Shadhika Shadhika

When a challenge is this large, the solution can feel abstract and out of reach. Here's how you can start.

5 Small Ways to Have a Big Impact on Girls’ Education

By Jenna Sweig, Development Officer

May 26, 2023

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Educating girls continues to be the single biggest investment to improve development indicators of climate change, hunger and homelessness, economic growth, social welfare, and health. And yet, there are still 130 million girls unable to access educational opportunities across the world. When a challenge is this large the solution can feel abstract and out of reach. 

We have come up with 5 tangible ways you can have a very real impact, and join forces with nonprofits like Shadhika to tackle gender injustice everywhere and support girls’ education. 

1. Seek out organizations staffed by members of the communities that they serve. 

Although gender outcomes may look the same on the surface, root causes of gender injustice are often dependent on the local context, including its history, its culture, its religion, etc. Organizations that reinvest back in the communities they serve are generating economic opportunity and building their internal capacity to tackle challenges in the most comprehensive way possible.  

2. You will have the biggest impact by making a donation. When you are really looking to have the biggest impact possible on a nonprofit, donating money is often what is needed most. Only 1.9% of philanthropic giving is dedicated to organizations that serve women and girls. Unless the organization identifies a clear need for your help, asking to volunteer is equivalent to asking these nonprofits to spend their hard-earned funds to create a tailor-made opportunity for you to feel connected rather than on the programs you wish to support. It is counterintuitive. If you want a way to feel connected to the work a nonprofit does, sign up for their newsletter, read, watch, and amplify interviews with program participants, and learn more about the impact your support is helping to create. Want bonus points? Unrestrict your donation and trust that your nonprofit knows best. If you trust them enough to give them your money, trust that they know how best to use that money. Read how unrestricted funding has impacted Shadhika’s Support for Success program

3. Give in a sustaining way, meaning on a recurring basis such as automatic donations straight out of your paycheck or a monthly credit card charge like a Netflix subscription. This way you can spread a donation out in smaller amounts that you will not feel on a day-to-day basis, but can be a predictable lifeline of sustained revenue that nonprofits rely upon to be able to continue their work, plan for the future, and respond flexibly in times of crisis. No amount is too small when you are giving on a recurring basis. For starters, plan and make your recurring donation to the Shadhika Scholarship program today!

4. Check in with the organizations you care about and make your skills and your availability known. Smaller organizations will appreciate this so much. It will let them know they know they can count on you for event planning needs, translating needs, writing to policymakers, signing petitions, or showing up for solidarity meetings. Whatever they need, you are there for them. It is you helping them do the work, not them helping you feel connected (see #2 above).

5. Spread the word about the great work the organization is doing and publicize your support. Nonprofits are looking for more loyal supporters like you. Use your voice and position to amplify the work and impact of the organizations you support. Something as simple as sharing a social media post with a personal message goes a long way. By starting a conversation and spreading awareness with friends, families, and colleagues, you can be a catalyst for change. Your network trusts you, so your endorsement of an organization signals to them that they can also trust that organization to leverage its resources to create impact. 

 These 5 steps can get you started on your journey as a gender justice advocate and a supporter of girls’ education.

At Shadhika, we recently welcomed 92 new Shadhika Scholars to the Scholarship program. The most impactful thing you can do right now to support these Scholars’ success throughout their college degree is to make a donation to Shadhika’s Spring for Her Education campaign and share it with your network today.  

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