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.
Girls Excelling in Math and Science (GEMS) (2006) is a partnership between the AAUW College Park (MD) Branch and the University of Maryland that focuses on hands-on science exploration and mentoring for D.C.-area middle school girls.
Reading Against the Odds (2007) was developed to boost adult literacy rates in Chicago.
Pittsburgh Strong Women, Strong Girls (2006), started by Lindsay Hyde and Joanna Dickert, continues to provide after-school programming and mentorship to girls in elementary school.
Let’s Read Math (2005) works with AAUW branches to partner with local community organizations to offer math skill-building curricula for young children.