Canadian Women’s Foundation

Social Service


The Canadian Women’s Foundation is a national leader in the movement for gender equality in Canada. Through funding, research, advocacy, and knowledge sharing, the Foundation works to achieve systemic change that includes all women. By supporting community programs, the Foundation empowers women, girls, and gender-diverse people to move out of violence, out of poverty, and into confidence and leadership.

Launched in 1991 to address a critical need for philanthropy focused on women, the Canadian Women’s Foundation is one of the largest women’s foundations in the world. With the support of donors and partners, the Foundation has raised more than $185 million and funded over 3,000 life-transforming programs throughout the country.

These programs address root causes of the most critical issues that impact diverse women, girls, and Two Spirit, trans, and non-binary people who face the greatest barriers and have the least access to relevant services.

Our Impact

Given our national network and scope, we have proven our capacity and value as a partner of choice and a thought-leader in the sector. Through research, evaluation, and knowledge sharing, the Canadian Women’s Foundation works to build the women’s sector, so that fewer women find themselves in poverty, fewer girls lack confidence, and more Canadians are in healthy and safe relationships.

By putting the voices and needs of diverse women, girls and communities at the centre, we have built important, multi-year grant streams that are relevant and informed by the communities they support, as well as helped stabilize organizations so they can focus on providing critical services.

In addition to granting, we work to improve systems, policies, and practices to build equity. The Foundation also acts as a hub for grassroots leaders, issue experts, advocates, and donors working hard to keep the momentum for change.

Over the past year:

  • 521 gender justice programs funded throughout Canada
  • 1 million+ lives impacted
  • 184 programs serving First Nations, Metis, and Inuit communities
  • 219 programs serving rural, remote and Northern communities
  • 127 programs serving 2SLGBTQI+ people
  • 114 programs serving Black women and girls
  • 166 programs serving newcomers
  • 127 programs serving people living with disabilities

See what your legacy could be

Talk to Canadian Women’s Foundation about a legacy gift

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When you leave a legacy gift to the Canadian Women’s Foundation, you are helping to improve the lives of women, girls, gender-diverse people and the families and communities that we all share for years to come.

You will make it possible for women and gender-diverse people living in poverty to access employment programs. For girls and teens to access transformative programs to boost their confidence, relationships, resilience, and overall mental health. And for women, gender-diverse people, and their families facing abuse to get the services they need to start rebuilding their lives.

Our dear friend, Ann Southam, was a prominent woman, composer, trailblazer, and long-time donor and volunteer, whose two greatest passions in life were music and advancing gender equality. The Ann Southam Feminist Legacy Circle invites you to follow in Ann’s path now to leave a truly lasting legacy and join an ever-growing national movement that is transforming lives and building a more equal Canada.

“When women have power, girls can dream!” – Ann Southam

Ann Southam

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