9 Best Charities That Combat Period Poverty (Complete 2024 List)

9 Best Charities That Combat Period Poverty (Complete 2024 List)

By
Carla Shaik

Read Time:20 Minutes

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Period poverty is a global issue that affects around 500 million people, particularly in developing countries. Period poverty is not simply a lack of access to menstrual hygiene products, it also carries a social stigma that prevents 1 in 10 menstruating youth from attending school during ‘that time of the month.’ Fortunately, charities around the world are working to end the stigma that surrounds periods and ensure that everyone has access to period products whenever they need them. So, we had to ask: What are the best charities that combat period poverty?

The best charities that combat period poverty are PERIOD and Days for Girls. Other charities such as Huru International and ZanaAfrica also focus their efforts on distributing menstrual products to people in poor communities across Africa. 

Whether you want to ensure every person has access to affordable period products, educate adolescents on menstrual health, or simply normalize menstruation in society, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities that combat period poverty are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to make a contribution.

Here’s What All the Best Charities That Combat Period Poverty Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission, impact and transparency ratings, and achievements.

They operate all over the world, from North America to Africa, fighting for menstrual equity.

The majority of the charities on this list distribute free menstrual products to people in need, whether that’s the homeless, refugees, or those on a low income.

They also provide menstrual health education in communities and schools to normalize periods. In addition, some of these charities advocate for better menstrual equity legislation to end period poverty for good.

Yet, through different means, they all share the same goal of combating period poverty.

These Are the 9 Best Charities That Combat Period Poverty in 2024

Below are our favorite charities that combat period poverty (you can click on their link to directly jump to their section in this article):

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

1

PERIOD: The Menstrual Movement 

Logo for PERIOD
What is Period Action Day?

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Their transparency & ratings:

PERIOD holds a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“Striving to eradicate period poverty and stigma through advocacy, education, and science.”

PERIOD

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What they do:

PERIOD is a youth-led movement working to end period poverty by distributing menstrual products to grassroots organizations and businesses across the US. They also conduct and publish scientific reports and studies showing the prevalence of period poverty and advocate for legislative and societal change. In addition, they run Youth Champion Awards to recognize the impact and dedication of youth volunteers working to advance menstrual equity in their own communities. Furthermore, they partnered with the Thurman Perry Foundation to run a comprehensive workshop about period poverty in US correctional facilities. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, PERIOD has distributed products to cover over 5 million menstrual cycles. For example, in 2022, they covered over 1 million menstrual cycles through the distribution of sanitary wear and their advocacy efforts led to the advancement of 62 menstrual equity policies in 31 states, including two federal bills. Today, the charity consists of thousands of activists in 400 chapters across 44 states and 32 countries

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to PERIOD through their website. You can also support the charity by attending one of their awareness events or by purchasing items from their online shop

2

Days for Girls: Turning Periods into Pathways

Logo for Days for Girls
Equity is Priceless

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Their transparency & ratings:

Days for Girls holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“We increase access to menstrual care and education by developing global partnerships, cultivating Social Enterprises, mobilizing volunteers, and innovating sustainable solutions that shatter stigma and limitations for women and girls.”

Days for Girls 

⚒️

What they do:

Days for Girls provides period kits to vulnerable women and girls around the world. These kits contain reusable, washable sanitary pads as well as care & use guides, underwear, washcloths, and a carry pouch. In addition, they run a number of menstrual health education courses for disadvantaged communities. For example, their Men Who Know online course equips men, boys, and social entrepreneurs with the knowledge they need to support menstruating family members or friends. Furthermore, the charity advocates and provides technical assistance to government bodies so they can create and implement policies that support menstrual health. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Days for Girls has impacted the lives of over 3 million women, girls, and people with periods across 145 countries. They now run 119 social enterprises and 272 chapters in 31 countries. For example, in 2022, the charity distributed nearly 300,000 period kits to women and girls in need and reached 307,000 people with their menstrual education programs. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Days for Girls through their website. You can also support the charity by volunteering or by purchasing items from their online shop

3

Dignity Period: Dignity Through Menstrual Health

Logo for Dignity Period
Dignity Period

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Their transparency & ratings:

Dignity Period holds a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator.

“We’re on a mission to end period poverty, giving those who menstruate dignity. Period.”

