Advancing justice for women and girls and promoting their spiritual growth

Margaret Fuller Grants Program

Supporting Unitarian Universalist women in scholarly, prophetic and innovative exploration of religious feminisms

132_Mgt_Fuller_NtMargaret Fuller (1810-1850), iconic author, educator, and voice of equal opportunity, strove to awaken women and girls to their rights in the private and public spheres. Her sisterly vision was broad and inclusive, her voice direct and accessible. She showed that the personal and the political were interlaced and inseparable. While drawing on history to lay a foundation, she planted her followers’ feet in the present, emboldening them to make changes in their own time.


Grants are made to Unitarian Universalist women for scholarly projects that explore feminist thought and action within a religious or spiritual context. This includes works that could be called “womanist,” “mujerista,” eco-feminist, or woman centered. It can include an analysis of first, second, or third wave feminist writings and related activities. It is work that is able to create, define, clarify, illuminate, develop, share and birth feminist theology from a UU point of view. We are interested in projects that will contribute to the feminist transformations of our UU community and the larger world.

Funding priorities/Criteria

Priority is given to innovative, challenging yet accessible projects that might take the form of poetry, drama, ritual, song, curriculum for youth or adults, historical or theological analyses of the lives and writings of early feminists, or scholarly descriptions of feminist/womanist theories and theologies.

We prefer projects that result in a product that can be shared widely with UU women — such as a book, curriculum materials, program outlines/descriptions, DVDs, audio recordings, workshop templates, or publishable articles. Applications for events such as conferences or workshops must detail tangible outcomes or products that will result from the event.

Grants are generally made to individuals, although group projects can be considered. We prefer new or innovative projects inspired by the interests of women within congregations or within other community or educational settings. We also prefer projects with plans for income from diverse sources.


Grants are generally not given for equipment or supplies, nor for projects that are already a part of the ongoing work of a congregation or women’s group. Grant recipients are expected to make progress reports as requested and to complete their projects within two years of receiving the award. If a project is abandoned before completion, grant funds must be returned to the UUWF. On occasion, grants may be made to prior recipients who are extending their original project.

Grant size and type of funding

$500 to $5k (average $1500-2000)

Funding cycle and deadlines:

There are 4 deadlines each year, applications are reviewed on a quarterly basis. Deadlines are Feb 1, May 1, August 1, and November 1.

How to apply

If your project or program aligns with this grant programs, please send a 2-page Letter of Inquiry including:

Executive summary (including which program you are applying for)

  • Statement of Need – Why does this project need to happen now?
  • Project Activity – What specifically will the grant be funding?
  • Intended Outcomes – What do you hope the activity will lead to?
  • Credentials/Background – Who (or what organization) is involved & what is their connection to the project or topic?
  • Budget Outline – how much are you requesting from UUWF, and the percentage of other funding sources (potential or confirmed)

Send to with subject line “Letter of Inquiry for Grants Program – Organization/Name” or mail to UUWF, 3322 N. 92nd Street, Milwaukee, WI 53222.

2013 Grant Recipient:

“The Women’s Congress”
The $5,000 grant awarded to Rev. Susanne Nazian, of Tampa, FL, will be used to support the writing of a book about the congress, which was held in connection with the 1893 Chicago Exhibition (World’s Fair). A significant number of Unitarian and Universalist Women helped plan and participated in this event, and the book will partially focus on the concepts and ideas put forward by these women and how their contributions reflect a feminist theology from a UU perspective.

258_Sofia.Betancourt-20122012 commissioned grant recipient: Sofia Betancourt

Many of us were brought up to view the Panama Canal as a triumph of American progress over nature.

In contrast, our 2012 Margaret Fuller grant recipient has seen that this project sits at the intersection of Unitarian Universalism’s first and seventh principles.

For over 30 years the inherent worth and dignity of thousands of men and women brought to Panama to work on the project were under almost constant assault from a variety of abuses. And it is hard to imagine a greater violation of respect for the interdependent web of all existence than the canal’s initial and continuing impact upon the environment.

Canal workers came from all parts of the world, but a significant number came from the Caribbean. Sofia Betancourt will explore ecowomanist ethics drawn from the experiences of the Caribbean women who worked on the canal. Her project can be characterized not only as womanist, but also as mujerista and ecofeminist — and it also represents a “first,” as to date there are no other complete monographs on ecowomanist thought.

These grants support projects that explore feminist thought and action within a Unitarian Universalist religious or spiritual context.

This includes works that could be called “womanist,” mujerista,” “eco-feminist” or “woman-centered.”

We are interested in projects that can contribute to the feminist transformation of our Unitarian Universalist community and our world.

Recent Grant Recipients

BeverlyAndersonForbesBeverly Anderson Forbes, Ed.D. — $2,300 for a three volume set of compendia of May Sarton‘s work that address spirituality and a vision of life for women. She passed on in 2013. You can buy these through the UUA Bookstore.

246_TUCKER,_CG_02-2010Cynthia Grant Tucker, Ph.D. — a website containing study materials for her recent book, No Silent Witness: The Eliot Parsonage Women and Their Unitarian World. The site helps readers relate the history and experiences of the Eliot women to their own lives today as Unitarian Universalist women in a changing world.

Currently available products funded by Margaret Fuller grants