Written by Anna Carolan
On this International Day of the Girl Child, we’re highlighting a cause worth gathering around: gender equality.
The United Nations General Assembly established this day to bring more attention and activism to the unique challenges girls face. But, according to the UN’s recent report, the world is way off target from their goal–to achieve gender equity by 2030. The UN found that funding for programs in support of female empowerment and gender equality is “inadequate, unpredictable, and inconsistently distributed.” That’s where Giving Circles come in.
Giving Circles were created by women who were eager to make a change in their communities yet lacked the resources and know-how of nonprofits to do so alone. These groups benefit both the participants, by fostering a sense of community and helping shepherd impactful donations, and the receiving causes, by bolstering support for smaller, more diverse organizations. This International Day of the Girl Child is an excellent opportunity to strengthen your community and reach outwards with your generosity to improve the lives of women and girls worldwide.
Why Today is Important
The Women’s Philanthropy Institute’s research shows that women’s and girls’ causes are grossly underfunded: “While nearly 50,000 organizations are dedicated to women and girls across the United States, the Women and Girls Initiative (WGI) consistently shows that less than 2% of total charitable giving goes to these organizations.”
While women’s causes are underfunded, women lead the way in Giving Circles.
The Collective Giving Research Group’s data reinforces that all-women Giving Circles outnumber all-men Giving Circles–and can use their stronghold to effectuate change.
As such, an excellent way to effectively make your voice heard is to donate to women’s and girls’ organizations by joining a Giving Circle in your area. Organizations like Grapevine and Philanthropy Together offer resources for those interested in joining the collective giving movement.
Women and Giving Circles
According to the Collective Giving Research Group’s report, women dominate Giving Circles, with the majority of groups led by women, and 53% give to women’s and girls’ causes. Women are the leading drivers in donations to causes that will help the UN reach its 2030 goal, and help solve the issues that women and girls face.
The WOC Nonprofit Leaders for Change Grapevine Giving Circle is an excellent example of the power of women working together to help other women and girls. Members have supported causes like Daughters Beyond Incarceration, a New Orleans-based organization devoted to breaking poverty and crime cycles, advocating for girls with fathers in jail, and more.
Women in Tech for Gender Equality, another Grapevine Giving Circle, is impacting the tech world by helping women leaders build connections and do good for their communities. Their supported nonprofits include Chicktech and Hands Together A Center for Children. And Girl Power Grants, a Richmond-based Grapevine Giving Circle founded by teenage girls, is helping improve their local community through grants.
Giving Circles encourage members’ active participation in and support of causes that improve girls’ lives–via mentorship, volunteering, and donations to applicable organizations.
Ready to make an impact today? Here’s how to make your mark this International Day of the Girl Child:
- Find & join a Giving Circle in your area–many of our Giving Circles are women-led
- Explore our women-focused Giving Circles, and join one to make a difference for women and girls in your local community and beyond
Explore the Women & Girls Index list of U.S. organizations dedicated to women and girls