Step 1: How to submit your application to FRIDA?

Step 3: Young Feminist Collectives Applicants Read, Comment and Vote

questions and answers

All groups that are aligned with FRIDA’s criteria are part of the voting process. Generally, every cycle up to 500 of the approximately 1,000 proposals we receive fit the criteria and are part of the applicant voting process.  Once the Peer Review Panel confirms that groups fit FRIDA funding criteria, the grantmaking staff designs the voting process. This process is designed differently in each region, based on the feedback from previous cycles, advisory comments and regional strategies that FRIDA community has created to deepen the understanding of the young feminist organizing in each context.

The applicant voting process is organized differently in each of the regions.We embrace the complexities, the coexisting pathways of organizing and the power dynamics in the feminist movement.FRIDA strives for a process that mirrors the nature of organizing in different contexts so that we can respond to the challenges of those contexts. For instance, the voting in Latin America has been organized sub-regionally in Spanish and Portuguese, and also takes into consideration thematics, geopolitics, language justice and access. West, East, Central and South Africa voting is done thematically in French, English and Portuguese, with contextual lenses applied to the process as well. We also consider the fact that some groups have more experience and access to submit their proposal to FRIDA, so we take this into consideration when creating voting groups so that proposals with similar experience levels go into the same voting group with each other.

FRIDA grantmaking staff create voting groups within the online platform. After the voting groups are designed, the application summaries are automatically assigned to their respective voting groups in each region. The voting summaries are anonymized and consist of responses to the following questions: 

  • Why and how was your group founded? 
  • What is your group’s mission?
  • Share the main activities your group has carried out in the past. If you are just starting, what are the main activities you have planned? 
  • How will your group use the FRIDA grant?

The groups receive an email with a timeline, Voting Guidelines and a video guide in the language they used to apply on how to review proposals on the online platform. We prepare a Voting Guide in 7 languages that explains the process, and we encourage groups to have language access in mind when voting–not every group can present their work with the same language proficiency, so groups should more strongly consider the work and communities that they feel are important to be supported in their context, rather than eloquence of language.

The  groups are again reminded that they are participating in a peer review process where their anonymized proposal summary will be shared with other young feminist organizations in their region. The groups have an opportunity to communicate with FRIDA any concerns they might have about the process or to let us know if they won’t be able to take part for any reason.

In the voting stage, applicants read proposal summaries assigned in their voting group and can choose to vote for five groups. The voting is not hierarchical and the applicants can’t vote for their own group. When voting, the young feminist groups share a brief background for their selections and why they would prioritize funding for the work of the groups they vote for. They can also share any questions, concerns or comments about any of the proposals in their Voting Group to add to the due diligence process in case that specific group receives a high number of votes and is considered for funding. The applicants can also express interest in connecting with any of the groups that have been part of their voting group. We also ask the groups if they would like to be connected to other donors in case their proposal is not selected.

FRIDA grantmaking staff create voting groups within the online platform. After the voting groups are designed, the application summaries are automatically assigned to their respective voting groups in each region. The voting summaries are anonymized and consist of responses to the following questions:

  • Why and how was your group founded?
  • What is your group’s mission?
  • Share the main activities your group has carried out in the past. If you are just starting, what are the main activities you have planned?
  • How will your group use the FRIDA grant?

The groups receive an email with a timeline, Voting Guidelines and a video guide in the language they used to apply on how to review proposals on the online platform. We prepare a Voting Guide in 7 languages that explains the process, and we encourage groups to have language access in mind when voting–not every group can present their work with the same language proficiency, so groups should more strongly consider the work and communities that they feel are important to be supported in their context, rather than eloquence of language.

The  groups are again reminded that they are participating in a peer review process where their anonymized proposal summary will be shared with other young feminist organizations in their region. The groups have an opportunity to communicate with FRIDA any concerns they might have about the process or to let us know if they won’t be able to take part for any reason.

