Who Deserves Your Better Planet Money?

Both buyers and businesses need to spend their better planet money wisely. The planet cannot get better if better planet money is donated to ineffective charities and nonprofits. My experiences with the National Organization for Women helped me set standards for identifying which charities and nonprofits deserve my better planet money.

In the late 1980s or early 1990s, I was a member of the National Organization for Women (NOW) for one year. It was a boring year of mostly doing little. I remember only three members at meetings, including the officers. I was not an officer. Somehow we decided to do a short documentary about reproductive rights. I quit the chapter before the documentary was finished. Years later I realized the documentary would have been preaching to the choir. We made three mistakes.

First, we did what we felt like doing.

Second, we did not consider who our
audience should be.

Third, we did not consider what would
be effective for reaching the audience
we should be reaching.

After quitting the local chapter, I occasionally visited now.org to see what NOW was doing. In 2008, Kim Gandy was president of NOW. Whenever I visited the website I noticed “NOW President Kim Gandy” all over the home page. It seemed to me that NOW existed to promote Kim Gandy. Either that, or Kim Gandy was afraid website visitors would forget who she was if she didn’t repeatedly use her title.

Way before 2008, I had become disgusted with Gloria Steinem for her quote:

“The only alternative to feminism
is masochism.”

I thought feminism was about the freedom to make my own choices.

I stopped calling myself a feminist because of Gloria Steinem. When I saw Kim Gandy’s name all over the home page of NOW’s website, I decided to do something about arrogant and glory seeking feminist leaders. I signed up for emails to collect evidence. By doing that, I accidentally discovered one way to identify ineffective social cause nonprofits. Because of the quotes from three NOW emails below, I am now able to set my own standards for supporting a social cause nonprofit.

To understand the implications of the three quotes, you need to understand how the National Organization for Women presents itself to the world. This quote is from the About page at now.org on September 12, 2019. The bold type is my addition.

“As the grassroots arm of the women’s
movement, the National Organization for
Women is dedicated to its multi-issue and
multi-strategy approach to women’s
rights, and is the largest organization of
feminist grassroots activists in the United
States. NOW has hundreds of chapters
and hundreds of thousands of members
and activists in all 50 states and the
District of Columbia.
Since our founding
in 1966, NOW’s purpose is to take action
through intersectional grassroots activism
to promote feminist ideals, lead societal
ange, eliminate discrimination, and
achieve and protect the equal rights of
all women and girls in all aspects of social,
political, and economic life.

The three emails below prove that NOW is falling far short of its claims.

Email Date

September 13, 2014

Email Subject Line

Haterade

Email Quote

“P.S. Thousands of you have already shown your support by signing our petition demanding that Roger Goodell resign.”

Email Signature

Terry O’Neill, President
National Organization for Women

Only “thousands” signed the petition out of “hundreds of thousands of members and activists”? Since O’Neill used only “thousands”, I assume that the total number of signatures was not even close to ten thousand.

NOW President Terry O’Neill failed to persuade the majority of NOW members and activists to sign a petition.

~~~~~

Email Date

January 8, 2019

Email Subject Line

SIGN ON to Support the Paycheck Fairness Act by Wednesday at 2 P

Email Quote

“Last year, over 70 NOW chapters signed on to support the Paycheck Fairness Act of the 115th Congress. This year, only two chapters have committed their support and the deadline is Wednesday!

Again, click here to support the Paycheck Fairness Act of the 115th Congress. Although the form lists a deadline of January 4th, we are told the deadline has been extended until Wednesday, January 9th at 2 PM. Please sign on IMMEDIATELY!

Email Signature

Toni Van Pelt, President
National Organization for Women

Only 70 chapter in 2018 and 2 chapter in 2019 out of “hundreds of chapters” signed on to support the Paycheck Fairness Act.

For two years in a row, NOW President Toni Van Pelt failed to persuade the majority of NOW’s “hundreds of chapters” to sign on in support of the Paycheck Fairness Act. Her 2019 attempt was pitiful given that only two chapters signed up.

~~~~~

Email Date

July 2, 2019

Email Subject Line

We did it!

Email Quote

“We did it! We made our goal for our Stronger Together Spring Match campaign!

Cue balloons! Strike up the band! Start the party!

Well, perhaps not. There’s no time for celebrations—we’ve got work to do!

We have to stand up to Donald Trump and his extremist allies who want to repeal Roe v. Wade and enact the most horrendous abortion bans in the states. And thanks to our community, the dollar-for-dollar match turned $25,000 into $50,000!

If you didn’t get a chance to donate to Stronger Together, it’s not too late to help!

Make your gift today to support women’s rights and happiness.

Email Signature

Toni Van Pelt, President
National Organization for Women

“Hundreds of thousands of members and activists” failed to donate money to support NOW’s Strong Together Spring Match Campaign.

$25,000 divided by 200,000 equals 13 cents.

$25,000 divided by 300,000 equals 8 cents.

$25,000 divided by 400,000 equals 6 cents.

$25,000 divided by 500,000 equals 5 cents.

