WFBR Grant Program
Since our establishment, the Women's Fund has donated over $2.1 million to local nonprofits as part of our ongoing commitment to the annual grants cycle.

The Women's Fund of Blue Ridge is dedicated to supporting non-profit and community-based organizations that implement projects benefiting women and girls in Ashe, Avery, and Watauga Counties. Through our annual grants cycle, we distribute proceeds from our special events and operating funds to these qualifying organizations.

Programs

The WFBR believes that all women and girls have the right to equality, safety, opportunity, and self-determination in every aspect of their lives. We recognize our role as a leader in the community by working to achieve these principles through grantmaking.

Typically, grant awards range from $1,500 – $15,000.  

Proposals must meet a local need related to one or more of the WFBR Focus Areas below:

Education

Increasing individual knowledge is a powerful tool. Funded programs should strive to use creative solutions that are sustainable and help women and girls further their education.

Human Services

Providing direct services to women and girls is critical in helping them thrive. Funded programs should provide services that can be tracked over the grant funding cycle and show how the program is directly benefiting women and girls.

Health and Wellness

Access to affordable medical care is critical. Funded programs should focus on health and wellness programs for women and girls that have measurable outcomes.

Empowerment

Funded programs should invest in the growth and development of women and girls and deliver meaningful, measurable, and lasting outcomes.

How to Apply

Women's Fund of the Blue Ridge Grants

Who is Eligible?

Any 501(c)3 organization or government entity which provides program or services that benefit women and girls who live in Ashe, Avery or Watauga Counties.

Special Consideration is given to proposals which demonstrate collaboration with other non-profits and long-term sustainability.

The Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge will not consider requests from any organization or government entity that discriminates on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation or gender in any of its activities or operations.

The Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge (WFBR) makes grants in accordance with the articles of incorporation and bylaws of the Fund, that do not jeopardize the Foundation’s status as a tax exempt organization under Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3).

Therefore, the WFBR does not make grants to:

  • Political organizations, partisan organization or those supporting specific candidates or legislation.
  • Religious organizations (churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship), or other organizations primarily promoting religious purposes.

Other faith-based, community service organizations may be considered eligible if their programs:

  • Are open to all individuals in the community regardless of religious belief;
  • Serve a secular purpose, such as a food pantry, homeless shelter, or an education program;
  • Do not require participation in prayer, worship, or other religious activities as a condition of receiving service(s) offered; and
  • Do not use the individual donation or resulting match for religious purposes.

Background and Purpose:

Each year the WFBR distributes proceeds from our special events and operating funds to non- profit, community-based organizations, that develop and implement projects benefiting women and girls living in Ashe, Avery and Watauga Counties. Typically, grant awards range from $1,500 – $15,000.

Multi-year grants are not available. Grant funds are intended to be used in the year awarded and cannot be applied to more than 25% of the operating expenses for the program being funded.

From year to year, we do not know how much we will have for grants and there are times when we are not able to fund all applications. There is also no guarantee that receipt of funding one year, will result in future funding.

Grant Timeline

Grant Timeline and Application Guidelines

Each year the WFBR distributes a portion of the proceeds from membership and special events to non-profit, community-based organizations, that develop and implement projects benefiting women and girls living in Ashe, Avery, and Watauga counties.
 
Below are some key dates for the current grant cycle:
 
  • The 2025 grant application availability window will open August 1, 2024 through September 1, 2024.  Applications must be submitted by 5:00 pm. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.
  1. One copy of the application form must be submitted in the required format via email to [email protected]. One additional copy of the application, including all required attachments, should be mailed or hand-delivered to the WFBR by the deadline.
  2. The Committee will review applications from September through October.  The WFBR may have to offer funding in a different amount than requested.
  3. Applicants will be notified in November. The decisions of the Committee are final.
  4. Grant funding will be awarded before the end of the year.  There will be an awards reception (date TBA).
  5. Grants will also be published in an email newsletter, on the WFBR website, and communicated by email to the membership.


2024 Grantees

Read about our 2024 grantees and all of the good work they are doing with the grants awarded to them below.

2024 Grantees

Read about our 2024 grantees and all of the good work they are doing with the grants awarded to them below.



Ashe County Habitat for Humanity: Dedicated to the well/pump installation in three new homes in Ashe County. 



Ashe Family Literacy: Wilkes Community College literacy program for Hispanic women in Ashe County, where they will receive instruction in English, parenting skills, and life skills, with child care provided. 


Ashe Food Pantry, Inc: Weekly food backpacks to girls and monthly food deliveries to families with women as head of household. 


Blowing Rock C.A.R.E.S. Food Pantry: Contributions are put forth for the Food Bank Holiday Meal program for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. 


Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture: The Double Up Food Bucks program at four local farmers’ markets. These provide a 1:1 match for those using federal nutrition benefits, W.I.C. Farmers’ Market Vouchers, and Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program vouchers. 


