RFP for Generation Equality - Supporting a New Wave of Youth-Led Activism for Gender Equality

RFP for Generation Equality - Supporting a New Wave of Youth-Led Activism for Gender Equality

Organization: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Apply By: 21 Oct 2020

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Generation Equality: Supporting a New Wave of Youth-Led Activism for Gender Equality

About the Organization:

Guided by the belief that all lives have equal value, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation pride themselves in being ‘impatient optimists’ whose purpose is to work to reduce inequity. Their vision is to ensure a world where every person has the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life. Key to enabling these missions is our commitment to science and innovation, collaboration and partnership, measurement and rigor, as well as optimism and risk taking.


The Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995 in Beijing was heralded as a landmark moment for gender equality, both because of the declaration and platform developed at the conference and because of the more than 30,000 feminists gathered from around the world to jointly strategize for a better world.

In order to support a stronger wave of youth-led advocacy in 2021 and beyond, and in order to specifically seek out and fund young leaders from underrepresented and marginalized identities and communities, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is issuing an open request for proposals from groups interested in carrying out advocacy work in support of the GEF. We will invest in a portfolio of up to 10 recipients at $50,000 each, for a total of $500,000 allocated. These 12-month grants provided will each support:

  • Up to 40% of resources (≤ $20,000) for core organizational activities and capacity.
  • At least 60% of resources (≥ $30,000) specifically allocated to advocacy activities around the GEF and/or in-country advocacy focused on one of the six GEF Action Coalition themes (gender-based violence, economic justice and rights, bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), feminist action for climate justice, technology and innovation for gender equality, and feminist movements and leadership).

They hope to leave space for diverse and creative ideas, so have not recommended a prescribed approach to what this advocacy should look like and leave that to the discretion of applicants to define.


To be considered, applicants must:

  • Have executives or leadership teams primarily (>60%) comprised of girls, young women and/or trans and intersex youth, under the age of 30. 
  • Be a registered organization or submit as part of a collective application where at least one participant is legally registered and able to receive grant funding from a U.S. private foundation. Note: If applying under a fiscal sponsor, please include that organization under "Organization Name" in the application site. Please see Frequently Asked Questions below to learn more about a fiscal sponsor.
  • Demonstrate some familiarity with the Generation Equality Forum and/or the Beijing+25 processes, even if there has not been deep engagement to-date.
  • Present a clear vision for how their work will result in policy and/or resource commitments and a theory of change that links to commitments.
  • Demonstrate an ability to effectively champion gender equality priorities with key decision makers.

Additional preference and weight will be given to:

  • Applicants led by girls, young women, and/or trans and intersex youth who are Black, indigenous, or people of color.
  • Applicants headquartered in the global south.
  • Applicants that have not previously received direct Gates Foundation funding.

They will NOT consider funding for:

Individual applicants. Applicants who seek to use funds for:

  • Direct service provision (eg: distributing health care services, developing or selling goods or products).
  • Direct or grassroots lobbying on legislative matters.

Note: Depending on the tax status of the applicant organization, and if your proposal is selected as a finalist, you may be required to complete additional documentation as part of the grant making process.

Please submit questions about this initiative, selection criteria, or application instructions by e-mail to the following address: genderequalityrfp@gatesfoundation.org.

Proposals must be submitted prior to the deadline of 11:30am U.S. Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) on October 21, 2020.

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