I met Ashwini Narayanan at Opportunity Collaboration. She runs MicroPlace
for eBay and says the world needs ten times more money than we've raised
to help the billion people who need a micro loan. MicroPlace makes it easy
for you to invest in organizations that loan to the poor: you can fight
poverty and get your money back with interest! Check it out
The Global Fund for
Women advocates for and defends women's human rights
by making grants to support women's groups around the world.
They believe that women should have a full range of choices,
and that women themselves know best how to determine their needs
and propose solutions for lasting change. This philosophy is
reflected in their flexible, respectful, and responsive style
of grant making.
Some organizations offer Donor Advised
Funds, which are set up to let you send money to the specific
international charities you want. If you live in the United States,
you get a domestic tax deduction for your contributions. Two are:
Charities Aid Foundation America
Micro Credit Enterprises, which gives entrepreneurial women in the developing world small loans, launched in 2005 and started what I hope will be a new trend in microfinance. MCE has only one employee. It's a virtual organization run by newly-retired top executives who volunteer their time so that virtually all of the organization's funds benefit the poorest of the poor. MCE posts documents on the Internet and waives copyright because they hope others will use their model and materials. So do I!
There are some principaled, effective
non-Profits that give grants to women. They do careful research
on the groups who receive funding, help them run effective programs,
and monitor their results. Global Fund for
Women, Mama Cash and the African Women’s Development Fund
all belong to the International Network of Women’s Funds,
which has 17 members in countries as diverse as Nepal and Brazil,
Hong Kong and Germany. All understand “philanthropy”
to be “a shared responsibility and opportunity to give,
to receive, and make a difference, so women participate fully
in society with full human rights in a just, equitable world.”
Development Fund is a grant-making organization that
mobilizes and distributes human and material resources to enable
marginalized women take their destinies into their own hands.
The AWDF shares in the cause and work of the African women’s
movement to strengthen women’s leadership capacities,
develop knowledge, and build viable women’s organizations.
*Mama Cash focuses
its international grants on organizations that work with women’s
leadership, peace and security, economic justice, art/media,
and women’s health. They also run an unusual educational
program, Women with Inherited Wealth, and offer donor-advised
for Women International helps women overcome the horrors
of war by helping rebuild their lives, families and communities.
You can sponsor a woman for $25 a month, and provide her with
emotional support with your letters. You can also find excellent
ideas for raising money to contribute by clicking
here. A special project this year: Women for Women and
Soroptimists International, hope to raise a million dollars to
provide skill training for women in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Rawanda.