Here at NerdWallet, we feel like it’s time to honor organizations fighting for gender quality and justice. Here are our picks for top women’s equity groups.
Women’s Fund Rhode Island: For investing in change
The Women’s Fund Rhode Island is dedicated to eliminating gender inequalities by investing in Rhode Island’s women. They do so by researching areas of inequality to identify gender barriers and systematic issues. Women face significant barriers even still today, facing pay disparities and underrepresentation in many fields. NerdWallet finds this kind of injustice completely unacceptable. The Women’s fund puts their research on these topics to use by working on policy advocacy and also issuing grants to other organizations working on economic justice, political representation, and domestic violence. So far they have given 61 grants averaging over $10,500 each. The Women’s Fund is the real deal when it comes to supporting significant change and helping women to overcome these unjust societal barriers.
Women’s Economic Agenda Project: Fight for economic human rights
The Women’s Economic Agenda Project (WEAP), founded in 1982, works on gaining economic rights for poor women and their families. Serving the Bay Area of Northern California, they make our list because they do so in the context of fighting for greater human economic rights for all and thereby raising women’s economic standing. WEAP fights for issues like affordable health care and housing, as well as workers rights and wage increases. In doing so they hope to eliminate the economic inequity of women, allowing them greater financial opportunities and abilities to provide for their families. They work closely with community, labor, NGOs, and local governments to advocate for new priorities and policies that would secure worker and human rights.
Aurora Foundation: For pay-it-forward philanthropy
Based in Greater Hartford, Connecticut, the Aurora Foundation offers grants to nonprofit organizations in the Greater Hartford region that supports and empowers women and girls. The Foundation’s current funding focus is educational and skill-building opportunities that will support the development of a strong female workforce and provide economic self-sufficiency for them and their families. Often they fund education programs and employment opportunities. The next grant application deadline is April 30, 2012. The Aurora Foundation gets the NerdWallet nod, however, because they are committed to promoting philanthropy from women and for women. They offer education programs and community initiatives to inspire this kind of contribution among the female population in their area, with the belief that this in turn brings about change for their families and communities. We support their commitment to social change for women through the power of philanthropy.
Georgia Women for a Change: For encouraging women’s voices in policy
The Georgia Women for a Change, founded in 1988, is a nonprofit organization that works on public policy to support women and girls in their community. Specifically, their activities are geared toward economic equality and creating opportunities for women to be self-directed and financially independent individuals. They are also in the process of launching the Georgia Women’s Policy Institute, a training program to educate advocates on policy for women, especially older women. This new focus on training and policy making is what earned the GWomen a spot on our list.
Women’s Foundation of Montana: For bringing self-sufficiency to all Montanan women
Similar to the Aurora Foundation, the Women’s Foundation of Montana is an organization with an endowment fund that provides grants for empowering women towards self-sufficiency and creating lasting change for girls within Montana’s communities. The Women’s Foundation of Montana is unique in that it is the only state-wide organization of its kind serving the women of Montana. In their work they donate to programs allowing for greater access to education and job creation for women with an emphasis on sustained economic self-sufficiency. Their goal is to increase the number of girls who finish their education, reduce the number of teenage pregnancies, increase job access, and help girls to be in financial control of their lives, from holding on to full-time employment to steady credit card payments. NerdWallet recognizes their unique effort in Montana and their commitment to help women achieve financial independence and equity.
American Association 0f University Women: For fighting for equality, nerd-style
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is a public charity that connects hundreds of universities and hundreds of thousands of members to empower women by ending gender inequalities. Recently in June they rallied support for proposed legislation that would help women and workers to unite in challenging discriminatory employment practices by undoing some of the damage from the Wal-Mart v. Dukes case, a Supreme Court decision that severely limited workers’ ability to band together to fight discrimination. The AAUW also combines with a voter registration organization, the AAUW Action Fund, to mobilize voters, while using its main branch for education, research, and advocacy. AAUW brings accomplished women together to stand up for gender equity, taking on everything from pay equity to gender discrimination. We support these nerds and their fight against gender inequity.