10 Great Nonprofits and the Women Behind Them

Women leaders today are portrayed to be more proficient than their male counterparts in taking initiatives, exhibiting honesty and integrity and delivering results, in a survey conducted by Zenger Folkman.

Issues such as lack of access to health and education have indeed been around for decades, maybe even centuries, but there is progress through the new ideas and the will that these women put into practice.

Given the recognized power of women leaders, it is time to celebrate the impact of some of the women in the nonprofit sector. These ideas and their implementation come from the women behind the nonprofits organizations listed below.

Social Media for Non-Profit Organizations

Established in 2011 by Ritu Sharma, Social Media for Nonprofit organizes annual conferences throughout the United States and provides training services and resources for non-profit organizations on ways to increase their web visibility through social media.

Global Girl Media (GGM)

Founded jointly by Meena Nanj and Amie Williams, Global Girl Media is a not-for-profit organization committed to empowering high-school-age girls in underprivileged communities all over the world through leadership, media, and journalistic training so that they can have a voice in the world’s media universe as well as in their future.

Girls Who Code

Reshma Saujani is an American lawyer by profession, conceived Girls Who Code while she was running for Congress in the 14th Congressional District of New York (“the first South Asian woman ever to run”) when she realized the dearth of female students studying computer science throughout her campaign route. Since it started in 2012, Girls Who Code currently counts 150 clubs across the United States, with more than 3,000 girls completing a program – 95 percent of whom later major in computer science in college, Saujani remarked in an interview with NPR

Love Never Fails

Formed in 2011 by Vanessa Scott, Love Never Fails (LNF) is “committed to the rehabilitation, education, and protection of people involved or vulnerable to engage in domestic sex trafficking. Scott, director of the Bay Area Youth Dance Team, founded Love Never Fails after one of her dancers had the first-hand experience of human trafficking. Today, Love Never Fails offers a range of services and programs to address the concerns of human trafficking, which include mentoring, education, search and rescue, legal services, case management, and workforce development. Love Never Fails has been in partnership with Oakland pioneer, artist and local advocate to stop human trafficking in Oakland.

Dress for Success

After inheriting from her great-grandparent in 1996, Nancy Lubin, a law student at the time, used the money to start a boutique in a church basement to provide business apparel to women who couldn’t afford it on their own. There is currently more than 140 Dress for Success affiliates in nineteen different nations (and counting). Lubin took over DoSomething.org, a nonprofit organization that motivates young people to campaign locally, nationally and internationally and become advocates for social change in their communities.

Girls Inc.

Established in 1864, Girls Inc’s vision is ‘to inspire all girls to be smart, strong and bold. Judy Vredenburgh is the current CEO of Girls Inc. and has served the organization for the past five years. Currently, Girls Inc. has over 140,000 girls enrolled in the United States and Canada.

Oakland House of Elizabeth

Samantha Schell is the Chairman of the Oakland Elizabeth House Board of Directors, a comprehensive transition program for women with children facing violence, homelessness, poverty or addiction. Elizabeth House has supported more than 500 families since its inception in 1991.

Lincoln Child Center

This non-profit in the Bay Area has been in operation for over 130 years. Begun in 1883 through Rebecca McWade, who made her home the only integrated orphanage in Northern California, Lincoln Child Center’s mission is “to foster the resilience and achievement of children, young people, and families affected by poverty, trauma and other difficult socioeconomic issues through education, family support, and coordinated mental health services. Christine Stoner-Mertz has served as CEO and President of Lincoln Child Center since 2006.

International Women’s Centre

Susan Burgess-Lent, an Oakland-based women’s rights activist, is the executive director of WCI, a charitable organization that builds community centers managed by and for poor women. Women’s Centers International’s mission is to ignite a momentum of transformation that is akin to self-help as the cornerstone of progress.

Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAAR)

For more than 40 years, BAWAR has advocated addressing sexual assault throughout the Bay Area, offering 24-hour crisis center community counseling, services, and advocacy for women vulnerable to trafficking. Formed in 1971 by Oleta Kirk Abrams, Olivia Abrahams, and Julia Schedendinger, the country’s premier rape crisis center has served more than 9,000 survivors of human trafficking and sexual trauma. Marcia Blackstock is the current Executive Director.

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