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The Best Women’s Empowerment Nonprofits

You’d like to think you’re a socially responsible person who likes to pay it forward every once in a while. At seven, you collected change for UNICEF while dressed up as Alice in Wonderland on Halloween (and came to realize that some adults were so much more willing to give you cash when it’s for other kids). At thirteen, you decided that in lieu of presents everyone who came to your party would donate a toy (something your Mum actually dragged you into while all you wanted to get was the latest set of Conair curling irons). And at sixteen, you decided to volunteer as a candy striper at the local hospital every other Saturday (Hey, colleges want to see you be a good Samaritan!).  

But then you graduated high school, entered a premature version of the real world called “college” and realized that the concept of philanthropy involves a heck of a lot more than occasionally baking cupcakes for a fundraising effort. Most Americans – nearly 90% according to a recent Reuters poll – donate to nonprofits on an annual basis. But while that number speaks volumes about the generosity of the average (and exalted) citizen in the US of A, what’s less clear is whether Americans are really funneling their spare change to the best of causes, and the most effectively run charities on the market. Are these places really fulfilling their mission to aid their target demographic, or are your fifty bucks simply being used to pay the weekend janitor to make sure headquarter bathrooms are clean enough to satisfy a hypochondriac?

Great Nonprofits seeks to answer that question by asking site visitors and nonprofit stakeholders to give their two cents about how any given charity is really run. It’s essentially a Yelp, but instead of evaluating the best restaurants or farmers’ markets or vintage shops, this site divulges the good, the bad, and the ugly about any nonprofit that registers at this domain. Is the management competent and how organized are the staff members? Does the organization deliver on their mission statement? And what is it really like to spend five hours and get your hands dirty with Good Samaritan work at your chosen cause?     

And for the month of may, Great Nonprofits launched a campaign to determine the top nonprofits supporting women’s empowerment. 154 organizations made the final cut after 3276 user reviews were posted. And this particular campaign (the site holds one campaign themed around a broader cause each month) coincided with 46,000 site visits during the month of May, pushing Greatnonprofits.com further into the Web 2.0 mainstream. Her Campus picks four of the best nonprofits on this list and lets you in the know on how you can contribute in your own time:

Foundation for Sustainable Development 

  • The Basics: If international development and women’s empowerment is your thing, definitely check out the volunteer and internship opportunities afforded by FSD. This San Francisco-based nonprofit garnered the top dog spot on Great Nonprofit’s list and takes pride in funding community-based projects in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.
  • How can you get involved? FSD sponsors a unique and rigorous volunteer/internship program for any student looking to immerse within a culture but also walk away from the experience with hard skills like project design and implementation, sustainable growth models within communities, and community mapping. You’ll get on-site training as well as a possible $1,000 grant to carry your individual project through completion.

 

Women’s eNews

  • The Basics: Essentially a more professional version of Jezebel. Women’s eNews offers a comprehensive take on issues and media soundbites that matter most for women, but are either not currently being reported elsewhere on Web 2.0 or could be given more perspective by a woman’s pen. Reaching nearly 4 million readers per month and boasting talented reporters from not only the US but also India, Australia, Europe and Africa, Women’s eNews is based in New York and seeks to educate women and men on news developments affecting the fairer sex.
  • How can you get involved? By starting a direct mail campaign, you can raise awareness about this online publication and its editorial content. For a $50 donation, you can fund the production of a news video and for $150, you can pay an entry-level reporter’s fees for a story. Of course, you also have the option of applying to be that entry-level reporter. Internships are available year-round and provide a solid journalism and reporting background.


Pace Center for Girls

  • The Basics: Through counseling, training, and mentorship, Pace has changed the lives of over 17,000 girls in 17 counties throughout Florida. Notably, the organization also keeps girls out of trouble with the law by targeting candidates with substantial risk factors.
  • How can you get involved? There’s always a chance to volunteer and donate to a cause that benefits at-risk girls.


Busted Foundation 

  • The Basics: The mission sounds just like its title. Busted helps ladies who may be suffering financial hardships after undergoing breast cancer treatment via grants and education on payment options. While there may be quite a few campaigns and widespread awareness about breast cancer treatment research, there are few if any nonprofits that help women actually pay for this expensive treatment.
  • How can you get involved? You can either make a donation or volunteer at events like Bowling for Boobies (trust me, this is a real title)

 

Check out these amazing nonprofits and more at Greatnonprofits.com!

Sources

Greatnonprofits.com

Jezebel.com

Reuters.com

FSDInternational.org

Womensenews.org

Pacecenter.org

Bustedfoundation.org

David Weir

Great Nonprofits press release: “154 Organizations Make 2010 Top-Rated Women’s Empowerment Nonprofits List “

Betty Jin is currently a junior at Dartmouth College. Originally hailing from the high rises of Shanghai, she grew up mainly in the 'burbs of Boston before trekking about 110 miles north to attend the College on the Hill. Majoring in English with a soft spot for Woolf and Wharton, she would like to at some point in her career pursue journalism and new media ventures. In the meantime, she enjoys drinking dark coffee with one shot of expresso, watching period dramas and listening to director reels, and going on crack of dawn jogs. She hopes to someday bike the Silk Road, touch the snows of Kilimanjaro before they melt, and write about it all in a collection of travel essays.
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