Women in Politics

The Foundation builds strategic, nonpartisan partnerships to deploy a broad range of tactics helping women succeed in American politics.

Our partnerships change the dialogue about women candidates in the media; showcase powerful historical examples of women’s leadership and empowerment; mobilize women voters across political parties through innovative online and grassroots campaigns.

Current Partnerships

  • Higher Heights Leadership Fund


    Higher Heights Leadership Fund is an organization dedicated to creating a network to support and build up Black women's leadership capacity. Their process involves investing in strategies to both increase the number of Black women in the leadership pipeline as well as foster more civic participation among Black women by providing training programs, civic engagement, and networking opportunities. The four main pillars of Higher Heights Leadership Fund's approach are capacity building, grassroots organizing, research, and convenings. The Barbara Lee Family Foundation is proud to support Higher Heights Leadership Fund in their efforts to amplify the voices and leadership of Black women because "democracy is stronger when women's voices are heard."

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  • Presidential Gender Watch 2016

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    Presidential Gender Watch 2016 is a nonpartisan project of the Center for American Women and Politics and the Barbara Lee Family Foundation to track, analyze, and illuminate gender dynamics in the 2016 presidential election. Presidential Gender Watch 2016 draws upon the research and expertise of both partner organizations, as well as other experts, to further public understanding of how gender influences candidate strategy, voter engagement and expectations, media coverage, and electoral outcomes in the race for the nation’s highest executive office. Our goal is to lend expert analysis to the dialogue around gender throughout the election season.

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  • Power in Place


    PowerinplaceFor the Power in Place project, photographer Katrina Hajagos captures photos of American women leaders in special settings chosen by the subjects themselves. The Barbara Lee Family Foundation is proud to support the work of Power in Place as they increase the visibility of women in politics. The project aims to increase the participation of women in public office by holding up inspirational role models. Power in Place believes that images are the most powerful way to convey this opportunity to the young women who will be tomorrow’s mayors, congresswomen, and presidents.

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See All

  • Application Policy & Process

    The Barbara Lee Family Foundation Women in Politics program area has an invitation-only application process and does not accept unsolicited letters of inquiry or proposals. We contact organizations and ask them to apply, rather than accepting unsolicited applications. Please note that an invitation to submit a proposal does not imply or guarantee funding.

    Our grantmaking process is intended to efficiently and effectively support projects that are narrowly aligned with our mission and goals to advance women’s equality and representation in American politics. This process also helps to ensure that those invited to apply have the ability to present the most pertinent and useful information in their proposals.


    The Barbara Lee Family Foundation does not fund:

    - Individuals or scholarship programs - International or foreign-based programs - Organizations without 501(c)3 status or fiscal sponsorship - Political campaigns - Projects delivering direct social services