Dignity Period

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What they do:

Dignity Period gives girls and women the tools they need to manage their periods and continue their education without disruption. For example, they distribute female hygiene packs to schools across the US and Ethiopia containing reusable sanitary products. Each washable pad is the equivalent of 240 tampons or disposable pads. In the Tigray and Afar regions of northern Ethiopia, the charity also runs education programs in schools about menstrual periods and provides informative leaflets to be taken home to family members. Furthermore, they conduct research studies to better understand the impacts of period poverty on women and girls. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Dignity Period has supplied 179,000 people with free reusable menstrual pads across Ethiopia and the US. They have also educated 336,000 men and boys about menstrual health in Ethiopia and prevented 3.4 million disposable period products from ending up in landfills. For example, in 2023, the charity delivered 5,000 reusable period kits in Seattle through a new partnership with Compass Health, equating to 1.2 million disposable products

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Dignity Period through their website. You can also support the charity by fundraising or volunteering

4

The Pad Project: A Period Should End a Sentence, Not a Girl’s Education

Logo for The Pad Project
Students Answer: What is The Pad Project?

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Pad Project holds a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“To create and cultivate local and global partnerships to end period stigma and empower all menstruators worldwide.”

The Pad Project

⚒️

What they do:

The Pad Project works with local grassroots organizations and nonprofits to fund the placement of pad machines, as well as the implementation of menstrual hygiene workshops and washable pad programs in disadvantaged communities around the globe. In addition, they provide grants to school districts and organizations across the US to purchase bulk menstrual supplies. Moreover, they have partnered with This is L. to make period care products free from synthetic pesticides and dyes more widely available through a grant scheme. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, The Pad Project has distributed over 520,000 menstrual products to women and girls in the US and internationally. They have also implemented 8 washable cup and menstrual cup programs in Sierra Leone, the Bahamas, Ghana, Guatemala, Kenya, Pakistan, Tanzania, and Uganda. In addition, the charity has reached 11,750 people through their education workshops and installed 12 pad-making machines in India, Nepal, Kenya, and Sri Lanka. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to The Pad Project through their website. You can also support the charity by joining one of their campaigns or by becoming a Pad Project Ambassador

5

Huru International: No Girl Should Be Limited by Her Period

Logo for Huru International
Faith and Janet in Mukuru

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Huru International holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“To support girls and young women who don’t have access to menstrual pads and health education throughout East Africa.”

Huru International

⚒️

What they do:

Huru International travels across the poorest regions of East Africa to distribute sanitary pads to disadvantaged women and girls. By collaborating with local leaders and administrators, they also provide women’s health education via schools, shelters, and community centers. In addition, the charity runs skills development programs to help women who dropped out of school due to menstruation build their skills and career prospects in the textile industry. These courses also provide lessons on entrepreneurship, finance, and business. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Huru International has distributed over 2.2 million sanitary pads and 3,000 hygiene kits to girls in need across East Africa. In addition, they have educated 475,000 young women and girls on sexual and reproductive health. They have also helped more than 300 women build their career prospects and currently employ over 100 local men and women at their sanitary wear production and packaging site in Nairobi, Kenya. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Huru International through their website. You can also support the charity by holding a fundraiser or by joining their community of monthly donors

6

Helping Women Period: Providing Menstrual Products to the Homeless

Logo for Helping Women Period
Helping Women Period

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Helping Women Period holds a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“To provide no cost menstrual products to those experiencing homeless or low-income disparity.”

Helping Women Period

⚒️

What they do:

Helping Women Period distributes free period products across Michigan, with a focus on reaching people experiencing domestic violence as well as the homeless and BIPOC communities. They work to end period poverty through advocacy, education, and by partnering with like-minded organizations. For example, they collaborate with food pantries, schools, shelters, and charities that detail what their clients require, so Helping Women Period can provide them with those products. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Helping Women Period has distributed period products to more than 4 million menstruators in need across Michigan. Furthermore, their work has been featured in multiple leading magazines including Teen Vogue and Forbes. For example, in 2023, the charity delivered over 2 million period products, including pads, tampons, wipes, and panty liners. Furthermore, in 2018, they established 15 drop-box locations to allow people in need to access menstrual products whenever they need them. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Helping Women Period through their website. You can also support the charity by hosting your own Period Supply Drive or by purchasing their merchandise

7

ZanaAfrica: No Girl Should Be Limited By Her Period

Logo for ZanaAfrica
The Zana Africa Story

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Their transparency & ratings:

According to their financial report, ZanaAfrica spent 79% of their expenditure on charitable activities, 3% on fundraising, and 13% on administration. 

