Grant-Making Strategy & Criteria

Our Grant-Making Strategy

Shadhika supports local women-led nonprofit organizations working in India in the following focus areas:

  • Supports for Success: Many of the girls and young women Shadhika supports are orphans, abandoned, or come from poor families that earn less than $1.50 a day. Because of this, most of the schools these girls attend are sub-standard and they do not receive the 21st Century Skills they need to be successful at college or at jobs in the formal economy. Shadhika’s Supports for Success program addresses this gap by providing supplemental education for at-risk girls and young women ages 10-24 in the areas of English, computers, and life skills.
  • Ready for Work: Because their parents are primarily day laborers or domestic works, the girls we serve have little to no understanding of what kinds of jobs are available to them, how they would find a job, or how to comport themselves in the workplace. Shadhika provides job readiness training to young women up to 25 years of age to help them overcome these obstacles, place them into jobs, and ease their transition into the formal economy.
  • Boys for Girls: Improving outcomes for women and girls will not come solely from investing in girls’ advancement. To this end, we support programs that teach boys and young men between the ages of 10-24 to respect women and girls. Our Boys for Girls program provides training on human rights, sex education, anti-violence, and leadership development.
  • Strong Organizations for Strong Girls: Shadhika provides technical assistance to build the organizational capacity of our partner sites in India. The success of Shadhika hinges on the success of our partners. Each year, we hold a 3-day retreat where participants learn new skills, share best practices, and collaborate on common issues. We also conduct an organizational assessment of each partner and work one-on-one with them to address key issues. Made possible through the generous support of two donors, this annual event brings together senior program staff from each partner organizations Shadhika supports throughout India.

Shadhika does not support primary education programming for girls age 0 -10 years, programming for women over 25 years of age, or health-related programming.


Grant-Making Criteria

We will consider funding organizations that:

  • Provide services to at-risk girls in our focus areas.  At-risk girls include but are not limited to: those at high risk of trafficking, child marriage, and/or facing caste, religious, or gender discrimination.
  • Provide services to boys ages 6 – 25 that address gender inequality and/or prevent violence against women according to our grant guidelines.
  • Support girls between the ages of 10 – 25 years.
  • Are providing direct services.
  • Are working in India.
  • Are small to mid-sized organizations.
  • Are non-sectarian and/or do not advance a specific religious doctrine as part of their services.
  • Are locally run.
  • Are primarily led by women.
  • Have an established organizational structure, including a board of Trustees that meets at least once a year, completion of an annual certified audit, and have an accounting system in place.
  • Can meet the US non-profit equivalency standards by providing:
    • Evidence of the charitable purpose of the organization (such as organizing documents, by-laws, articles of incorporation, trust agreements, charter);
    • Evidence of NGO registration with government authorities where required by local law (tax classification or certification from appropriate authorities);
    • An annual report or brief description of the organization’s history, goals, mission, recent activities, and future plans;
    • Recent financial statements (audited financials are preferred);
    • A list of the grantee’s governing board and key officers;
    • A brief description of recent grants made by any other organizations or units of government to the grantee.

If you think your organization meets our grant guidelines and criteria, please complete a letter of inquiry as the first step in the grant application process.

Letter of Inquiry

Please complete this form and email to

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Shadhika awards grants on an annual basis, typically in July of each calendar year.