Gender-based Violence Response

Call for Applications: Community-based Responses

The Solidarity Fund is inviting eligible community-based organisations (CBOs) to apply for funding in support of critical activities and services related to addressing gender-based violence (GBV) across the country.

Over the past five years, the rates of reported violence against women in South Africa have shown a general increase. This fact has been clearly highlighted by numerous high-profile incidents of femicide in the past two years, which of course represent just a small proportion of women facing violence in their homes and communities. The Covid-19 pandemic has made a bad situation worse. Despite substantial ongoing efforts to tackle GBV in South Africa, many gaps remain, which have only been exacerbated by the Covid lockdown. These include:

  • Shortage of PPE and other critical health supplies at shelters and care centres;
  • Accurate information and awareness among women and girls about available GBV services;
  • Services (e.g. psychosocial support and legal aid) for women who are experiencing violence;
  • Awareness and sensitisation among the police about how to properly manage GBV cases;
  • Inadequate private sector response and partnerships on preventing and responding to GBV;
  • Poor coordination among key stakeholders; and
  • Inconsistent data and evidence about the incidence of GBV.

In response to this reality, the Fund is opening a call for applications for community-based organisations (CBOs) working at grassroots level around the country to respond to these issues.

Areas Of Support

The vast majority of services related to GBV are delivered at community-level, often by small CBOs. The Fund wishes to provide direct support to these organisations, which often struggle to access funding from established donors for a variety of reasons.

The Fund will provide funding to organisations that have a track record of at least 12 months of implementing similar or related activities that fall within the following three broad categories:


  • Communications activities to drive awareness and behaviour change
  • Maintenance of safe spaces for women, children and other vulnerable groups (e.g. LGBTQIA+, people withdisabilities)
  • Skills development and economic empowerment programs for at-risk women and other vulnerable groups
  • Individual and family counselling and psychosocial support services
  • Positive parenting programmes
  • Programmes addressing gender norms, including those that focus on men/boys
  • Programmes focused on Sexual & Reproductive Health and Rights, as well as self-empowerment (voice and agency) of women and girls


  • Provision of trauma counselling to GBV survivors, as well as referrals to relevant social services
  • Maintenance of shelter services for women and children
  • Programmes to improve access to public and private emergency response
  • Support and capacity-building for community caregivers
  • Provision of access to protection services

Access to Justice

  • Provision of non-profit and/or free legal and paralegal support services
  • Provision of support to victims to navigate and interact with the criminal justice system

The Fund will award once-off grants ranging from R50 000 to R250 000 to successful applicants in support of any of the above activities. The Fund will determine the exact amount awarded to successful applicants based on a variety of factors, including the quality of the application, track record and finance history.

Eligibility criteria
For the purposes of this call, a community-based organisation is considered to be one that is based in and serving a local community. To be considered for funding, CBOs will need to submit the following:

  • Proof of registration as a Non-profit Organisation with the Department of Social Development (i.e. valid NPO Certificate) and/or as a Public Benefit Organisation from SARS (i.e. valid PBO letter)
  • Most recent 6 months’ bank statements (the bank account must have been opened on or before 1 January 2020)
  • Proof of track record, highlighting your experience with the specific area of focus you are proposing. This can be a reference letter from a trusted person familiar with your work (e.g. ward councillor, chief, local religious/community leader or a funder) and/or a signed funding agreement from a donor and/or a previous report you have sent to a funder/Department of Social Development)
  • Copy of founding document (e.g. constitution, memorandum of incorporation, trust deed)
  • ID copy and proof of residence for each of your board members, directors or trustees (for FICA purposes).
    Proof of residence may include e.g. utility or retail bill, lease agreement, affidavit from a police station, letter from a ward councillor)

Application Form Notes

The CBO call for applications are now closed.

All applications will undergo initial screening and vetting and, if shortlisted, will be forwarded to an independent Selection and Evaluation Panel who will make all final decisions on Solidarity Fund funding. A decision on the outcome of your application will be communicated to you in writing within a maximum of three months of the closing date.


NB: The Solidarity Fund is only able to make grants to legally registered organisations (e.g. Non-profit Company, Trust, Voluntary Association). If you do GBV-related work in your local community but do not have a legally registered organisation, you will need to find an organisation to partner with. Your application should then be submitted through this partner organisation.


Answers to several Frequently Asked Questions are provided below. If, after reading these FAQs, you still have queries, please contact our call centre at 080 007 9609 or email The call centre is toll-free so you will not be charged for any calls. It is open from 08h00-17h00 Monday to Friday while the call for applications is open (22 October to 18 November). Call centre agents will be available in all 11 official South African languages.

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