“We equip adolescent girls in Kenya with the tools they need to safely navigate puberty and unlock their potential.”

ZanaAfrica

⚒️

What they do:

ZanaAfrica delivers Nia sanitary pads and underwear to underprivileged girls across Kenya. The unique packaging of the sanitary pads also contains the Nia HealthLink which consists of a chatbot and a confidential helpline that provides answers to reproductive health and women’s rights questions for free. They also offer a 25-session facilitated health and life skills curriculum to local schools and have launched their Uwezo Initiative to train local teachers. Furthermore, the charity has created a series of youth-focused print magazines, called Nia Teen, to improve the health and confidence of adolescents across Kenya. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, ZanaAfrica has remained dedicated to ending period poverty in Kenya. For example, since 2013, they have supported over 100,000 girls with pads and underpants to help them manage their periods with dignity. Furthermore, in 2019, the charity trained more than 40 local teachers and 3 curriculum support officers in Western Kenya to expand the reach of their reproductive health programs in schools. Moreover, in 2021, they trained 85 community partner organizations through their online course, covering topics such as teenage pregnancy, mental health, and puberty. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to ZanaAfrica through their website. You can also support the charity by requesting a speaker to visit your community and share solutions to achieving gender equality. 

8

ActionAid: No One Should Be Held Back Because of Their Period

Logo for ActionAid
How to make your own reusable sanitary pads | Period Poverty | ActionAid UK

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Their transparency & ratings:

According to their financial report, ActionAid has spent 85% of their expenditure on charitable activities and 16.5% on fundraising. 

“To achieve social justice, gender equality, and poverty eradication.”

ActionAid

⚒️

What they do:

ActionAid provides training on how to make reusable sanitary pads in some of the world’s poorest regions in Africa and Asia. They also distribute health kits, containing menstrual products, wipes, and soap to women in conflict and disaster zones. Furthermore, the charity is working with local communities in Nepal to end the harmful practice of period-shaming, called chhaupadi, through advocacy and education.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Every year, ActionAid reaches over 15 million vulnerable girls and women in more than 40 countries worldwide. For example, they have distributed menstrual products in a wide range of crises and disasters, including the Nepal earthquake of 2015 and the food crisis of 2017 in East Africa. In Malawi, the women taking part in their reusable sanitary pad sewing training courses have so far made 3,000 pads that have been distributed to 600 girls in need

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to ActionAid through their website. You can also support the charity by sponsoring a vulnerable child or by purchasing items from their online shop.

9

Bloody Good Period: Fighting for Menstrual Equality

Logo for Bloody Good Period
Typically: #NoShameHere

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

According to their financial report, Bloody Good Period spent 75% of their expenditure on charitable activities and 25% on raising funds. 

“We fight for menstrual equality and the rights of all women and people who bleed, so that no one is held back by their period or society’s warped perception of the menstruating body.”

Bloody Good Period

⚒️

What they do:

Bloody Good Period distributes free period and menstrual health supplies to refugees, asylum seekers, and other displaced people around the UK, as well as those who can’t afford or access them. They also provide menstrual, sexual, and reproduction education sessions to asylum seekers and refugees which are led by medical professionals. Some of the topics they cover include contraception, breast screening, and period tracking. In addition, the charity advocates for the normalization of periods by promoting open conversations and encouraging people to use more direct language when talking about their periods. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Today, Bloody Good Period partners with over 100 community partners across England and Wales to ensure every person has access to vital period products. Since their founding, the charity has reached 113 people through their education sessions and has seen a 330% increase in the number of people who know where to access their products. Furthermore, 50% of the people they have reached are now more likely to speak to their GP about any worrying symptoms. For example, in 2022, they provided more than 119,000 packs of menstrual products to people in need. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Bloody Good Period through their website. You can also support the charity by purchasing items from their online shop or by volunteering.

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities that combat period poverty. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarize yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the website of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. Charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities dedicated to combating period poverty—based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

The way we think about charity is dead wrong | Dan Pallotta

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