CARE Network, Inc.: Providing assistance with heat/electricity/housing emergencies; to teach financial stability skills; to provide job referrals.


Children's Council of Watauga County, Inc: Family support programs which provide parent education and support services for families during their child’s first years of life.


Community Care Clinic-Vision: Regular preventive vision screenings for women without insurance and to help patients with diabetes manage their eye health, all in partnership with Western Carolina Eye Associates in Boone. 


Community Care Clinic-Mental Health: Mental health services for women without health insurance, including biweekly counseling and lifestyle support services, to help women create motivation and readiness for behavioral change, improve treatment compliance, and reduce symptoms.


Crossnore Communities for Children: Bridge Scholarships for two girls (aged 6 & 14), which will provide a wide variety of extracurricular and enrichment activities.


Girls on the Run of the High Country: Assistance in the form of scholarships for girls in need to participate in physical activity programs to develop emotionally and to improve confidence.


High Country Caregivers: The Learning Shack, a fine arts business incubator where teen girls learn marketable skills and financial literacy within a structured and welcoming community of support. The community that primarily benefits from this program is teenage girls being raised by kinship caregivers (family members who are not their own parents, predominantly single grandmothers) largely because of the opioid and methamphetamine epidemics that affect the region. This program builds self-sufficiency, sense of purpose, aspiration for success, and the foundation for a positive trajectory into adulthood.


Hospitality House Emergency Shelter:  Dedicated to the population of female households experiencing poverty, trauma, and economic distress often find themselves either living with an abuser, on the streets, in cars, or doubling up with friends or family in overcrowded households. Hospitality House is dedicated to providing critical services for women and girls experiencing homelessness or poverty-related crises. 


Hospitality House WeCan Program: Financial assistance provided during winter months, helping to keep women and girls warm and housed, greatly limiting the number of individuals that need Emergency Shelter services. Hospitality House continues to see a need for heating oil and electricity payments during the coldest months of the year. The stability provided by this program allows women to keep their jobs and families intact without going through the traumatic experience of homelessness.


Hunger and Health Coalition: Focused on supplying fresh produce, with an emphasis on purchasing from women farmers, and the expansion of purchasing from women farmers, and the expansion of the Fresh Market to increase their capacity to serve clients on a daily basis.


Mountain Alliance: Aims to enable female teens to participate in the Leadership Development Program and the School’s Out program, as well as the Leadership Initiative for Female Teens (LIFT) program. These three programs take place throughout the year in both Watauga and Avery counties. LIFT is an empowerment program that enables young women to push their boundaries in a welcoming, girl-supportive, fear-sensitive, ridicule-free environment.


New Direction Mustard Seed (new): Offers long-term intensive relationship with mothers and children who have come out of domestic violence households.  Services include legal representation for protective custody, supplemental income, licensed professional counseling, budgeting, and emergency care. Clients agree to a 3 year commitment to the program, after which they will have gained strength and restoration.


New Opportunity School for Women:  Support for a 3-week residential program for women seeking to advance their education, improve their job readiness and enhance their feelings of self-worth. Located on the campus of Lees-McRae College NOSW addresses the needs of women as they seek to escape poverty and possible abuse which has been a barrier to success.


OASIS, Inc: Works towards supplying emergency shelter and assistance for women/children in dealing with domestic abuse.


Partnership of Ashe: The Family Foundations program of assistance and information to mothers who have recently given birth. It offers support to the mother to ensure she is getting the rest and care that she needs, helps prevent mental health disorders, identifies symptoms of postpartum depression early, and ensures a healthy, nurturing environment for the baby. 


Pisgah Legal Services: Funds are dedicated to the legal services in civil cases involving female domestic abuse, exploitation, and immigration.


Quiet Givers, Inc.: Fill gaps in resources and support programs for basic human dignity needs, including food, health, shelter, safety, transportation, and education. These gaps are created by circumstances that fall outside the scope or qualifications of existing initiatives in Watauga, Avery, and Ashe Counties.


Reaching Avery Ministry (RAM):  Aims to expand the existing Emergency Special Needs Fund to specifically assist women in Avery County who are facing a critical situation to re-establish their lives. This emergency fund will support women and their children in need who may be fleeing from domestic violence, are recently divorced or widowed, single moms, have suddenly lost employment, or face other circumstances causing them to be displaced or otherwise in crisis.




The Motherboard: Stuff the Stockings initiative that prepares and distributes over 300 Christmas stockings with gifts to children primarily in Ashe and surrounding counties. 



WAMY Community Action, Inc: Critical home repairs for female-headed low-income households. 



Watauga County Habitat for Humanity: Towards the construction of a home for a local family of four. 



Western Youth Network: Programs dedicated to children who are experiencing trauma. Funding is sought to increase the numbers of youth from low-income families enrolled in mentoring, after school and summer programs.

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