Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Photo by Maciej Dakowicz(© Maciej Dakowicz)

PulseWire has a great article on 10 Ways to Give to Women and Girls, which neatly highlights ways to support work towards women's issues.

The article starts off with an unsettling reality: that although investing in women has been widely acknowledged as an effective way to address many global problems, social initiatives that focus on women actually receive less than 7% of all philanthropic funding worldwide. It is particularly worse for start-up and grassroots organisations who work very closely with their local communities and who are not on the radar of many big funders.

Another sad reality (not really discussed here) is that many social initiatives struggle to implement a huge mission and are not adept or have the time and resources to publicise their work. So, they continue to work under challenging circumstances and continue to experience difficulties in raising the requisite funding.

PulseWire's suggestions for supporting women's work includes:

  • Align your checkbook to your inner compass: Think about the problems that you are most passionate about and identify and support organisations that are doing work that speaks to your heart
  • Get to the grassroots: Look for organisations that work closely with local communities, who are not necessarily the high-powered NGOs that companies are clamouring to fund, and explore how you can help their work
  • Give directly: Bypass intermediary charities that allocate your donations to a number of projects. Instead get to know individuals or organisations on a personal level and identify what type of help you can offer, e.g. a women's shelter that needs old clothes and books.
  • Aggregate your giving power: Form a 'giving circle' with some friends, colleagues or family members and pool your resources together
  • Give multi-year: Make a pledge to donate a certain amount every year for the next 3 years. These types of long-term support are often more helpful that one-off donations.
  • Be a bridge: If you can link other donors and volunteers to your favourite cause, then by all means DO IT!!!!!

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