Co-Founders’ Blog: Imagine a World that Works for Women

By Marsha Wallace, Co-Founder

This month, Co-Founder Marsha Wallace discusses the importance of investing in Dining for Women through our 13th Month Campaign.

Imagine…. A world that works for women…..

Imagine every woman and girl worldwide having access to education, healthcare, economic opportunity, legal and political participation in their communities and nations, living lives free from discrimination, oppression, violence and poverty. Imagine hundreds of thousands of Dining for Women members united by a common goal – to ensure equity and opportunity for women and girls living in poverty globally. What an exciting and BOLD vision!

Since 2003, DFW has raised almost $5 million and funded 231 grants to support organizations that share our mission of self-determination and reduced poverty for women and girls. Together, we’ve helped transform tens of thousands of lives by educating girls, saving mothers and babies, partnering with women to help them earn their own incomes, feed their families and become leaders and role models in their communities.

We’ve accomplished a lot in the last 12 years, but we know there is more to do. Every day, 62 million girls are denied an education, 39,000 girls are married too young, and 800 women die from complications of pregnancy or childbirth. That’s why our vision is big! Over the next five years, we want to grow to 20,000 members. By forming collaborations and partnerships we will expand our impact; and by using our voices through grassroots advocacy, we will broaden our reach and deepen the education, engagement and impact of our members.

Big visions must be seeded with the resources to enable them to grow into reality, which is why your support of DFW’s 13th Month Campaign is so important. The 13th Month Campaign is the largest source of revenue for the vital work we do: vetting and selecting our grantees, designing our educational materials and supporting our members, volunteers and talented, professional staff. Your generous contributions to DFW’s 13th Month Campaign help make it all possible.

Last year I wrote a blog post about an insidious disease, the Nonprofit Starvation Cycle, affecting nonprofit organizations everywhere. Characterized by three steps that undermine nonprofits’ effectiveness, the starvation cycle leaves organizations “starving” for the resources that allow them to effectively fulfill their missions.

Step One:  Funders have unrealistic expectations of the costs of running nonprofits.

Step Two:  Nonprofit executives struggle under the pressure they feel to meet their donors’ unrealistic expectations.

Step Three:  Organizations skimp on vital systems, staff and resources and often under-report expenses to meet funders’ expectations.

You can learn more about the non-profit starvation cycle by watching a brief TED Talk entitled, “The Way We Think About Charity is Dead Wrong” by Dan Pallotta (The Way We Think About Charity is Dead Wrong), or by visiting http://overheadmyth.com. This website was created by the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator and GuideStar to end the false conception that financial ratios are the sole indicator of non-profit performance.

DFW wants to be part of breaking the non-profit starvation cycle. We are committed to transparency about what it takes for DFW to give almost $1 million in grants annually and to support our 430 chapters and 8,500 members. We are determined not to skimp on the vital systems and staff that will enable us to be both effective and efficient.

You can find answers to frequently asked questions about the 13th Month Campaign here and see our 2014 Annual Report, audit and 990 tax form here . After you’ve reviewed our financial information and read the FAQs, if you have more questions about what it takes to fund our bold vision please contact your Regional Leader or DFW home office.

If every one of our members participated in the 13th Month Campaign, we would easily meet our goal!

Imagine a world that works for women, and then make a generous contribution to DFW’s 13th Month Campaign. Together we will change the world, one dinner at a time!


Sources for statistics