What is the idea behind SponsorHer!
There are hundreds of small and bigger initiatives that support girls and girl education. Their biggest challenge is to raise funds. Instead of starting yet another sponsorship scheme, SponsorHer! gives them a platform to reach out to sponsors to support their brightest and most needy girls. Through SponsorHer! we aim at making girl sponsorships more transparent, impactful and sustainable by tracking all scholarship costs and demonstrating impact through storytelling and direct reports on the girls’ progress. Ultimately, we aim at making investment in girl education more sustainable by engaging successful Ethiopian women, the diaspora and later alumni to reinvest in their younger sisters
What makes SponsorHer different?
SponsorHer! plays a connecting role between local partners and sponsors crowd-sourcing scholarships for the brightest and most needy girls. We thereby allow everybody, everywhere to support specific girls with a scholarship without passing through big administrations and ensuring the biggest impact with a minimum of operational costs.
We are particularly striving to improve girl sponsorship schemes by ensuring:
Transparency: We show you how every cent is used and track all scholarship costs girl by girl.
100% guarantee: We send 100% of your donations directly to our partners. We keep our operational costs low and finance them through private donations and corporate and institutional partners.
Impact: We enable you to follow the girls’ progress using storytelling, direct progress reports by the girls and long-term impact evaluation.
Sustainability: We have developed a model that could make girl scholarships in the long run more sustainable with a potential to scale and increase impact. We aim at strengthening local ownership by engaging successful Ethiopian women, the diaspora and later alumni to reinvest in their younger sisters as sponsors and mentors.
What is crowd-sourcing?
Crowd-sourcing or crowd-funding allows projects or individuals to be funded by a multitude of small and individual donations. Behind crowd-sourcing is the idea that every, whatsoever small contribution counts, because lots of small contributions can make a big difference.
The concept has been used by various sites, such as Kiva in the area of micro-lending or GlobalGiving in the area of development project funding. However, we have not found a satisfying model for cowd-sourcing girl scholarships yet, and this is where SponsorHer! comes in.
Why do you race funds for a group of 2 or 3 girls?
Many organizations offer a personal sponsorship for one specific girl. This puts many sponsors in the difficult situation to having to choose one girl among many others who would also need their support. While we put high emphasis on making your sponsorship as concrete as possible, allowing you to exactly know who are the scholars you are supporting and how your donation is used, we crowd-source scholarships for 2 or 3 girls at a time.
Believing that girls are stronger when they support each other, we pool girls together who live in the same neighborhood or go to the same school and are supported by the same implementing partner. It also allows us to ensure that once a girl becomes a SponsorHer! scholar, she can complete secondary school with your support. (see How do you ensure that a girl can complete secondary school?)
If you would like to engage in a monthly sponsorship for one girl, and have a strong preference for one particular girl, please leave us a message when checking out, and we will match you with a particular girl.
II Girl Scholarships
Why do you only support girls, and not boys?
While there are many boys in need for support to access and accomplish school, we have chosen to focus on girls. Not only because in Sub-Sahara fewer than one out of five girls makes it to secondary school, but also because investing in girls’ education may offer one of the highest returns of aid to the developing world.
Investing in girls’ education is one of the most effective ways to fighting poverty. If you educate a girl, everything can change. The more educated girls are, the later they get married, the fewer children they have, the higher their future income is and the less likely they are to be malnourished and exposed to sexual transmitted diseases. As in many countries women are responsible to care for their children and family, this ‘girl-effect’ will have an impact not only on the girl herself, but also on her children and the whole community.
Why Secondary School?
While 65% of Ethiopian girls go to Primary School, only 16% attend Secondary School, and even fewer complete it. Secondary School is the biggest bottle-neck for girls to attain a better future.
When it comes to secondary school, for many family the opportunity costs between sending the girls to school vs. marrying them off or sending them to work change drastically. Therefore we focus on girls in Secondary School striving to increase the girl enrollment and retention rates.
How are the girls selected?
SponsorHer! focuses on supporting the brightest and most needy girls because we believe that these girls can later have the biggest impact in their societies. Girls are selected by our partners based on their outstanding academic credentials (at least best 25% of their classes or great potential) and their financial need, proven through government poverty certificates and house visits.
Pubic school is free, no? What do the girls need the funding for?
While public school in Ethiopia is free, there are still different costs that the families of our girls cannot cover. With a monthly sponsorship you ensure that the girl has all the necessary material for a successful school year. It covers a uniform, materials (pencils, textbooks, exercise books), a sanitary kit to avoid school drop-out during the period and mentoring meeting.
However, costs can be different in different cities and our local partners may have chosen to also support different other costs, such as medical care for her family or projects at the sponsored girl’s school. You will find a table with the exact costs that the sponsorship covers on the girls’ profiles.
