Request for Proposals 2020

Women, Arts & Equitable Social Change

Deadline to Apply: Friday, March 13, 2020, 5 pm EST


RFP Overview

The Asian Women Giving Circle (AWGC) believes culture can play an essential role in any strategy for social change. We support Asian American female artists and women-led organizations in NYC that are using arts and culture to:

  • bring about social transformation that prioritizes equity
  • raise awareness and catalyze action around critical issues that affect Asian American women, girls and families, and
  • highlight and promote women’s central role as leaders, creators, developers and managers of these projects.


In this grant cycle, we anticipate awarding individual grants to 5-8 projects, contingent on available funding. The maximum grant amount is $15,000. For a description of past project grants, please visit our website:


PLEASE NOTE: Starting this year and moving forward, AWGC strongly encourages individual artists to apply. We’re doubling down on our commitment to support bold and innovate artistic vision across all disciplines, particularly in music, dance, drama, literary, performance, visual and interdisciplinary arts.


Our Mission


Founded in 2005, the AWGC is a collaboration of Asian American women in New York City who are passionate about amplifying the transformative power of arts and culture to bring about progressive change. We promote grassroots philanthropy and pool our resources to fund projects led by Asian American women who use their creativity to move hearts, minds and communities to be free of fear, bias and injustice.

Who We Are

Founded in 2005, the AWGC is a collective of Asian American women in New York City who are passionate about amplifying the transformative power of arts and culture to effect progressive change. We are a donor-advised fund at the Ms. Foundation for Women, which distributes our funds solely at our direction.

AWGC funds individual artists and community groups whose projects contribute to progressive social and political change. Since our founding, we have raised and awarded over $1 million in support of over 80 projects.

Our Mission and Goals

We promote grassroots philanthropy and pool resources to fund projects led by Asian American women who use their creativity to move hearts, minds and communities to be free of fear, bias and injustice.


Our goals are to:

  • Channel more resources into our local communities
  • Engage more people to invest in creative projects by and for our communities
  • Shine an authentic spotlight on our experiences and stories
  • Promote progressive social change
  • Raise the visibility of Asian American women doing philanthropic work

Eligibility Criteria

  • This RFP is open to both 501(c)(3) organizations and individual artists
  • Artists and collectives that are not 501(c)(3)s must apply under a fiscal sponsor that is a 501(c)(3) organization, which they must list on their application as the applying organization.
  • NOTE: Failure to provide 501(c)(3) documentation or to provide a fiscal sponsor with the same will automatically disqualify the application.
    • All artistic disciplines will be considered, including cross-disciplinary work
    • Applicants should explain how they intend to define and measure impact
    • Projects must:
    • incorporate the arts in an integral way
    • highlight women’s leadership and/or central role
    • demonstrate a deep commitment to a specific community in NYC
    • Rarely, we will support a project that has national impact
    • Grants must be applied to specific projects and cannot support the organization’s ongoing programs, operations, capital or endowments
    • Applicants can be at any stage in their careers but must have a track record of developed work that demonstrates their capacity to complete the proposed project and manage the funds requested

What We Do Not Fund

  • Capital or endowment campaigns
  • Equipment purchases
  • Support to address financial crises or shortfalls
  • Purely personal works of artistic expression with little or no social justice impact
  • Documentation that is primarily of cultural events
  • Performances or personalities that do not provide a social change analysis or social justice focus
  • Student productions or projects associated with a degree program and academic credit

Review Process

All applications are reviewed by AWGC’s Steering Committee which advances a short list of finalists. These finalists are then voted on by all donors who have contributed to our grantmaking pool via email ballot. Final grant allocation decisions are made by the Steering Committee and submitted to our fiscal sponsor, the Ms. Foundation for Women. The Ms. Foundation disburses the grants solely at our direction.


Applications will be reviewed by the AWGC Steering Committee on the basis of:

  • The quality of the project concept in relation to social change
  • The potential impact of the project to change hearts, minds and communities towards equitable social change
  • The artist’s or organization’s strong commitment to a particular community in NYC (noting again that we have rarely funded a project that has national scope)
  • The central role of Asian American women and girls in the project’s conceptual framework, design and implementation
  • The artist’s or organization’s ability to complete the project and use the grant funds effectively


Important Dates

  • Notification of Grant Awards will be made by mid-June 2020
  • All grantees will be required to submit a narrative and financial report at the end of the grant year (June 2021)

How to Apply

This RFP is administered via the grants portal of the Ms. Foundation for Women. Applications will be accepted ONLY via this online process.


Tax-Exempt Status Verification

Please provide a copy of your organization’s IRS tax-exempt determination letter. If your tax-exempt status is pending or if you are applying under a fiscal sponsor, attach a copy of your fiscal sponsor’s most recent IRS determination letter along with a signed Memorandum of Understanding that establishes fiscal sponsorship. Please do not attach a copy of your social security or personal tax status. We can only accept a 501(c)(3) letter from your organization or your fiscal sponsor’s organization.


Work Samples and Supplemental Video Application

Work samples and supplemental video application are optional but encouraged. Your work sample should ideally be a current representation of the project’s proposed activities. ONLINE SAMPLES ARE PREFERRED. Mailed samples will NOT be returned. Be sure to mark your sample with the name of your organization and project.


Acceptable work samples are:

  • Link to online video, CD or DVD (max. 3 minutes in length); please include cue instructions and URL (if sharing online sample) in narrative above
  • Hard copies or photos or scanned images (max of 5)
  • Written materials (max 10-12 pages) – we will NOT read entire scripts, treatments, books etc.


Work samples may be mailed to the following address and must be received by 5 pm EST, Friday, March 13, 2020:


Asian Women Giving Circle

c/o Ms. Foundation for Women

12 MetroTech Center, 26thfloor

Brooklyn, NY 11201


Format for Proposals


Narrative must follow the following format:

  • Type, use a 12-point font size and single-space
  • Answer all the questions in the order listed
  • 10 pages maximum (not including work sample if relevant)
  • Save in PDF format


Once you’ve saved your proposal as a PDF, you may then upload it through the online application procedure described below.


Online Application Procedure


Your proposal must be submitted through the Ms. Foundation’s online application process using the following link to access the application form:


NOTE: In order to view your application, your internet browser must be able to view cookies.


When you access the application form, you will be prompted to create a username and password. This will allow you to save your work and access your application in the future. Please retain your username and password. Neither the Giving Circle nor the Ms. Foundation has access to your account login information.


Once an application has been saved or submitted, you can log back into the system using the following link:


The online application will ask you a set of questions before prompting you to upload your proposal saved in PDF format.


NOTE: There is a 3 MB size limit for files uploaded to your application. If you do not already have PDF conversion ability, you can create a PDF within the size limit by using PrimoPDF software (to download for free, visit Scanning a printed document to create a PDF will likely produce a document that is too large for uploading.


NOTE: The system will shut down at 5 pm EST. After that time, applications can no longer be accepted. Please do not wait until the deadline to submit your application. We cannot make exceptions for late applications, even if the delay was due to computer problems or other unforeseen complications.


Please note that incomplete applications, applications sent via regular mail, or applications that do not adhere to the specified requirements will not be accepted.


  • Please familiarize yourself with this online application before the deadline.
  • You will receive a confirmation email (sent to the email you noted on your application) once your application has been received.


Contact Information for RFP


For technical difficulties, please send an email to


Should you have questions regarding the RFP, please email

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