Funds for Syrian Civil Society Organisations with Feminist Agendas

Read the text in Arabic here

About the call:

WILPF seeks to preserve and grow the grassroots nonviolent movement for equality, freedom and justice in Syria. To this end, we are supporting civil society efforts towards a peaceful and just solution to the conflict, premised on respect for and attainment of human rights, women’s rights and women’s meaningful participation in all aspects of life. WILPF is committed to a rights-based approach to furthering the agenda for feminist peace[1] in Syria. Support for feminist movement building by Syrian civil society is one of three parallel streams through which we work to achieve this objective[2] 

In 2017, WILPF undertook an in-depth Needs Assessment to deepen our understanding of the current challenges, needs and priorities of a number of Syrian organisations working for the advancement of women’s rights. Despite all odds, the organisations were determined to integrate gender perspectives into their work, as well as the community, and have made notable achievements. However, challenges such as insecurity, lack of funds, the donor-led approach and chronic burnout, have a significant impact on the sustainability and structure of organisations, as well as their ability to plan and implement in a proactive and forward-looking manner. In particular, the results showed us that Syrian organisations are in urgent need of space and resources to further their feminist values, in particular through flexible funding, customised technical support and coordination.

Following the successful implementation of the “Feminist Movement for Change in Syria” pilot project in 2018, partner organisations were able to further their feminist agendas, had improved technical capacities and networking relationships, and reported feeling more empowered and resilient.

WILPF seeks to continue its support to Syrian civil society organisations to further their feminist agendas, develop sustainable and effective structures, and strengthen networks for collective growth in 2019. Throughout the project, WILPF will provide a combination of flexible funding[3], tailored technical support and networking and coordination opportunities to Syrian organisations with feminist values.


Grant description:

The “Feminist Movement for Change in Syria” grant is designed to free up feminist leaders and activists from constant project proposal writing to meet basic costs, allowing them the time, space, and resources to think, analyse and act strategically. Through receiving similar funds in the past, Syrian feminist organisations were able to pilot new ideas and initiatives that strategically support progress towards their visions and aid in the organisation’s sustainability.


Core Grant

WILPF is offering core grants of up to 30,000 CHF to registered Syrian organisations with access to a bank account in their name to further their feminist values and agendas.

The funding requested:

  • Can be up to 30,000 CHF for the period: 1 June 2019 – 31 March 2020.
  • Should not exceed 15% of the organisation’s secured overall budget for 2019.
  • Must be for core funding; flexible funding that responds to the needs of organisations and is not tied to particular projects or activities. This grant does not support project funding and is primarily concerned with the capacity development needs of Syrian feminist organisations.


Small Grant

Groups that are not registered and/or do not have access to a bank account registered in their name can apply for funding of up to 5,000 CHF.

The funding requested:

  • Can be up to 5,000 CHF for the period: 1 June 2019 – 31 March 2020.
  • Can be to cover core costs or for project implementation.
  • Is exempt from the 15% of overall budget for the year condition.


Eligibility criteria (Applies to Core and Small grants)

The applying organisation:

  • Must be managed by Syrians, working for Syrians and be committed to furthering feminist values and agendas.
  • Must demonstrate how it is working to achieve full and equal political, economic, social and cultural rights for women.
  • Must demonstrate that they have the means to receive funds securely and without undue risk of harm to staff or others.
  • Can be located inside Syria or abroad.


How to apply:

Please send a proposal of no more than 10 pages, using the provided Proposal Template to with “Feminist Movement for Change in Syria” in the subject. The 2019 organisational budget should be annexed with conversion to CHF.


In the proposal, you should consider and provide answers for how you see WILPF can best support your feminist values, through a mixture of financial and technical support. We are also interested in learning about what your organisation has found hardest to secure funding for and whether core funding could provide a solution to this. In addition, we are keen to hear about how your organisation overcame difficulties faced in receiving funds from abroad. We would like to read about innovative examples of how your organisation has addressed this challenge, with a description of the advantages and disadvantages of the different methods you have trialed.


Deadline: Sunday 19 May 2019



[1] WILPF defines feminist peace as “a world free from violence and armed conflict with equality and justice for all, achieved through addressing the root causes of violence with a feminist lens and mobilizing for nonviolent action.”

[2] The other two streams are women’s meaningful participation in political life and gender-sensitive accountability and justice.

[3] Flexible funding that responds to the needs of organisations and is not tied to particular projects or activities.