tour seeks to connect women professionals working in math, science, and computer technology with high school girls and college women interested in pursuing careers in these fields.
Florida Community College, Jacksonville, and the AAUW Jacksonville (FL) Branch (2007) collaborated to provide gender-specific services to enable 40 at-risk girls to graduate from high school and complete one year of postsecondary education.