Donor Direct Action was founded in 2011 by Jessica Neuwirth with co-conveners Gloria Steinem and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. In 2015, it was integrated into the Sisterhood Is Global Institute, a feminist think-tank founded by Robin Morgan and Simone de Beauvoir in 1984. Since its inception, Donor Direct Action has regranted over $3.5 million to frontline women’s rights organizations around the world. It has fourteen partner organizations in thirteen countries and manages two thematic funds, the Gloria Steinem Equality Fund to End Sex Trafficking and the Efua Dorkenoo Fund to End Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
A 2021 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network supported Donor Direct Action’s Efua Dorkenoo Fund to End Female Genital Mutilation. Launched in 2017, the fund supports frontline women’s rights activists who have a long and proven track record of success in advocating for an end to FGM. From empowering girls, educating communities, advocating for policy reform, providing shelter, and working for legal reform and law enforcement, these activists have laid the groundwork to end FGM. The Efua Dorkenoo Fund to End FGM has grantees from Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Kenya, Sierra Leone, and Somalia.