Strategic Plan

1. Our Grantmaking

We provide long-term and flexible support.
We further develop filia’s grantmaking in Central and Eastern Europe and the Empowerment Programs in Germany.
We develop our grantmaking strategy together with those who are affected by it.
We are developing filia into an internationally active fund.

Our support is based on self-determination and trust: We trust that women, girls and LBTIQ+ who are affected by intersectional discrimination know best what they need to empower themselves and their communities. It is therefore important to us that our grantmaking is closely aligned with the needs and issues of feminist activists and movements. Through direct dialog with grantees, women’s funds, committee members and an ever-growing network, we find out what grassroots activists really need and what grassroots groups need money for. We build our diverse grantmaking activities on this.

When inviting and deciding on grantee partners, the specific local context of the initiatives or activists and the political situation in a country play an important role. For example, in countries with homo- and trans-hostile governments and societies, we particularly support LBTIQ+ self-organizations.

Our grantmaking strategy follows power-sensitive principles. These include accessibility, simplicity and flexibility. That is why we keep calls for proposals short and unbureaucratic, formulate them in a way that is easy to understand and, if necessary, bilingual. Our grantmaking approach is intersectional.

We give priority to distributing our regional grantmaking explicitly to women, girls and LBTIQ+ in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). At least 50 percent of the annual funding volume goes to activities in this region. We set different priorities in our work:

When it comes to grantmaking in CEE, we focus on long-term partnerships. To ensure continuity, we primarily award grants to young organizations over several years and target them specifically. This is because it is important to us to provide structural support to groups in their development and to contribute to strengthening resilience and the stability of feminist initiatives.

We are convinced that women’s funds, as hubs of local feminist movements, promote social change. That is why we work closely with women’s funds from the International Women’s Funds Network Prospera. Together, we regularly carry out long-term projects in which women’s funds work together with grassroots organizations on socially relevant challenges and feminist visions both locally and across borders, e.g. in order to counter anti-feminist movements with jointly developed strategies and through joint exchange.
In addition, we also provide short-term grants to organizations in CEE on certain occasions – e.g. in crisis situations. Here too, we specifically approach individual groups or ask our network for recommendations.

The second regional focus of our work is Germany. With our grantmaking in Germany, we give young and migrant activists the opportunity to implement innovative formats and activities and to empower themselves. Participatory support is central to our work: In our Empowerment Programs, representatives of the target groups decide on the distribution of the grants. For over 10 years, we have gained experience with participatory grantmaking practices in the Girls’ Empowerment Program and, since 2019, in the Empowerment Program for Refugee Women*. filia is thus one of the first funds in Germany to integrate the participation and empowerment of activists into its grantmaking practices and to hand over grantmaking decisions to activists. We are continuing and evaluating this commitment. We reflect on the successes and challenges of the programs, including the role and design of participation and empowerment, and continue to develop our Empowerment Programs.

2. Our Advocacy and Networking Work

Our work is embedded in international feminist networks and discussions.

As part of feminist movements, we at filia, together with other women’s funds worldwide, are pursuing the goal of generating more resources for the activities of grassroots groups of women, girls and LBTIQ+.

We are increasingly involved in international feminist networks. Currently, our most important working context is the Prospera, the International Network of Women’s Funds. In close exchange with our sister funds, we learn a lot about the current needs and challenges of feminist movements in the countries and regions in which we are active with our grantmaking, and also contribute our experience from grantmaking in CEE and Germany. In international discussions, we also identify topics and needs that have an impact on feminist work across countries and regions. The results are incorporated into our advocacy work, as filia sees itself as an advocate for the rights of women, girls and LBTIQ+ and for feminist giving. Our collaboration and engagement in national and international contexts are essential for us, as it enables us to connect the local perspective with the global one, to make the struggles and successes of feminist movements visible and to show ways in which women, girls and LBTIQ+ can make the world a fairer place. We are therefore committed to creating platforms and access for the concerns of feminist activists and organizations among donors, politicians and the public. We put marginalized feminist issues on the agenda of our network partners.

In the German funding landscape, among donors, political actors and the public, we provide impetus for gender equality and promote the principles of feminist philanthropy, which include giving with trust and giving with an attitude of solidarity.

3. Our Public Relations Work

We create visibility for the rights of women, girls and LBTIQ+.
We strengthen the principles of feminist giving in the public sphere and in politics.

Through our work, we create visibility for our grantee partners and sister funds and draw attention to feminist issues, struggles and needs. Our public relations work also serves our fundraising and advocacy work.

We communicate in such a way that unequal power dynamics are not reproduced linguistically or visually. filia shows women, girls and LBTIQ+ as self-determined actors.

4. Our Way of Fundraising

We are working to continuously increase filia’s grantmaking volume and the fund’s capital.

In our work, we are committed to ensuring that the financial resources we mobilize from private donors, companies and institutional donors (i.e. public bodies, funds), especially in Germany, can be used as flexibly as possible – in line with the needs of our partners. To achieve this, we build on long-term partnerships based on trust and motivate our donors to “give with trust”.

Our fundraising is primarily aimed at private donors and is committed to ensuring that the donor community continues to grow and supports us in the long term. Our focus is on unrestricted donations. Endowments to our foundation capital are also welcome. At the same time, we are increasingly seeking bequests and legacies. We also strive for long-term partnerships with companies, ensuring that they meet the sustainability criteria we formulate for companies in our investment policy.

Another goal is to acquire financial resources through applications to foundations and public bodies. To ensure that our grantee partners and we ourselves have a great deal of creative freedom and can implement projects in the best possible way, we attach great importance to ensuring that the application and reporting modalities of institutional donors are low-threshold.

It is important to us that the proportion of privately raised funds is higher in the long term than the proportion of funds received through public funding, so that we can support our grantee partners as freely and flexibly as possible.

5. Our Responsible Use of Money

We use our money in a sustainable and diversity-sensitive way.

Money is an important tool for us, which is why we use our investments in line with our vision. We take a holistic approach to money and have therefore opted for an ecological house bank. We carefully examine where and how the fund invests, who the investment benefits and who it harms. filia’s assets are invested according to sustainable investment criteria. In doing so, we ensure that existing inequalities are not reinforced. We not only exclude nuclear power, armaments and child labor, but also ensure that our criteria of sustainability, social and ethical compatibility and, in particular, gender equality are met.

We also sensitize donors, banks and providers to our responsible use of money. When selecting service providers (e.g. trainers, graphic designers or catering services), we also pay attention to sustainability and diversity criteria and award contracts to companies that share our feminist values and are run by women or LBTIQ+ wherever possible. In this way, we help to avoid further reinforcing discriminatory structures. When selecting products and working materials, we pay attention to ecological and social sustainability.

6. Our Feminist Work Culture

We are constantly developing our understanding of feminism.

As a feminist fund, our aim is to act according to feminist values in our work, communication culture and personnel development. We recognize that discriminatory structures shape the way people think and act. At the same time, we strive to reflect this and live diversity that is critical of discrimination. We strive for a power-sensitive attitude, both within the filia office and across the fund – e.g. in our work with our grantee partners, committee members and donors.
It is part of our self-image to initiate and shape processes that contribute to making power transparent, dealing with it responsibly and relinquishing power – both within the fund’s structures and in cooperation with our grantee partners.

Disclaimer: Our Strategic Plan is not fixed in time, but is regularly reviewed and updated. (January 2024)