Feminist organizations in need of monetary support?
February 28, 2007 6:38 PM   Subscribe

What can you tell me about organizations that support women's rights? I would like to donate some money.

I am thinking of a small monthly donation, so an organization that has a setup for that would be ideal. (e.g. charging a credit card)

I am interested in supporting reproductive rights, education, equality, etc., both in the US and internationally. I would prefer non-religious organizations.

Are there organizations I should avoid that have creepy hidden agendas? Ones that are just really super awesome? Ones that have helped you personally, or someone you know?
posted by exceptinsects to Society & Culture (17 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
The obvious answer: Planned Parenthood? I don't know if it's possible to set up a monthly payment or anything, but they're definitely reproductive rights and education oriented. Besides the abortion angle that everyone hears, they do a lot of counseling, pelvic exams (the yearly kind that most people get), etc. Generally good people all around, in my book. Bonus if you can find the clinic that was allowing people to donate on a sign/hour basis--that is, you would pledge to donate a certain amount to the clinic for every sign-holder who stood outside protesting, and they then put up a nice tally to let those protesters know how much good they were inadvertently doing for the clinic.
posted by anaelith at 6:51 PM on February 28, 2007

You can start by doing research at Network for Good or justgive.org.

i would recommend looking into state or local organizations, since those are usually the ones that will benefit from smaller individual donations. Places like NOW are supported by large private and corporate donors usually.

Also, the smaller the org, the narrower their agenda will be (which allows you to avoid organizations that do work on SO many issues, they are bound to have a stance you don't like on something.

The other nice thing about state and local orgs is that many of them have really great initiatives that directly impact/involve girls and young women in your state with various programs. In CT we have Connecticut Women's Education and Legal Fund which not only does great policy and advocacy work, but actually has young women's leadership programs that focuses on getting girls interested in math, science and technology.

Be sure to also look into organizations that do not just serve straight, white, middle class women. (Unless you want to, I guess).
posted by sneakin at 6:58 PM on February 28, 2007

I want to second what anaelith said, ie PP. If I were you I'd want to put money towards actual badly needed services that real people recieve, rather than intangible lobbying and campaigning. Actually, in this political climate I think that's about the most effective thing reproductive rights orgs can do to build support. For the same reasons, I'd have to unrecommend US organization Choice USA - awesome in theory, not really doing anything tangible in practice, lots of fluff and bs (I have some reasonably detached personal experience with them).
posted by crabintheocean at 7:05 PM on February 28, 2007

Don't give to Planned Parenthood or Naral unless you want to support Republicans and Democrats equally. These organizations make their endorsements based on the individual candidate without considering the potential to shift control of Congress. So, for example, they both endorsed Lincoln Chaffee in the last election.

NOW is a great general-purpose women's organization. Contrary to what Sneakin says, I do not believe that they have a lot of large/corporate donors. Large donors tend to give more to single issue groups (e.g. choice, domestic violence) than general groups. NOW also has great local chapter around the country that do real work on local issues.
posted by alms at 7:08 PM on February 28, 2007

With Planned Parenthood, you have two choices. You can support the national organization, which deals with a lot with public policy, education, lobbying, and provide oversight and best practices for the affiliates.

Or you can support a local Planned Parent affiliate, which is directly responsible for providing health services and education to the community it serves.

The national organization and affiliates are all incorporated separately, and must do their own fundraising. I believe that in either case you can become a "sustainer" which is the monthly payment program.

www.plannedparenthood.com is portal for both the national office and local affiliates.
posted by kimdog at 7:35 PM on February 28, 2007

American Association of University Women -- focuses on education and women's issues. Exceptional organization for the work they do on behalf of women.
posted by peace_love_hope at 7:56 PM on February 28, 2007

I second AAUW. You can read all about their programs on the site, of course--but my mother and half her friends have been active members for years, so I want to lend my verification that they really do get things done on an individual and national level.

You might also look into women's shelters, job training, and other programs in your own town. Regular donations can make a real difference to small organizations.
posted by hippugeek at 8:07 PM on February 28, 2007

I like and support the National Partnership for Women and Families.
posted by judith at 8:15 PM on February 28, 2007

If you're interested in supporting a nonprofit clinic that performs heavily-subsidized abortions in the poorest big city in the US (and a perennial abortion battleground state), check out Cleveland, Ohio's Preterm (full disclosure: I've got friends who work there).

And, speaking of subsidized abortions, the National Network of Abortion Funds does wonderful work.
posted by box at 8:34 PM on February 28, 2007

Starting at the top, there's EMILY's List, a large grass-roots organization that raises money for pro-choice women candidates in national and local elections. I have dealt with them in the past, and they are extremely competent and professional.

My personal contribution dollars these days go to a local women's shelter that has an especially good education and outreach program for its clients. I've found both volunteering and contributing in my community to be very fulfilling.

As far as using a credit card goes, most charities will be equipped to process gifts this way, although maybe not online. Call the headquarters and ask to speak with someone in fundraising/resource development; most charities will allow you to give over the phone.

These are some great resources for finding a certified charity whose mission speaks to you:

Network for Good
Charity Navigator

Good luck!
posted by non sum qualis eram at 8:49 PM on February 28, 2007

I would look for your local domestic violence shelters, or local Planned Parenthood or other free/low-cost women's clinic.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:09 PM on February 28, 2007

what about v-day? they focus mainly on violence against women, but it's a worldwide effort.

or the feminist majority? or now?
posted by kerning at 10:05 PM on February 28, 2007

Best answer: I have a good friend who works for Equality Now in New York. She's a good, clear-thinking person so I imagine her organization is a quality advocate for women's rights. I know they have a particular international focus which is nice. The organization itself is relatively small staffwise, so you have the advantage of not just paying into a bureacracy if such a thing appeals to you. Joss Whedon picked them as a charity of choice in one of his messages to his fans, so they have enjoyed the support of Firefly and Buffy fans.
posted by Slothrop at 1:10 AM on March 1, 2007

I recently donated to Scarleteen - sex education for the real world.

It's ran by author/activist/sex educator Heather Corinna, and they're providing exact information as well as advice to teenagers about reproductive rights, sex education and sexual health, ect.

They truly do an amazing amount of work online considering their ressources, and help hundreds of young women everyday with counseling.

I can't stress it enough - I heard an awful lot of people saying "I wish I knew this site back when I was 16".

As i understand it, they really could use the movey.
posted by Sijeka at 3:52 AM on March 1, 2007

How about donating to a women's rights organization in the Muslim world, where they really need it?
posted by mattholomew at 4:42 AM on March 1, 2007

Kiva isn't only for women, though one can make sure that their microloan can go specifically to one.
posted by brujita at 7:49 AM on March 1, 2007

"Building a better future worldwide" -- the International Network of Women Engineers and Scientists has an important mission but their actions are hampered by lack of money.
posted by Idcoytco at 11:13 AM on March 1, 2007

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