Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 2020 Grant for Gender Equality


In order to support a stronger wave of youth-led advocacy in 2021 and beyond, and in order to specifically seek out and fund young leaders from underrepresented and marginalized identities and communities, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is issuing an open request for proposals from groups interested in carrying out advocacy work in support of the GEF.


To be considered, applicants must


  • Have executives or leadership teams primarily (>60%) comprised of girls, young women and/or trans and intersex youth, under the age of 30.  
  • Be a registered organization or submit as part of a collective application where at least one participant is legally registered and able to receive grant funding from a U.S. private foundation. Note: If applying under a fiscal sponsor, please include that organization under "Organization Name" in the application site. Please see Frequently Asked Questions below to learn more about a fiscal sponsor. 
  • Demonstrate some familiarity with the Generation Equality Forum and/or the Beijing+25 processes, even if there has not been deep engagement to-date.
  • Present a clear vision for how their work will result in policy and/or resource commitments and a theory of change that links to commitments.
  • Demonstrate an ability to effectively champion gender equality priorities with key decision makers. 

Additional preference and weight will be given to


  • Applicants led by girls, young women, and/or trans and intersex youth who are Black, indigenous, or people of color.
  • Applicants headquartered in the global south.
  • Applicants that have not previously received direct Gates Foundation funding.

We will NOT consider funding for

  • Individual applicants.
  • Applicants who seek to use funds for:
  • Direct service provision (eg: distributing health care services, developing or selling goods or products).
  • Direct or grassroots lobbying on legislative matters. 

How to apply

A preview of the application instructions and template can be found here. However, to apply you must select the “Apply” button in the upper corner of this page and log into the application portal. You are required to submit either Microsoft Word® or PDF document; no more than four pages in length, including a one-page budget. Please do not include a cover sheet with your proposal. A cover sheet will be automatically generated from your registration data. 

Please submit questions about this initiative, selection criteria, or application instructions by e-mail to the following address:

Deadline for applications

Proposals must be submitted prior to the deadline of 11:30am U.S. Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) on October 21, 2020. 

For more information, please visit: