Black History Month is an annual observance in the United States and Canada that celebrates African Americans’ storied history, contributions, and strides. During February, we’re challenged as a nation to reflect and recognize the past and present struggles of the Black community. But perhaps even more importantly: to take action to support and uplift Black voices and causes. One way to do this is by donating to charities that are led by and support Black women.
Female-forward nonprofits are organizations that are led by women and focus on issues that disproportionately affect Black women and girls. These charities often work to promote gender equality, improve access to education and healthcare, and support marginalized groups.
Here, we researched the top six female-forward nonprofits that work tirelessly to provide education, healthcare, and more to Black women and girls of all ages and backgrounds. We also checked all of these on GuideStar, a nonprofit watchdog, to ensure your donation will actually benefit those in need.
1. The Loveland Foundation
Created in 2018 by author and podcast host Rachel Cargle, this nonprofit is dedicated to providing financial resources for Black women and girls who need mental health services, including therapy. They have focused much of their work on curating a network of Black therapists as well as scholarships for therapy sessions, so it’s more affordable and accessible.
One of their most popular programs is called “Love Letters,” where they match those in need with a therapist who specializes in their specific need, offering direct aid in times of need. Additionally, they provide workshops and events to the Black female community, all in an effort to improve their mental and emotional well-being.
2. Black Women’s Health Imperative
The Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI), founded in 1983, is a national organization dedicated to improving the health and wellness of Black women and girls. BWHI is the only national organization focusing solely on this underserved group. Their mission has always been to promote health equity for Black women in the United States — and for decades, they’ve done just that.
How so? The organization conducts research to address the health disparities that affect Black women and girls. Then they become advocates and educators to promote health equity for this population. BWHI’s programs and initiatives focus on a variety of health issues, including maternal and child health, reproductive health, and cancer prevention and control.
Over the years, they have also spearheaded special initiatives, including the Rare Disease Diversity Coalition to help Black women with unique medical concerns and NOURISH, a doula training program.
3. Black Mamas Matter Alliance
Sadly, Black women are more likely to die in childbirth than white women. In fact, an astounding number of Black women die during the pregnancy and postpartum periods due to a lack of resources and quality of healthcare for this marginalized group. Black Mamas Matter Alliance, or BMMA, is working to change this. It was founded in 2013 to improve maternal health outcomes for Black women and their families. They are working to address the social determinants of health impact on Black mothers by advocating, driving research, building power, and shifting culture for reproductive justice.
The organization has increased access to quality, culturally-competent health care for Black mothers and reduced the maternal mortality and morbidity rates among Black women. They also teach Black women to stand up for themselves, know what questions to ask, and how to find safe providers.
4. Buy From A Black Woman
One of the easiest ways to support Black women is to buy from them! And there are plenty of shops to choose from, considering Black women are the fastest-growing segment of entrepreneurs in the country. To provide an easier way to find Black women-led companies, Buy From a Black Woman was founded in 2018. This organization provides resources for budding Black entrepreneurs, including business training, networking, and scholarships via their Black Woman Business Grant program. They also have an easy-to-use platform to showcase and increase visibility for these small businesses.
To take it a step further, they work to raise awareness of policies that support Black women entrepreneurs and give them the additional funding and education they need to succeed. There’s strength in numbers and when women join together to lift one another up — magic happens.
5. National Black Women’s Justice Institute
This organization was founded in 2003 to reduce the disproportionate involvement of Black women and girls in the criminal justice system. To do this, they conduct research and policy analysis and provide technical assistance to improve the lives of Black women and girls affected by the criminal justice system.
Their hope and mission are to change the mass incarceration of Black females, decriminalize poverty, and fight the racial bias in the criminal justice system. For those women and girls who are already incarcerated, NBWJI also works to improve their conditions behind bars.
6. In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda
Founded in 1999 to address the unique and intersectional experiences of Black women related to reproductive rights and justice, IOOV‘s mission is to build power within Black communities to advocate for reproductive justice and to engage in the public policy and legislative process at the local, state and national levels. The organization works to increase access to quality and culturally-competent reproductive health care for Black women and girls and to reduce the high rates of maternal mortality and morbidity. They do this by working to provide quality education, voting rights, and economic rights.
They also have other causes, including improving abortion access, aid and vaccines for COVID-19, access to clean water, and more.