The Flash Grant program was initiated in 2017 in an effort to respond to requests and opportunities as they are presented. While still focused on advancing equity for women, these grants are for a very specific project. An informal process of requests allows for spontaneity; the grants are usually in the $500 – $1,500 range. The impact of these grants has exceeded expectations. There are limited funds allocated to this methodology.

Your contribution to the Women’s Fund ensures this grant program is sustained and continues to grow. Thank you.

awarded in 2024

June 2024 

Common Cause in Wisconsin

This organization focuses on fair courts, political reform and voting rights; the board of directors traditionally has members from both major political parties. In Wisconsin, the long-standing executive director has followed democracy-related policies for several decades and is a trusted voice on history and context.

“I believe that equal access to justice is critical to a healthy democracy,” states the organization.

Click to visit website

Law Forward

This organization files litigation in the Wisconsin courts to challenge actions that limit voting rights or otherwise infringe on democratic principles.

“Law Forward leads where necessary and assists where appropriate, always working to restore Wisconsin to a forward trajectory,” states the organization.

Click to visit website

League of Women Voters of Milwaukee County

The League is all-volunteer and plays a very important role distributing voting information to the public, registering voters, providing information on candidates and developing informational programs relating to democratic principles. They have a three-part webinar created by the state-wide League called “Fair Courts,” viewable on the League’s website.

“Everybody counts in applying democracy. And there will never be a true democracy until every responsible and law-abiding adult in it, without regard to race, sex, color or creed, has his or her own inalienable and unpurchasable voice in government,” said Carrie Chapman Catt, the organization’s founder.

Click to view website

Sandra Day O’Connor Institute for American Democracy

After our first woman U.S. Supreme Court Justice retired from the Court, she became a tireless advocate for civics education and civil discourse, to protect our democracy. The institute she established is highly respected, and now offers a free adult on-line civics course on many topics (including the judicial branch), as well as other resources and programs.

“We are fortunate in the United States to have a stable and a durable democratic government. But we can’t be complacent in assuming this good fortune will continue… It is the citizens of our nation who must preserve our system of government, and we cannot forget that,” said Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

Click to visit website

State Democracy Research Initiative, University of Wisconsin – Madison, School of Law

This initiative, led by two former U.S. Supreme Court clerks who are on faculty, seek to advance research, dialogue and litigation on state constitutional law, state-level democracy, institutions and public law. They have participated as amicus in the most important democracy-related cases before the Court. Their website offers a state and local government law blog and analysis of topics.

By focusing on the states, which traditionally receive less attention than the federal government in legal circles, the Initiative serves as a much-needed resource for academics, courts, policymakers, advocates, and the public,” states the organization.

Click to visit website

February 2024

Through a WF flash grant, and in collaboration organizations including Milwaukee Women Inc., Professional Dimensions, and TEMPO Milwaukee, a keynote presentation addressing pay equity was held on International Women’s Day (March 8) at the Marcus Performing Arts Center.

The keynote featured Emilie Aries, founder & CEO of Bossed Up. Since 2013, her award-winning leadership development and career services company has been committed to helping clients close the gender leadership gap and implement DEI initiatives.

awarded in 2023

December 2023

From Supreme Court decisions to voting rights legislation, 2023 was a busy year for our democracy. The challenge for voting rights is ongoing and the WF continues to support initiatives that encompass advocacy, education, and litigation for a stronger future. This month, grants were awarded to the following nonprofits:

Law Forward

This public interest law firm is a pro-democracy nonprofit that uses strategic litigation to develop the law so that in Wisconsin democracy includes all of us. A grant from the WF will help Law Forward engage with co-counsel in a significant effort in 2024 to propose and advocate for fair legislative maps.

League of Women Voters

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization that protects and expands voting rights to ensure everyone is represented in our democracy. This grant funds efforts to reach and engage the Latino community, including a special communications campaign regarding the 2024 elections designed for mothers and younger voters.

Souls to the Polls

Together, Souls to the Polls is fulfilling its mission by building a bloc of engaged community members to channel their faith and bring 100,000 Souls to the Polls. Since its founding in 2013, they have united Milwaukee faith leaders and their congregations to strengthen the voting power of the Black community. A flash grant was awarded to help engage young voters in Milwaukee County during the 2024 voting cycle, especially for the recruitment of a youth engagement director and for supplies and promotional materials. This will help increase visibility and encourage conversation about participation in the electoral process.

September 2023

What if charity could be transformed from a gesture to an answer—to solving the world’s greatest problems? What if everything we’ve been taught about charitable giving is wrong? What if it’s undermining the very causes, we love the most?

“Uncharitable” is a one-of-a-kind movie that shows how our charitable traditions and prejudices have suffocated the charitable sector and prevented it from leading the charge to truly change the world.

The Women’s Fund makes this Flash Grant for “UnCharitable” in support of the work The Association of Fundraising Professionals of SE Wisconsin (AFP) and all its members. As we relaunch our brand, we focus our resolve on mobilizing philanthropy and fostering unity to create change. This documentary challenges the viewer to consider their own role in society and the issues we face as a community… Greater Milwaukee.

With a commitment to directing resources to make lasting change, we announce an investment in women’s voices… one via art and another through a convention.

Women Pulling at the Threads of Social Discourse opens on September 8 at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee. This is an original exhibit created in collaboration with the Contemporary Art Modern Project. It is inspired by the gendered history of textile and fiber work and the subversion of the mediums’ perceived nature as soft, and labeled women’s busy work. The artists, both national and local, confront multifaceted topics affecting women. Our WF Flash Grant helps support this amazing demonstration of expression.

Click to watch TMJ4 interview.

