Dignity Period

Launching a nonprofit focused on menstrual hygiene – and dignity – for girls in Ethiopia


Dignity Period is a start-up nonprofit (established in May 2014) that provides menstrual hygiene for girls in rural Ethiopia. Minerva has worked with Dignity Period from the beginning.


Girls in northern Ethiopia can miss school and fall behind in their studies because they do not have menstrual hygiene knowledge or products. Dignity Period supports an Ethiopian social enterprise that manufactures reusable pads for girls, and partners with a local university to conduct research about attitudes toward menstruation and develop culturally appropriate educational materials. When Minerva began work with Dignity Period, the organization was just starting and had no strategy for communication or fundraising, and no staff capacity to tackle these challenges.


Minerva Strategies collaborated with Dignity Period and our fundraising partner RJZ Connections, Inc. to craft a tight, compelling narrative about the organization’s work. We then developed a communication and development strategy, emphasizing the need to build organizational capacity, create basic tools, and create local markets of support in the U.S. that map to the presence of board members. Implementation of this plan included travel to Ethiopia to research and write stories that bring Dignity Period’s work to life.


Dignity Period has grown substantially in the three years we have been working to develop their communications and development activities. We launched the Dignity Period website in April 2015. The website includes video, imagery from Ethiopia, and a blog with field-based stories from Ethiopia. The board has taken on two additional members, and hired a full and part-time staff people. Finally, in April of 2017, the organization held their third annual fundraising event, bringing in over 300 attendees from the St. Louis-area.