In order to support the girls to finance either further studies or starting a small business at the end of the sponsorship period, we save 2 EUR/month to be paid to the girl after completing high-school.
How do you empower the girls to become changemakers in their communities?
Besides the scholarship, we believe that mentoring is a very important part to support the girls realizing their dreams and support their communities in alleviating against poverty. We are in the process to develop a context-specific mentoring program, encompassing leadership and business training. Already now, our partners offer monthly sponsorship clubs, where the girls can exchange among them, receive mentoring and tutoring.
Why do you not show pictures and complete names for each girls?
Given the cultural and financial obstacles our scholars face, revealing their complete identity is very sensitive and could harm the girl. Therefore, we are very committed to protect the girls as best as possible while ensuring the greatest transparency about the use of scholarship funds.
Featuring 3 girls together (see Why do you race funds for a group of 3 girls?), allows us to better protect the girls by not revealing their name and picture one by one. We also anonymize their progress reports. As a sponsor of a girl you will however receive a portrait picture and nominal progress reports and stories by email.
How do you ensure that a girl can complete Secondary School?
We are highly committed to ensure that once a girl becomes a SponsorHer! scholar, she can complete secondary school with our support.
We therefore only release the first tranche of scholarship funds, once there are enough funds to cover at least one year of secondary school for one girl. Pooling the funds for three girls gives us the possibility to ensure that girls who need most urgently support, receive it. Once a girl is funded for at least one year, she gets on our priority list for further featured scholarship rounds and fundraising events.
How do you select your partners?
There are many small local organizations already working on girl education and women empowerment. They have experience on the ground, staff who are familiar with local conditions and well-established projects. We select our partners based on their experience on the ground, their management capacity as well as the quality of their programs in education and women empowerment. We then help them connect with new sponsors from all over the world.
How can I become a partner?
We are currently piloting our operations in Ethiopia. If you are interested in partnering with us, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
IV Your donations
100% goes to the partners – how do you do this?
SponsorHer! guarantees that 100% of the funds we receive will go to our local partners and directly benefit the girls and their families.
SponsorHer! runs at minimal cost, relying on volunteers and online cooperation. For example, we do not have office space to rent. However, we still are depending on additional donations to cover our operational costs, such as website hosting and development, bank transfers to Ethiopia, etc. Therefore we encourage you to donate at least 15% of your donation to SponsorHer! to allow us to reach even more girls and partners.
How do I can donate?
SponsorHer! offers different ways to support girls attending high school.
To ensure that a girl has continued support to attend high school, we encourage you to sign up for a monthly sponsorship to support her during her entire high school career.
However, many smaller donations can also make a big difference. You can therefore also make a one-off donation. However, we only release the first tranche of scholarship funds, once there are enough funds to cover at least one year of secondary school for one girl.
You can easily donate through our website with your credit card.
If you are living in the EU, you can make a free bank transfer to our bank account in Germany. For other continents your bank will charge you a fee for international transfers.
If you are living in Ethiopia, and you would like to directly donate in cash, please get in contact with us.
Why are there bank fees?
Unfortunately, online payments are not free. Our online payment provider Stripe currently charges us 2.9% + 30cent for each donation. Unfortunately, these charges will be deducted by Stripe from your donation.
If you would like to avoid online payment fees, and you are living in the EU, you can make a free bank transfer to our bank account in Germany.
Is my donation tax deductible?
Your donation is tax deductible in Germany and the European Union. If you are living in the US and would like to tax deduce your donation, please get in contact with us. We have the possibility of fiscal sponsorship to make your donation tax deductible.
What do I get in return for my donation?
We want you to be able to follow the progress of the girl you sponsor and to learn more about her daily life. You can follow the girls’ progress by browsing the reports and stories on the profile page of each girl group.
If you have signed-up for a monthly sponsorship, you will receive a sponsorship certificate, the picture, a letter from the girl, a copy of her school report as well as a receipt of how funds have been spent at least every six months. We also encourage you to send her letters or messages. Being supported and receiving a note from you means a lot to these girls who might have never received a letter in their lives.
Is it possible to donate goods or meet the girls?
SponsorHer!’s focus is on finding sponsors to cover the costs to send girls to school. So if you wish to send packages to the girls, please contact us and we’ll put you in touch with our local partners.
Is it possible to sponsor more than one girl?
Yes, absolutely. Please select as many girls as you would like to in the profiles section.
Is it possible to share the sponsorship for a girl?
Yes, absolutely! You can pool the funds among you and select the normal sponsorship scheme. And why not organizing a fundraising event to support one girl. Learn more under Link get involved
Can’t find the answer to your question? Please contact us