What if money wasn’t measured by its ability to purchase, but by its potential to change lives? For charities serving women and girls, the impact of funding simply cannot be summed up in dollars and cents. With adequate funding, grassroots efforts and organizations can work to facilitate new beginnings, provide resources, and promote wellness, education, and community. For The Junior League, that funding is used to lead social reform by working to combat pollution, illiteracy, domestic abuse, human trafficking, and countless other problems. Our Leagues around the US stretch from Massachusetts to California, from Georgia to Utah, and dozens of other states and regions in between. Funding enables us to grow, and with that growth comes impact. In the right hands, money plays a crucial role in social change. Without it, those hands are tied.

In this season of giving, understanding the significant impact of your donations is the first step. Did you know that more than 25,000 Junior League Members from 51 different Leagues are working every day in their communities to combat human trafficking? Philanthropic support enables Junior Leagues to train community members to recognize signs of human trafficking and provides for the resources needed to raise awareness and inspire action.

Help us begin a new narrative of hope and progress by helping to fund the organizations like The Junior League.

Progress requires funding, but so many charitable organizations and grassroots efforts – especially those spearheaded by women and serving women – are facing a crippling lack of funds. This is due in part to a trend of trusting – and subsequently contributing more – to the larger, mainstream organizations who can already afford to support their own marketing and programmatic efforts. Moreover, a significant number of the underfunded causes are led by women of color, demonstrating a disturbing bias that favors older, larger, whiter, male-led organizations.

It’s time to change this

Knowing is Not Enough.
As more and more articles shed light on the plight of small, female-focused charitable organizations lacking funds, the natural reaction might be a sense of relief. After all, exposure can help promote awareness and subsequently help a good cause, right? Well, kind of. Information and enlightenment are crucial for not-for-profit organizations, but they don’t cover program costs.

We all know that it takes more than a viral article to generate real social change; especially when that change relies on funding. While spreading the word about underfunded, female-powered causes is a worthwhile effort, philanthropic giving that directly funds these organizations will benefit them exponentially more. There has never been a better time to abide by the old saying, and put our money where our mouth is – or directly into the hands of the organizations that will use it to protect, empower, educate, and support women and girls!

Study the Stats
There are more than 45,000 U.S. nonprofits dedicated to helping women and girls, but those charities only receive about 1.6 percent of all charitable contributions. Put simply, the efforts that give the most to women and girls aren’t getting the support they need. Without the funds to elicit donations and attract volunteers, the potential impact of these organizations and small grassroots causes are effectively immobilized.

We need to take action, and it can’t wait.

Give Like Gates
In her recent Time article, philanthropist Melinda Gates pledged to commit $1 Billion to “expanding women’s power and influence in the United States” in the next 10 years. Gates elaborated on the reason for her gift, stating “I want to see more women in the position to make decisions, control resources, and shape policies and perspectives.” I believe that women’s potential is worth investing in—and the people and organizations working to improve women’s lives are, too.”

Melinda Gates understands that even the most motivated, female-driven efforts and charitable organizations, like The Junior League, need funds to achieve great things. Her contribution will be helpful, but so much more is needed, and your generosity can help us make an even more significant impact.

Lead Like Lyda
In a recent interview with philanthropist and longtime Junior League Member Lyda Hill, she discussed her commitment to The Giving Pledge, in which many of the world’s wealthiest individuals and families have dedicated much of their wealth to charitable efforts. Even though Hill is among the 204 individuals and families who have pledged at least half of their wealth, she believes that being a billionaire shouldn’t be a prerequisite for philanthropy. In fact, Lyda Hill believes that “Anybody can be a philanthropist!” and she is right.

Giving Tuesday was Just the Beginning
Giving Tuesday took place on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, and although the 24 hour period was a great opportunity to kickstart your own philanthropic effort, it was just the beginning of the season of year-end giving. For not-for-profit organizations, the end of the calendar year is an important time to raise awareness and funding. No matter whether you can give a lot or just a little, your donation will make an impact. In the words of Lyda Hill, a philanthropist is simply “someone who gives their time or their money.” but there’s no reason why you can’t give both!

As The Junior League continues its work to support and empower women it’s exciting to imagine the great things they will go on to do. No matter whether you can give a little or a lot, your donation is truly the gift that keeps on giving.

Powerful women like Lyda Hill and Melinda Gates are setting a beautiful example of what it means to be a civic leader, and The Junior League is working to prepare and empower women to lead in their own communities. Powered by an army of behind-the-scenes volunteers and fueled by a Mission to make the world a better place, the Junior League is training one female civic leader at a time. The Junior League’s work is both challenging and wildly rewarding. Your donations will help it continue.

Will you invest in the next generation of woman leaders with a donation?