Donor Direct Action

Area of Anti-Violence:
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Mission Statement/Vision:
WHY 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. WHAT 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 Equality Now. HOW Front-line 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. Front-line 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. Front-line 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. WHO Donor Direct Action is directed by Jessica Neuwirth, with the guidance of a Steering Committee convened by Gloria Steinem and comprised of co-conveners with contacts and expertise: Lela Goren, Jane Levikow, Robin Morgan, Lynn Nottage, Hibaaq Osman, and Lina Srivastava. There is a pool of consultants for site visits, etc. The DDA team includes:
  • Aude Coquatrix, Program Manager
  • Shoji Masuzawa, IT Support
  • Marjorie Messinger, Website / Administrative Coordinator
WHEN 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.

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