For Grant Seekers

This online resource has been designed by Australians Investing in Women to ensure that grant makers and not for profits maximise their positive impact by successfully applying a gender lens


Australians Investing in Women is proud to present the Gender-wiseTM Toolkit for Grantmakers, providing a practical how to guide to applying a gender lens to your giving.

Among the joys of leading this work is the privilege of supporting a growing community of women, men and corporate funders who are having a positive impact in the world by investing in women and girls.

Some have come to philanthropy with an intentional focus on women and girls and a desire to address existing gender inequalities; others are driven by a desire to make a difference in a specific social need or issue such as access to education, homelessness, mental health or youth engagement, and understand the crucial role of women in driving social change.

In the words of Lt. Gen. David Morrison AO (Retd), who launched the first edition of this Toolkit, “Once you get the sight you can’t unsee it ever again…’. When we share information and examples of the often invisible experience of women, funders understand why a focus on women and girls is key to effective and inclusive philanthropy.

Whatever the initiative, that impact will be enhanced if funders apply a gender lens and ask the question; ‘How will this investment impact women and girls?’. We celebrate those funders who have adopted a Gender-wise approach as key to best practice philanthropy and thank them for their leadership. We encourage you to adopt these small but significant changes that will give your philanthropy greater reach and impact no matter what change you want to see in the world.

– Julie Reilly
CEO, Australians Investing in Women

What is a gender lens?

A ‘gender lens’ is a tool for questioning how programs will meet the different needs of people in a target group. Asking the question ‘how will this funding help women and girls?’ is an example of applying a gender lens.

A gender lens approach does not favour women over men, nor does it compromise funding on merit. It simply acknowledges that men, women and gender diverse people face different challenges and have different opportunities, and consequently, programs and policies can impact them in vastly different ways.

Using a gender lens in the funding process explores these differences, and takes account of them. It is about making best use of dollars spent, and ultimately increasing opportunities for long term change for all.

Understandings and expressions of gender differ from society to society, culture to culture, place to place, and era to era. Using a gender lens enables philanthropists to identify differences, explore their significance, gain a deeper understanding of types of existing inequality and the potential impact of inequality on program effectiveness.

The United Nations acknowledges that all human development and human rights issues have gender dimensions, and that addressing entrenched systems of inequity can unlock progress for everyone. One of the UN’s key Sustainable Development Goals is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

It has outlined several targets that are fundamental to women’s equality including:

• ending all forms of discrimination

• eliminating violence against women

• ensuring full participation and equal opportunities for leadership in public life

• economic empowerment

• access to health and reproductive rights, and

• access to quality education.

A gender lens approach is a first step to improving effectiveness of giving or grantmaking through a lens of identity and difference.

A person’s gender should not determine their opportunities in life, but the data tells us it can, intersecting with factors such as ethnicity, socioeconomic background, age, education, rurality, disability and sexual orientation.

Addressing gender difference in all programs can bring about the remarkable social change that is the goal of most giving.

Start your journey and commit to gender equity.

Download our Gender-wise Philanthropy Guide and Toolkit for Grantmakers today.

Genderwise Guide - Lead Capture