Funder Spotlight: Smallwood Trust: Women’s Sector Resilience Fund (Phase Two)


Deadline: December 10th, 2021 (expression of interest).

Please note: this fund is open to selected areas in England. In the North East, this is Middlesbrough/Teesside and Newcastle.


This fund has been set up to support local networks of non-profit organisations, working with and for women, to make change to systems that cause women’s poverty in their area. It is a place-based approach to systems change, open to networks in and around targeted areas.

The fund is a pilot scheme. The trust wants to work closely with networks to find out what works and what doesn’t, what networks need and where funder and funded can make the most change together.

There is £1.5m available to fund approximately three networks with up to £500k over three years to achieve the programme goals:

  • Work with networks of organisations united by geography to reduce gendered poverty in their area.
  • Build capacity within local communities to help the local women’s sector to create sustainable change.

Networks must:

  • be new or existing, and be able to show a track record of cooperation between some of the members
  • have approximately four to seven core members that would receive funding
  • have an identified lead non-profit organisation
  • be working with women facing multiple and complex disadvantage
  • be led by, for and with the women and the communities they work in
  • be connected to their local area, the local system and the challenges faced by women there.

Particularly welcome are proposals from networks that address the critical needs of women most affected by the pandemic, including Black, Asian and other marginalised or minoritised women, young women, lone parents and disabled women.

Funding would be awarded to the lead organisation which will be responsible for distributing the funds to the rest of the network. It will pay for core costs, support to coordinate the network and any advisory support/organisational development/capacity building needed.

There is a two-stage application process. The first is with an Expression of Interest (EOI), the deadline for which is December 10th, 2021.