Where the Money Goes

Smithsonian Women’s Committee Grants Process

The SWC provides financial assistance to support Smithsonian projects. We raise funds through the annual Smithsonian Craft Show, Craft2Wear Show, and special events. Awarding $300,000-$400,000 annually, the SWC primarily supports small projects that often have difficulty finding funding elsewhere.

A request for proposals goes out to the Smithsonian professional community in April, with a proposal submission deadline of mid-July. The SWC usually receives between 55 and 70 proposals. The grants chair, grants vice chair, and president of the SWC reads every application to ensure that each proposal meets the criteria established by the SWC. Then pairs of SWC members review each application and interview the proposers. These teams meet in subcommittees to review the grants, vet questions, and practice four minute presentations. The members of these subcommittees then vote to determine which best meet SWC application guidelines and objectives and will go forward for the full active membership to consider. In January, active members vote on which grant to fund based on presentations. Grant awards range from $3,000 to $35,000. Between 16 and 22 grants are funded each year.