GivingTuesday: 4 Great Ways to Support Women and Girls

Supporting mentors for girls is one way to give. Photo: Getty ImagesThe best salve for the psychic damage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday (besides holing up with a jar of Nutella and a spoon, of course) is GivingTuesday. The second annual event was kicked off last year by New York’s 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation as a national day of charitable giving to counteract all the getting of the holidays.

The movement has taken off in a big way this year, with a frenzy of #GivingTuesday tweets, Google+ Hangout-a-thon speakers, crowd-sourcing campaigns, and nonprofit blogs asking for much-needed donations. So how to cut through the onslaught of appeals? Skim through and give where your heart is, basically. You can go big — Save the Children, Human Rights Watch, American Cancer Society— or small, though the little guys can be harder to pick out. So allow us to note a few lesser-known, women-focused charities that caught our eye to check out on GivingTuesday and beyond:

About-Face
This San Francisco-based organization equips women and girls with tools to understand and resist harmful media messages  (of which there are many!) that affect self-esteem and body imagethrough workshops, speaking engagements, and a great online presence.

Chicken & Egg Pictures
This small nonprofit nurtures female documentary makers, operating on the basic belief that “people respond to stories, not issues.” Its collective of producers, directors, social-justice activists, and educators is dedicated to supporting women with cameras who have important stories of social change to tell.

Donor Direct Action
The nonprofit supports global activists working on a range of issues relating to the promotion of equality for women, and to ending violence against women in the form of sex trafficking and female genital mutilation. It counts Gloria Steinem as one of its steering committee members.

Strong Women Strong Girls
A national mentoring program with headquarters in Boston, Pittsburgh, and Miami, SWSG fosters leadership skills, a sense of female community, and a commitment to service among three generations: elementary-school girls, undergraduate women, and professional women. Its focus is powerful: love, support, integrity, respect.

Happy giving!