Women’s Convention 2023 is planned for October 20 – 22 at the Baird Center in Milwaukee. This is an opportunity to come together to grieve, rage, find joy and comfort in community with one another, and strategize for a feminist future. Our WF Flash Grant ensures young women and people who are on fixed incomes can attend without a fee, which provides space for building and enhancing a collective voice for women.

April 2023

A flash grant was awarded to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin in support of its vasectomy services. Since the Roe v. Wade reversal, there has been widespread reports showing up to an 800-1,000 percent increase in vasectomy requests according to Dr. Peter Dietrich, assistant professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Froedtert. In response to this surge a grant was secured made by the Women’s Fund to support Planned Parenthood’s work to provide consultation and affordable vasectomy services.

Additionally, flash grants to these organizations were awarded in the first quarter:

  • Ex Fabula
  • Lola’s New Beginnings
  • Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force

awarded in 2022

June 2022

In response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, we gave a flash grant to carafem.

Founded in 2013, carafem is ushering in a new era of abortion care in the U.S. Your donations will help the organization provide access to quality abortion care to women in brick and mortar health centers and online at their Virtual Visit Center.

Additionally, we awarded flash grants to these organizations:

  • Committee to Protect Healthcare
  • HIR Wellness Center
  • Hmong American Women’s Association (HAWA)
  • Midwest Access Coalition (MAC)
  • Milwaukee Film, Out of the Picture
  • Physicians for Reproductive Health (PRH)
  • Wisconsin Abortion Support Network (WASN)
  • Women’s March Foundation

In 2022, we made a WF Flash Grant in support of “Out of the Picture,” a feature-length documentary about American art critics and a decade of change in how we consume and understand visual art and culture (and the importance of thoughtful journalism about it.)

It is now on the big screen! Join us… as two of the film’s subjects: Carolina Miranda and Hrag Vartanian will be in attendance. 

Friday, April 12, 2024 | Oriental Theater | 5 p.m.

Post Viewing Gathering: Hacienda, 2018 E. North Avenue

awarded in 2021

In partnership with Wisconsin Women’s Council

These grants support responses to COVID’s impact on mental health and the well-being of women in underserved communities. We know women have been disproportionately affected by the crises and recognize these organizations are providing essential support in our community.

We celebrate this partnership and are grateful for the generosity of so many supporters. Thank you!


Additionally, we awarded flash grants to these organizations:

  • Cathedral Center
  • CORE/El Centro
  • Foundations for Freedom, Inc.
  • Hmong American Women’s Association
  • MA’RUF Center

awarded in 2020

Honoring the Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsberg

On September 18, 2020 Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away leaving an indelible legacy. To honor and celebrate her life and legacy of advancing equity for women, we encouraged gifts to be made in her honor. Donors had the unique opportunity to select the Flash Grant charity of choice from a list of finalists…ACTS Housing was selected and was presented with a WF Flash Grant.

About ACTS Housing

We know home ownership is essential to advancing equity for women. Home ownership is the foundation for improved family relationships, better health and academic outcomes. It is also empowering and inspiring for the new owner and everyone in her sphere.  

The key to their work is making sure that ACTS families thrive as homeowners, building stable homes for their families and becoming sources of strength on their blocks and in their neighborhoods. We are proud to be a partner in this work. 

Additionally, we awarded flash grants to these organizations:

  • HIR Wellness Center
  • Women’s Leadership Collaboration, A Day for Pay Equity
  • The Asha Project

awarded in 2019 and Prior


American Red Cross


  • Alliance Française of Milwaukee
  • Girls at City Hall, City of Milwaukee
  • Milwaukee Women, Inc. and TEMPO Milwaukee
  • Prevent Suicide Greater Milwaukee



  • 9to5 Wisconsin
  • Black Arts MKE
  • Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear, Women’s History Month Exhibit
  • Convergence Resource Center, Solace Identify and Provide
  • Denim Day MKE
  • Girls on the Run
  • Medical College of Wisconsin, Women in Science Series
  • Medical College of Wisconsin, Women’s Mental Health
  • Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival
  • Milwaukee Preservation Alliance, Soldiers Home Milwaukee
  • Milwaukee Women’s Film Festival
  • St. Joan Antida High School
  • Wardlaw Productions, Hummingbird: A Sister’s Courage
  • Wisconsin Breast Cancer Coalition
  • Women’s International League for Peace, Most Dangerous Women Project

Flash Grants… A Circular Story of Impact

In 2017 the Women’s Fund provided flash grants to several area non-profits. One of which was to St. Joan Antida, an all-girls high school in Milwaukee. The school used its WF flash grant to purchase a van to help with student transportation to events and field trips.

The Women’s Fund also made a flash grant to the Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear to enhance the profiles of the women featured in their museum. The Museum contains various themed shops from Avrum Chudnow’s (1913-2005) extensive and eclectic collection of early 20th Century Americana. The Museum is rated one of the Top 10 Best Things to see in Milwaukee on, so there are between 8,000 and 12,000 people exploring this boutique hidden gem. One caveat to the grant, was for the Chudnow to enhance the exhibits by adding information about the achievements and contributions made by women to the artifacts in the permanent collection… hence the installation of Women History Facts now prevalent throughout the Museum. Most Museum visitors are escorted on a private docent-led tour with stories shared to support the collection on display. Now those stories include information about women as inventors and innovators!

On March 1, 2018, the Women’s Fund hosted a reception marking the opening of the National Women’s History Month exhibit and the new Women’s History Facts. A history teacher from St. Joan Antida High School attended the opening reception.  After reading the newly installed Women History Facts, she indicated she would bring her students studying women’s history in March over in the van purchased with the WF flash grant to read the Women’s History Facts.

Truly a ripple effect… one grant to another… to advance equity for women.

Flash Grants Committee

Nancy Peterson, Chair
Julie Ragland
Marilka Vélez