Women and Girls Foundation addresses social inequalities for women and girls in Pennsylvania. Gives grants to state and local organizations working to change public and corporate policies to ensure systemic change that benefits women and girls. Trains women and girls to become leaders and agents for positive change. CEO Heather Arnet is one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century. Learn more

Intel Foundation was established in 1988. Fosters educational opportunity and quality of life improvements for communities worldwide. Fuels innovation in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM.) Empowers women and girls through digital literacy and access to technology in developing countries. President Shelly Esque is one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century. Learn more

Imago Dei Fund provides grants to a broad range of organizations working to create a freer, more just, more gender-balanced world.  Partners with change-agents around the world to change the status of women in Christianity and transform injustice.  Emily Nielsen Jones, President and co-Founder, is one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century. Learn more

International Planned Parenthood Federation works in 172 countries. Runs 65,000 service points worldwide that provide sexual and reproductive health services. The Western Hemisphere region includes North America and Latin America. Carmen Barroso, Regional Director/Western Hemisphere, is one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century. Learn more

Sexual Violence In Conflict unites 13 UN entities to improve coordination and accountability, amplify programs and advocacy, and support national efforts to prevent sexual violence and respond effectively to the needs of survivors. Zainab Hawa Bangura, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, is one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century. Learn more

UN Women exists to support governmental bodies (e.g., the Commission on the Status of Women) to formulate policies and global standards; to help UN members implement these standards by providing technical and financial support; to hold the UN system accountable to its own commitments to gender equality by monitoring internationally.  Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, is one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century. Learn more

McIntosh Foundation is a private foundation started by the family that launched A&P. Administers $40 million in assets. Foundation goal for the next ten years is to help bring political parity for women, and to break barriers by supporting women’s rights organizations with unrestricted money.  Winsome McIntosh, Vice President, is one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century. Learn more

Women’s Earth Alliance partners with womens’ community-based organizations in India and Africa as well as indigenous women’s groups in North America to help women implement local solutions to issues of water access, food security, land and climate change. WAE provides training, resources and advocacy support. Learn more 

Life Bloom Services International. Catherine Mumbi Wanjohi, a teacher and therapist, is Founder and Executive Director of Life Bloom Services, an NGO that helps Kenya’s commercial sex workers, trafficked women and children, survivors of domestic violence, single and teenaged mothers---via programs that educate and empower. Since 2004, Life Bloom has helped 2,500 women and girls. Catherine says, “help them find their self worth, support them to sustain it, and they will break walls with unstoppable energy!” Learn more

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

Kiva. Stanford MBA Jessica Jackley Flannery and her husband founded this web-based nonprofit that helps individuals make $25 micro-loans to specific small businesses in developing countries whom they select on line. Since 2004 almost 800,000 lenders have loaned $335 million in 62 countries. According to one magazine, “Kiva is transforming philanthropy.” Learn more

Health Keepers. Members of a network of rural microenterpreneurial women can each start her own business and sell health-protection products door to door---from a basket on her head that contains insecticide-treated mosquito nets, water purification pills, reading glasses and condoms, which she can counsel her customers about using. Health Keepers’ businesses are funded by Freedom from Hunger, whose Credit with Education program trains and qualifies them.

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.”

  1. African Women’s 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. Learn more
  2. 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 funds. Learn more
  3. 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. Learn more

Women 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 Rwanda. Learn more

Women's Funding Network, one of the largest collaborative philanthropic networks in the world, includes 160 foundations, charities and funds that invest $65 million annually in women and girls worldwide. The network, which began with Ms. Magazine's Foundation 40 years ago, is creating lasting change in women's human and economic rights, healthcare and education in the US and around the world. Learn more

Women’s Initiative for Self Employment. This California organization propels low-income women (including minorities, immigrants and welfare recipients) into business ownership. During an intensive 20-session course in English or Spanish, women complete a business plan, learn technology, access capital and meet business people who can help them succeed. Graduates have started/expanded 1,600 businesses whose average income has doubled after four years. Michele Grau Young, Board Chair, and Julie Castro Abrams, CEO, invite you to volunteer or donate. Learn more

Jessica’s Hope. This organization was founded by the five children of Jessica C.J. Clere to increase awareness of Ovarian Cancer symptons, treatments and research. One hundred percent of all contributions to Jessica’s Hope support research at Georgia Tech to find a test for early Ovarian Cancer detection and improve the survival rate. Learn more

The Ethical Traveler was founded to "empower travelers to change the world." Through diligent research this website offers insight into places to travel and why they are important. Learn more

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 and Give2Asia.

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! Learn more