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 so they can stay in school. 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 next 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.
We launched the Dignity Period website in April 2015. The website includes a three-minute brand video we developed with our production partner Storymind Productions, as well as a blog with field-based stories from Ethiopia. In their first fundraising event this past spring, Dignity Period raised more than $90,000 and is on its way to building significant networks of support in multiple U.S. regional markets.