FemFund: Strengthening the feminist movement in Poland

FemFund is the only women’s grantmakming fund in Poland. It was set up in 2017 to support feminist movements in the face of a highly challenging political environment. It aims to move feminist movements more resilent by providing flexible small grants through a participatory grant giving model. Over the last year, FemFund has focused on finding sustainable, effective ways to work and has developed a strategic plan focusing on these. FemFund has a team of eight people and a board.

In 2018 FemFund applied to a FundAction #Renew grant with the proposal Resisting backlash and amplifying feminist impact in Poland. The grant helped to finance half of the grants in the second call for feminist groups and NGOs that was launched in October 2018. These mini-grants were available to nongovernmental organisations and to self-organised informal groups, particularly those operating in smaller locations, where women vulnerable to cross-discrimination and violence, may become decision-makers.

Through this call, they have supported 21 projects that promote access to sexual information and support in special education, skill workshops for Travelling Women, mobile embroidery units, an informal group of pensioners working on healthcare and access to culture or the meeting and networking of sex workers.

As a result of their efforts on diversity, they have received 348 applications from 125 different locations. This territorial diversity is reflected in the grantee partners, mainly self-organised groups of underrepresented and vulnerable groups such as migrant and ethnic minority women, LBTQ persons, women with functional diversity, sex workers, prisoners and detained women, or from the countryside.

‘It was a meaningful contribution that came back then from Fund Action. It really empowered us. I think we were still in the process of proving ourselves to the world. Some people felt we were crazy. There are these three crazy activists who want to start a feminist fund in Poland. They don’t have back up from institutions. We were a bottom up initiative.’

Share :