Apply for a Grant

Since our inception in 2004 Many Hands has donated over $1 million to nonprofits serving women, children, and families in the Washington DC area. We award four grants each giving cycle, the largest of which is $100,000.

In the fall, organizations interested in receiving a Many Hands grant will be asked to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) and a Grant Application. The Many Hands Grants Committee will review these letters, and qualified organizations will be referred to one of four focus area committees — Education, Health, Housing, and Job Readiness — for further consideration.

In April, each committee will request additional financial information from three organizations whom they consider best suited to receive the $100,000 grant. In May, each committee will select one nonprofit to present to Many Hands donors for a vote. One organization will receive $100,000, and the other finalists will receive equal shares of the remaining grant money.

The deadline for applying for a 2019 grant has passed. Applications will be accepted for 2020 beginning mid-September 2019.

Grantee Requirements

Applicants must meet the following requirements in order to be considered for a Many Hands grant:

  • 501(c)3 status
  • 5 years minimum in existence
  • $500,000 minimum annual budget ($450,000 minimum in cash)
  • Maximum annual budget cannot exceed $10 million
  • 100% of the Many Hands grant must be allocated locally. Applicants must serve residents in the District of Columbia, Montgomery County (MD), Prince George’s County (MD), Arlington County (VA), Fairfax County (VA) or the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, and Falls Church (VA). Applicants that are part of a national organization must have a local, independent budget and a local board of directors.
  • Organizations should be secular and non-partisan in mission and program, and should not promote or compel political or religious participation or affiliation
  • Program must serve primarily women, children, and/or families in socioeconomic need
  • Government funding acceptable but cannot be a government agency or program
  • No charter schools (they are a government entity)
  • Finalists for smaller grants must skip a cycle before being considered again
  • $100,000 grant recipients are ineligible for all future Many Hands grants

The Grant Process

How Does the Many Hands Grant Process Work?

Many Hands is a women’s grantmaking organization committed to making a lasting impact on the lives of Washington, DC area women, children, and families in need and to helping its members become well-informed donors. Every year, our members each donate $1,000. These gifts are aggregated into a single pool from which one $100,000 grant and three smaller grants are made.

Organizations must meet the "Grantee Requirements" criteria outlined above in order to be considered for a Many Hands grant.

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.