The Sisterhood is Global Institute was founded in 1984 by Robin Morgan, Simone de Beauvoir, and women from 80 countries. Its Donor Direct Action Fund strengthens women’s rights organizations around the world by increasing access to financial resources, political leaders and public visibility, with minimum bureaucracy and maximum impact.
Donor Direct Action partners with frontline activists to strengthen women's rights around the world.
The Sisterhood Is Global Institute, now celebrating its 35th Anniversary as the first global feminist think-tank, proudly welcomes Donor Direct Action - the answer to what global feminism has been asking: minimum bureaucracy, maximum effectiveness, support, contact, empowerment.
Founded in 1984 by Robin Morgan, the late Simone de Beauvoir, and women from 80 other countries, the Institute spun off from the book Sisterhood Is Global: The International Women’s Movement Anthology, compiled and edited by Robin Morgan. At publication, Morgan brought together many of these women for a strategy meeting, out of which was born The Sisterhood is Global Institute, the first international feminist think-tank “pledged to visionary yet pragmatic action in support of women’s rights, freedoms, and power.”
Among its many activities in the following years, the Institute pioneered the first Urgent Acton Alerts regarding women’s rights; the first Global Campaign To Make Visible Women’s Unpaid Labor In National Accounts; and the first Women’s Rights Manuals For Muslim Societies (in 12 languages).
Sisterhood Is Global Institute continues to be guided by its Founder and President, Robin Morgan.
Launched in 2011, the Donor Direct Action Fund currently has 15 partners around the world. To date it has raised almost $3 million dollars for partners. In 2017 the Efua Dorkenoo Fund To End FGM was launched and in 2018 the Gloria Steinem Equality Fund To End Sex Trafficking was launched to increase resources for these two particularly underfunded issues.
The Sisterhood Is Global Institute was formed to further the empowerment of women to save themselves, each other, and the planet through collective dialogue and action. Donor Direct Action translates this vision into practical reality.
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 women’s 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.
Through Donor Direct Action, the Sisterhood is Global Institute advances women’s rights by connecting front-line partners to front-line donors—as well as by leveraging the power of internet outreach and collective fundraising, and networking with the media and political and societal leaders to mobilize worldwide attention and solidarity. Contributions designated to support the work of groups are re-granted, less 10% to cover bank fees and other administrative costs.
Frontline donors, via the website, specify which group(s) they wish to help us support, and contributions designated to support the work of groups are re-granted, less 10% to cover bank fees and other administrative costs. Contributions are tax-deductible in the U.S. to the extent allowed by law.
Frontline activist groups are selected by the Sisterhood is Global Institute on the basis of their strong leadership and greater potential impact. Through its well-established global networks, the Sisterhood is Global Institute proactively seeks partner/grantees rather than through more traditional requests for proposals. Each group supported by The Donor Direct Action Fund 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 when the Sisterhood is Global Institute facilitates visits and other exchanges between partners and donors, and brings women’s rights partners to governmental and international centers of power. The Sisterhood is Global Institute also lobbies international organizations for inclusion of activist perspectives in policy discussions, while alerting media to news about partners and urging coverage of their work.
The Donor Direct Action fund of the Sisterhood is Global is directed by Jessica Neuwirth, with the guidance of co-conveners Gloria Steinem and Navi Pillay and the Sisterhood is Global Institute Board of Directors, chaired by Robin Morgan.
The Sisterhood is Global Institute team includes:
* The Sisterhood is Global Institute reserves the right to redirect funds in the event of changed circumstances involving compliance with standards of good governance or U.S. law.
Donor Direct Action is a project of The Sisterhood is Global Institute.
Karen Berry is a Counsel at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler specializing in the areas of intellectual property counseling, transactions, and licensing and corporate transactions and counseling. Karen was also the first Executive Director of The Sisterhood is Global Institute from 1984-1989.
Donna is a documentary filmmaker and a Television and Feature Film Director.
Elizabeth Evatt is an eminent Australian reformist lawyer and jurist renowned for her support of women's human rights. Elizabeth was the first Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia, the first female judge of an Australian federal court, and the first Australian to be elected to the United Nations Human Rights Committee.
Jane Fonda is an award-winning American actor, writer, producer, and political activist. Known for her activism and advocacy on women's human rights, Jane is co-founder of the Women's Media Center.
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.
Robin Morgan has published more than 20 books of poetry, fiction, and political analyses, and is an activist/architect of the U.S. and global women’s movement.
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.
Navanethem "Navi" Pillay is an eminent South African jurist who served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 2008 to 2014. Navi also served as a judge on the International Criminal Court and as President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
Gloria Steinem is a renowned American writer, lecturer, political activist and feminist organizer. Gloria was founder of Ms. Magazine, and co-founder of the National Women’s Political Caucus, Ms. Foundation for Women, and the Women’s Media Center in the United States.
Liz is former Global Head of Communications for Sony Music Entertainment, and responsible for corporate giving and major events. She is a visiting fellow at Said Business at Oxford University.