Twenty-six years ago, five women in Mexico identified reproductive rights as a public health and social justice problem that needed to be addressed through bioethical, social, and legal advocacy. So they decided to do something about it and founded the Information Group on Reproductive Choice (GIRE). Since then, GIRE has grown into a leading reproductive rights organization with a staff of 40 specialists in different disciplines, all committed to the defense of women's human rights.
As a feminist organization, GIRE dedicates itself to achieving a cultural transformation in Mexico through the demand for reproductive justice as a human right. GIRE carries out extensive research on women's human rights issues — including safe and legal abortion, contraception, and maternal mortality — and uses these insights to inform powerful communication strategies and legal advocacy efforts.
GIRE first underwent the equivalency determination (ED) process with NGOsource in 2014. Among the many benefits GIRE and other NGOs experience after receiving an ED, GIRE gained increased credibility with potential funders. According to GIRE's director of institutional strengthening, Jennifer Paine:
Even though GIRE is a highly effective organization that secures impact toward our goals (excuse our modesty!), we think that being a non-profit organization in Mexico, where rule of law is often weak, could hinder some donors' interest or ability to fund us. The equivalency determination is an extremely useful tool to demonstrate accountability and transparency as well as the highest standards of fund management and accounting procedures to potential donors.
Jennifer also acknowledges the benefits GIRE's NGOsource grantmaker member funders experienced. "When a major donor requested that GIRE undergo the determination process, it was new to us but we invested the time and effort to complete the process and we were confirmed! Soon after, three ADDITIONAL major donors let us know that they also used the service and how glad they were that we had secured equivalency, making their jobs that much easier."
All NGOsource grantmaker members gain from the due diligence done by others and are able to receive ED certificates for organizations in the NGOsource repository immediately for only $250, saving both time and cost. NGOsource's efficient process also allowed GIRE's funders to devote more time and energy to programs as well as deepening grantmaker-grantee relationships. Jennifer feels "certain that the equivalency determination helped our relationships" with each of GIRE's four donors.
GIRE has put the support of its funders to good use and will continue to lead the way in promoting women's reproductive rights both in Mexico and internationally.
To learn more about GIRE, please paste this link into your address bar: https://gire.org.mx
Top photo: GIRE staff