In the voting stage, applicants read proposal summaries assigned in their voting group and can choose to vote for five groups. The voting is not hierarchical and the applicants can’t vote for their own group. When voting, the young feminist groups share a brief background for their selections and why they would prioritize funding for the work of the groups they vote for. They can also share any questions, concerns or comments about any of the proposals in their Voting Group to add to the due diligence process in case that specific group receives a high number of votes and is considered for funding. The applicants can also express interest in connecting with any of the groups that have been part of their voting group. We also ask the groups if they would like to be connected to other donors in case their proposal is not selected.

After all groups submit their votes, the Peer Review Panel and FRIDA’s program staff review the voting results in their respective regions. For each regional and sub-regional voting process, there is a conversation within the Panel about how groups have voted, their voting feedback and any dynamics that might have arisen in this process–for instance, how underrepresented groups and those with little or no access to funding are reflected in the votes. At this stage, the Peer Review Panel comes together online to discuss the results and confirms that the groups with the highest number of votes can continue into the due diligence stage. If some groups have the same number of votes and only one can be awarded, the Peer Review Panel makes this decision based on previously applied analyses from the voting process, FRIDA regional strategies and evaluation from the previous grantmaking cycle. The highest voted group goes into the next stage of the due diligence process.

In case the Peer Review Panel reports any gaps in the voting process or groups that come from underrepresented priority communities have not received high vote counts, the Peer Review Panel can collectively make a decision to allocate a grant to that group in their region.

FRIDA shares with the community the number of young feminist groups that are in the voting process in their region, the number of Voting Groups and the number of grants that are allocated to each region and sub-region. We ensure that there is a regional balance in grant and budget allocation. Understanding the imbalance in philanthropic giving and funding commitments across different regions, FRIDA’s regional strategy points out the gaps and underfunded contexts and thematics in individual regions. In some cases, FRIDA can allocate a higher number of grants for these groups, especially if they are underfunded. Usually in each region there are about 10 Voting Groups, each receiving up to 15 proposals to review. Depending on the number of Voting Groups, at least one group from each Voting Group goes on to receive grant.

All groups considered for a grant go through a due diligence process that takes two weeks or longer. The due diligence process is done by FRIDA staff and it is as part of our accountability towards all the young feminist organizers that are part of  the voting process. We want to ensure that funds are supporting the organizing and work they intended to support. We are committed to funding young feminist groups that are self-led, so we ask questions about applicants’ work, leadership, how they started organizing and if there are any internal or external challenges the group is experiencing. 

Reference Request: We inform the applicants that we will contact the references they provided in their application. We understand that many groups are newly established and can’t provide references from previous funders, so we also ask them to provide as references  individuals and/or organizations connected to feminist organizing that can share more about their work. We ask them to notify their references that they will be contacted. They can also choose to change their reference contacts at this stage.  

Local Partners: Advisory committee members and FRIDA staff can also contact local partners or sister funds to ask if they can provide more information about the group. 

Calls with Groups: In some cases, we have a call with a group to better understand their work, structure and leadership. This is mostly the case if a group is part of another organization or another entity.

Once the due diligence process is complete, all awarded groups receive an award email again explaining the process of how their grant is selected and are invited to share any notes of love, solidarity or appreciation with the groups that voted for them. 

We collect bios and photos of the groups for FRIDA’s website. This process takes time, especially because we want to ensure that translation is available, which can cause delays. We ensure that the groups receive an email with the names of groups that have been selected, and once all groups’ bios are ready, we share the information with everyone again, together with appreciation quotes.

The groups that were not selected in this cycle receive an email with a list of the groups that were awarded in their voting group, with their voting number, country and name. We share with them other resources and funding opportunities. If they have confirmed in the application form that they would like to be connected with other funders and there is an ongoing opportunity with FRIDA’s partner funds, we share applications with partner funds so groups don’t have to go through another application process. We are building a system to connect the groups among each other and share the feedback from their peers about their proposal.