NOW President Toni Van Pelt failed to persuade most of NOW’s “hundreds of thousands of members and activists” to donate money to NOW.

$25,000 divided by $5 equals 5.000 donating members.

$25,000 divided by $10 equals 2,500 donating members.

$25,000 divided by $15 equals 1,667 donating members.

$25,000 divided by $20 equals 1,250 donating members.

~~~~~

Emails from the National Organization for Women gave me at least two standards for identifying effective social cause nonprofits.

Effective Nonprofit Standard #1

I require evidence that the nonprofit’s own members are committed to the stated goal of the nonprofit. Obviously, NOW members and activists are not committed to promoting feminist ideals, leading societal change, eliminating discrimination, and achieving and protecting the equal rights of all women and girls in all aspects of social, political, and economic life.

Effective Nonprofit Standard #2

I require nonprofit leaders to be effective in persuasion for the cause of the nonprofit. NOW leaders are ineffective at persuading their own members to support the actions of the National Organization for Women. How is it possible that NOW leaders could persuade anyone necessary (legislators and courts) to create the changes they promise women?

In her Haterade email, NOW President Terry O’Neill also wrote this:

“I know that we can change our culture
– which is so permissive of violence
against women – and change our laws
simultaneously.

How do I know that?

Because we’re the National Organization
for Women and this is what we do –
especially with supporters like you.”

The evidence shows that NOW President Terry O’Neill and the National Organization for Women are all talk and little — if any — do.

The National Organization for Women does not deserve my better planet money.

Before I support any social cause nonprofit, I will sign up for emails to look for evidence of effectiveness. Ineffective social cause nonprofits do not make the planet better.

Melinda Gates identifies the most effective women’s organizations as local organizations.

“Not only do women’s movements bring
sense of urgency to the work that they do,
their deep knowledge of the customs that
shape their communities offers important
insight into solutions. When development
policies are set from the top down, even
though they may be well-intentioned,
their impact doesn’t always reach everyone
equally. Women’s organizations help drive
progress that is more inclusive and sustainable.”

U.S. citizen Christine Keung illustrates how her organization drives progress. Keung went to her parents’ homeland in China for one year of college. She helped local university students “improve the region’s heavily polluted environment.” Back in the United States, Keung remains involved in improving “the overall quality of life for people in that region of China.” She does so with a specific strategy:

“It’s not about developing one solution
or even five. It’s about developing these
students.”

Unfortunately, not all women’s organizations help drive progress that is more inclusive and sustainable. The National Organization for Women believes that two top down policies will solve all problems for women:

“The National Organization for Women
OW) is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization
that focuses on achieving equality through
grassroots lobbying and political action.“

A September 10th, 2019 email from the Feminist Majority Foundation reveals their “top down” solutions from their “Feminist School”. The “Fall Feminist Syllabus” for the “Feminist Campus” are:

Ratifying the ERA

Vote Feminist 2019

Adopt-a-Clinic

Not a single one of those “projects” addresses the problems I face as a woman in my community. This is what I currently need within my community:

Equal law enforcement

Equal treatment from other women

Equal opportunity to participate in nonprofit events

In the past I needed:

Equal rights to a home equity loan

Equal representation for letters to the editor

Equal rights to speak up in college classrooms

Equal grading standards for college courses

Equal opportunity to take advantage of nonprofit services

Equal law enforcement

Equal treatment from other women

Think about all the barriers to equality women face in your community. Would lobbying and political action tear down all of those barriers?

The equality problem in six year old Vivian’s community was toy soldiers. She couldn’t buy any “girl army men” to play with. She wrote a letter to Jeff Imel of BMC Toys. Imel did research and discovered that other little girls wanted the same equality in their communities. Four different Green Army Women will be available by Christmas 2020. A six year old girl tore down a barrier for girls in communities all over the United States. Vivian is more effective at creating equality for women than the National Organization for Women is. Her persuasion skills leave NOW President Toni Van Pelt in the dust.

This blog post reveals how pro-life bottom up strategies left pro-choice top down strategies in the dust.

This blog post exposes how abortion access has declined while NOW focused on lobbying and political action.

This blog post reveals the falsehoods of grassroots claims by NOW leaders.

National NOW has no idea what the most effective local solutions for communities are. Are you surprised to learn that more than 40% of NOW chapters are inactive?

NOW_Chapters

How do you decide who deserves your better planet money? Please explain in the comments section below.

See the Better Planet Business Resources page for a link that gives you a starting point for finding the charities and nonprofits that deserve your better planet money.

“Doing Good in China”
Justin Worland
Time Magazine
October 12, 2017

“Her Own Toy Story: How a 6-Year-Old Girl’s Letter Launched ‘Plastic Army Women’”
Bobby Allyn
NPR
September 10, 2019

“Melinda Gates: It’s Time for a New Era for Women”
Time Magazine
January 4, 2018

© Paula M. Kramer, 2019
All rights reserved.
September 20, 2019
Updated September 30, 2019

Paula writes posts for this blog when she has something new to say.

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