Grant Process

Many Hands is a women’s grantmaking organization committed to making a lasting impact on the lives of Washington, D.C. area women, children and families in need and to helping its members become well-informed donors. Every year, our members each donate $1000. These gifts are aggregated into a single pool from which one $100,000 grant and three smaller grants are made.

Every woman who donates $1,000 is entitled to vote for one of four grant application finalists from the areas of Education, Health, Housing, and Job Readiness. You have a voice in where your money is donated.

Many Hands makes grants in four areas: Education, Health, Housing, and Job Readiness. Divided into committees, our members do all of the work involved in vetting potential grant recipients: researching nonprofit organizations, performing site visits, reading grant applications, and interviewing staff. Each committee ultimately selects one nonprofit to be considered by Many Hands’ full membership.

After financial review, the four finalists’ grant applications are presented to our donors, and finalist organizations attend Many Hands’ annual meeting to make short presentations and answer questions. Donors vote to select the recipient of our $100,000 grant. Additional funds are divided equally among the other finalists.

If you are interested in a Many Hands grant, please submit a Letter of Intent. Qualified 501(c)(3) organizations must be at least five years old and have an annual operating budget in excess of $500,000.

A 2013 New York Times article about giving circles and their impact reveals the kind of effect we have in our community.


Our Focus Areas


The number of high school students who graduated from DC Public Schools in 2015 reached 64%. While an improvement over recent years, it is still well below the national average of 81%.


In the region, 47,200 families with children under age 18 live in poverty. In 2008-2012, 30% of households with children in the District of Columbia said they were unable to afford enough food. This is the second worst rate in the nation.


Family homelessness in DC is rising due to a shortage of both affordable housing units and living wage jobs, and homeless families now outnumber homeless adults for the first time since 2001.

Job Readiness

In 2015, 80,000 women in our region were unemployed, and over 170,000 women were employed in low-wage jobs. It's estimated that fewer than half of these women have the education or training needed to obtain good jobs.

Past $100,000 Grantees

Friends of Guest House provides structure, supervision, and support to women from the Commonwealth of Virginia who are reentering the community from incarceration.

Reach Incorporated

Safe Shores provides intervention, hope and healing for children and families affected by sexual abuse, trauma and violence, and works to prevent abuse through outreach, education and training.

Reach Incorporated

Reach Incorporated develops grade-level readers and capable leaders by preparing teens to serve as tutors and role models for younger students, resulting in improved literacy outcomes for both.

Horton's Kids

Horton's Kids empowers at-risk children in grades K-12 and prepares them for college, careers, and life through educational opportunities and comprehensive programs.

College Bound

College Bound prepares students in the metropolitan DC area to enter college, earn a degree, and achieve their personal and professional goals.

A Wider Circle

A Wider Circle aims to end poverty and focuses on the provisioning of basic household need items, education, and long-term support.

Pediatric AIDS HIV Care

Pediatric AIDS/HIV Care provided children living with HIV/AIDS education, therapy, and youth programming to empower them to live healthy and successful lives.

Young Womens Project

The Young Women's Project builds leadership skills and empowers young women so that they can shape DC policies and institutions to expand opportunities for DC youth.

Our Place DC

Our Place, DC was a caring, non-judgmental, women-focused organization that provided a one-stop resource to meet the unique needs of formerly incarcerated DC women and their children.