On Your Mark, Get Set, Go: #GOMujeres Crowdfunding Season Underway

By Jose Fermoso, HIPGive Contributor A core value of Latino families is to help the disadvantaged. And throughout the U.S. and Latin America, women and girls find themselves among the most in need of quality social programs. Low-income girls in Guatemala, according to UNICEF, are more likely to attend bad educational systems and face huge “barriers in accessing sexual and reproductive health services.” This is just one example illustrating issues that are replicated throughout Latin America and the U.S. At HIP, we know how crucial gender equality is throughout the Americas. That’s why this March, during Women’s History Month, we’re hosting the #GoMujeres crowdfunding campaign on Our #GoMujeres campaign has been a huge success in the past. In 2016, says HIP outreach coordinator Anita Gallagher, 47 organizations focused on gender issues in Latino communities throughout the Americas raised more than $55,000 during the campaign. What’s more, recipients across the U.S. and Latin America nearly split the funds equally—55 to 45 percent. This difference is unusual for most U.S.-based crowdfunding sites, as it is usually in the 80/20 range and favors U.S. organizations. Gallagher says this response is due to individual funders researching the nonprofits through and recognizing that Latin American organizations often lack fundraising opportunities in their own regions. Another factor, she says, is that Latin American nonprofits are “learning more about how to appeal to individual donors” with personal messages, which allows them to highlight how “even a small donation can make a big difference.” Knowing nonprofit programs thoroughly is a hallmark of HIP and one that helps staff reach out to groups seeking to deconstruct deeply-entrenched systems of inequality. HIP Program Manager for Gender-Focused Initiatives, Dana Preston, has previously said that investing in “gender-focused organizations” plays a big role in HIP’s pursuit of fairness and equality for all. “In Latin America (especially), we believe we can contribute to a sector addressing the most critical issues faced by women and girls,” she says. For the upcoming campaign, HIP has reached out to 300-plus organizations that have received grants through our platform. They have a common thread: Innovative work on women’s and girls’ issues. But our message for all is the same, with a focus on the importance of collaboration and capacity building. Created to provide as much useful support as possible, provides critical webinars clarifying challenges to fundraising, access to a deep library of online sources, and most critically, direct communication to our passionate bilingual staff. If you want your nonprofit to strengthen its internal fundraising capacity or are an individual who wants to be a part of an important collective movement that will affect the lives of Latina women and girls across the Americas, consider joining the #GoMujeres campaign. All of our hermanas and mamás will thank you for it. Want to keep up on the organizations that will benefit from #GoMujeres? Expect to read more of their stories over the next month on HIPGive’s blog.