Donor Direct Action strengthens women’s rights organizations around the world by increasing access to funds, advocacy, and visibility. As activists and donors ourselves, we know the importance of minimum bureaucracy and maximum power and flexibility on the ground.
Donor Direct Action partners with frontline activists to strengthen women's rights around the world.
Nothing is more crucial than getting money to projects on the ground. Donor Direct Action knows how to get the funds where they are most needed and where they will make a real difference. I hope you will support these groups.
I have witnessed first hand the needs of women's rights organizations working on the front lines, where so much is done with such limited resources. Donor Direct Action enables anyone anywhere to help these organizations and make a real difference in the lives of women and girls around the world.
Against heavy odds, the global women’s movement manages to keep growing. Its vision, energy, strategic analysis, and sheer numbers–plus its potential to promote gender equality with consequent social justice and development–position it far in advance of its capacity and resource base.
A 2008 Association of Women in Development survey found that over 75% of women’s organizations had an annual income of less than $100,000, and 36% had less than $25,000. Severely limited access to funding and other support weakens women’s organizations’ ability to sustain their impact, and wastes the vital benefits they could offer.
Donor Direct Action advances women’s rights by connecting front-line activists to front-line donors—as well as by leveraging the power of internet outreach and collective fundraising, plus networking with political and societal leaders and media, to mobilize worldwide attention and solidarity.
Donor Direct Action has a deliberately nontraditional infrastructure: because we are both activists and donors, we know how to function with the least bureaucracy and greatest effectiveness, raising and regranting money to groups while keeping our overhead minimal, our offices virtual, and our work organized on a contract basis for maximum flexibility and efficiency. Contributions designated to support the work of groups are re-granted, less 10% to cover bank fees and other administrative costs. Donor Direct Action is a project of The Sisterhood Is Global Institute.
Frontline donors, via the Donor Direct Action website, specifying which group(s) they wish to help us support. Contributions are tax-deductible in the U.S. to the extent allowed by law.
Frontline activist groups are selected by the steering committee on the basis of their strong leadership and greater potential impact. Through its well-established global networks, Donor Direct Action proactively seeks partner/grantees rather than through more traditional requests for proposals. Each group supported by DDA is vetted in accordance with applicable U.S. laws, and provides annual reports and audited financial statements.* Each grantee is visited annually or, if already known, every few years. Grants are usually for general operating support to enable groups to identify and pursue their own program planning priorities.
Frontline contacts occur as Donor Direct Action facilitates visits and other exchanges between activists and donors, and brings women’s rights activists to governmental and international centers of power. DDA also lobbies international organizations for inclusion of activist perspectives in policy discussions, while alerting media to news about activists and urging coverage of their work.
Donor Direct Action is directed by Jessica Neuwirth, with the guidance of a Steering Committee co-convened by Gloria Steinem and Navi Pillay, and comprised of co-conveners with contacts and expertise: Donna Deitch, Lela Goren, Jane Levikow, Robin Morgan, Lynn Nottage, Lina Srivastava, and Liz Young. There is a pool of consultants for site visits, etc.
The DDA team includes:
Donor Direct Action is launching with a limited number of groups whose work we hope to significantly strengthen through our support. We plan to partner with Equality Now, Women’s Media Center, and other NGOs, not duplicating their work but networking activists with them.
* Donor Direct Action reserves the right to redirect funds in the event of changed circumstances involving compliance with standards of good governance or U.S. law.
I’ve witnessed the power and capability of the work of Donor Direct Action and its partners. I have seen their work against sex trafficking and female genital mutilation firsthand in India and in Kenya. My commitment is to documenting and supporting DDA – a groundbreaking and efficient way to contribute to ending violence and discrimination against women worldwide.
Donna is a documentary filmmaker and a Television and Feature Film Director.
Donor Direct Action is the wave of the future, using the internet to bring into our own homes the stories and photos, and even videos, of women leaders around the world who need our support.
Lela is the founder of G Group, a woman-owned/operated real estate development company, and PowerHouse.org, which provides support to local and regional nonprofits.
Donor Direct Action gives everyone an opportunity to impact women’s lives globally through our website. Donor Direct Action makes it easy for us all to make a difference!
Jane has over 25 years of nonprofit management experience, and has worked with individuals, families, and foundations to help them develop, launch, and promote high-impact philanthropic projects around the world.
Donor Direct Action is the answer to what global feminism has been asking: minimum bureaucracy, maximum effectiveness, support, contact, empowerment.
Robin, an author of more than 20 books, is an activist in both US feminism and the global women’s movement.
DDA sends 90% of the money you donate directly to women on the ground. If you give $1 today, tomorrow a woman in Afghanistan, the Congo or Nepal can get $0.90. I think that's an extraordinary thing.
Lynn is a MacArthur "Genius" Grant recipient and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright whose work foregrounds the often overlooked experiences and struggles of African-American and African women.
DDA's commitment to our partner projects is inspired by the stories of the amazing communities who fight on the ground for their rights. I hope their stories will inspire you, also, to provide the financial support that will help them succeed.
Lina is a NY-based strategist using storytelling, design, and creative media for social impact.
DDA links people across continents and gives them an easy way to work together for global women's equality.
Liz is Executive Vice President of Corporate Communications for Sony Music Entertainment, and responsible for corporate giving and major events.