Bulgarian Fund for Women (BFW) is the only donor in Bulgaria that exclusively supports activists, grassroots groups and CSOs working to empower women and girls and achieve gender equality in all spheres of life.

We invest in the capacity building of civil society actors and stakeholders and in projects and initiatives that drive social change.

Our vision is that all women and girls live in a just world where their choices are respected, and their voices are heard.

Our mission is to build and develop the women’s rights movement in Bulgaria by mobilizing resources on a national and international level.

Objectives of our work:

  • To support the Bulgarian women’s human rights organizations working to raise gender awareness in society and for recognition of women’s rights as human rights.
  • To strengthen Bulgarian NGO capacity to work on women’s and girls’ inclusion and empowerment, and improve their skills for mobilizing local resources for their sustainable development.
  • To support alternative and innovative women’s initiatives.
  • To support independent monitoring of the government’s commitments and initiatives related to gender equality in Bulgaria.
  • To support cooperation between NGOs working on gender equality on a national and local level.
  • To promote a new vision for philanthropy as an instrument for social change.
  • To support the civil society development in Bulgaria as a precondition for the irreversibility of the democratic process.

History

The idea for setting up the Bulgarian Fund for Women was conceived in 2003 that came out to be a critical one for most of the Bulgarian non-governmental organizations working on gender equality issues.

The difficulties began with the reorientation of a variety of international donors to other regions in the world and hence the lack of funding for the “women’s” NGOs in the country. These challenges encouraged a group of allies to establish a local fund to take care of fundraising and grant-making through programs aiming at women’s and girls’ issues. The process was speeded up by the preparedness of Global Fund for Women – USA to support the idea expressed at the newly founded European funds’ meeting for exchanging experience in Kyiv – Ukrainian Women’s Fund, Slovak-Czech Women’s Fund, OSKA-Polish Fund, Mongolian Women’s Fund and Women’s Program of OSI – New York and Mama Cash-The Netherlands in 2003, and in 2004 Gender Project for Bulgaria Foundation started making the necessary arrangements for the establishment of the Bulgarian Fund for Women. Then Stanimira Hadjimitova, Director of Gender Project for Bulgaria Foundation took part in the annual meeting of 90 women’s funds from all over the world in Toronto – Canada.

The Bulgarian Women’s Fund was registered in September 2004 and on 19 October the fund was publicly inaugurated at an official ceremony. Official guests at the ceremony were Annie Hillar, Senior Program Officer for Europe and the Former Soviet Union of Global Fund for Women, Marketa Hronkova and Vera Klementova from the Czech-Slovak Women’s Fund.

In November 2004 the Bulgarian Fund for Women became a member of the Women’s Funding Network, and in January 2005 an observer of the Bulgarian Donors’ Forum.

BFW is a proud member of:

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