The Karen Takacs Women’s Leadership Fund was created by the Crossroads International Board of Directors in 2015 to celebrate Karen’s transformative leadership over twelve years as Executive Director. The Fund honours her life-long commitment to advancing women’s rights by supporting programming to reduce violence against women and girls; facilitate the participation of women in decision making; and the increase of social and economic autonomy of women in Africa. The fund also provides individual scholarships for women leaders and emerging leaders. Generously supported by individual donations, the fund is a tribute to Karen’s vision and legacy of supporting women’s leadership.

A board appointed volunteer advisory council consults with Crossroads International partners and make recommendations regarding the purpose, management of the fund as well as the selection of the grant and scholarship recipients.



The purpose of the fund is to strengthen African civil society organizations that advance women’s leadership, rights, and equality

In 2021, the fund will award two (02) one-time grants of $10,000 (Canadian) to Crossroads International partner organizations operating in either Eswatini, Ghana or Tanzania. The grant provides support to partner organizations to allow them to strengthen, deepen or expand their current programs, particularly in areas that might not otherwise receive funding from other sources. It can also support pilot projects or investment in new programs that support Women’s leadership.



Deadlines for the application process are as follows:

March 8, 2021                    Call for Letters of Interest

March 30, 2021                 Deadline for Submission of Letter of Interest

April 5, 2021                       Applications will be advised as to whether or not they should submit a proposal

June 1, 2021                        Deadline for receipt of proposal

June 9, 2021                        Karen Takacs Leadership Fund Advisory Council will make a recommendation on recipients of grants to the Crossroads Board of Directors

Early July, 2021                  Applicants will be advised of Crossroads Board decision re: grant recipients.

Applications are open to current Crossroads International partners in good standing from three selected countries per year. In rotation between English speaking countries and French speaking countries. Grants and scholarships will be offered until the funds are expended.



Organizations must meet the following criteria:

  • Current Crossroads International partner in good standing (collaborative proposals by Crossroads International partners are welcome)
  • Advances leadership and equality of women and/or girls in Africa
  • Must be operating in Eswatini, Ghana or Tanzania.



Priority will be given to organizations that demonstrate that the grant will:

  • Strengthen the organization’s capacity to be a voice nationally and/or regionally on women’s leadership, rights, women’s economic and political empowerment, and prevention of violence against women and girls.
  • Strengthen, deepen or expand the partner’s current work, particularly in areas that might not otherwise receive funding from other sources.
  • Strengthen collaboration with other organizations working on promoting women’s rights, equality and leadership.



The grant will provide support for activities that strengthen the partner organizations’ ability to advance equality and leadership for women through the following:

  • Organizational strengthening and training (staff, volunteers, community leaders)
  • Program development or implementation which can include piloting new approaches
  • Collaborations with other organizations -Building national and regional networks on women’s rights, women’s economic and political empowerment, prevention of violence
  • Advocacy on women’s leadership, rights, women’s economic and political empowerment, prevention of violence
  • Research – relating to current programs or new program possibilities
  • Documenting experience and increasing knowledge of women’s rights within the country



Grant recipients will outline the project, the timeframe, the outcomes and the targeted beneficiaries in their letters of interest. Projects would be expected to be complete within a 9-to-12-month period. Final narrative and financial reports will be due within two months of the end of the project timeframe. A reporting format will be sent to the grantee at the time of funding.



The letter of interest should introduce and outline the work the organization will do to support Women’s leadership utilizing the grant amount of $10,000, as well as provide a short overview of your organization. Grant applicants must be an eligible Crossroads International partner.

Please download the application form and note that all letters of interest should be sent prior to March 30, 2021 midnight at fondsKTfund@cintl.org