When you think about an organization that looks at a generation for more than just it’s material and social value, you are thinking about FEW, or Fashion Empowering Women Foundation. We’re blessed to have not just met this organization on Twitter but also have our founders share a friendship rooted in the cause of millennial giving. So today, we thank FEW for using all that society thinks we are and showing them who we REALLY are!
Location: Washington, DC
Years in Operation: 2.5 Years
Mission of the Organization: Fashion Empowering Women® (FEW) Foundation’s mission is to mobilize the millennial generation by involving, igniting, involving and informing them about social good, volunteerism, civic engagement and philanthropy. We use the arts- fashion, film, music and literature as awareness vehicles to meet millennials where their interests lie.
We also mobilize the creative industries by creating opportunities for it’s members to support the missions of social service causes and non-profit organizations that empower girls and women. FEW focuses it’s efforts on women and those factors that are key to breaking the cycle of poverty: education, economic empowerment, shelter, health and nutrition, and family services. To accomplish our mission, FEW brings millennials, small businesses, policy makers and corporations together to raise awareness and engagement with small non-profits organizations.
Name one programmatic highlight within the last year: The launch of the Look Good, Do Good Movement is undoubtedly the highlight and primary focus of 2012. The Look Good. Do Good. movement ventures to celebrate, and document millennials who are active in their communities. In the process, we are raising $50,000 to support 10 non-profit organizations, which our supporters will choose later in the year, capturing a pledge to give-back in 2012 from 50,000 millennials.
As of June 31, 2012, we have engaged 26,000 millennials throughout the country, raised $28,590 toward our $50,000 goal and an astonishing $367,000 worth of skills and time has been pledged to over 1,300 non-profit organizations. Their collective investment is expected to yield a $3.5 million dollar return. We’re measuring this impact and excited about the potential it yields.
Why was this organization started? The organization was created to shift paradigms about what it means to give back- we want millennials to be proud of giving back and to make it a part of their lifestyles; to accomplish this, we serve as an educational resource to millennials and the non-profits who could benefit from their support.
There is a striking disconnect with Millennials where their lifestyles and pop culture interests do not reflect their beliefs and idealism. Most can name the entire cast of any given reality show, but cannot name members of Congress. They know children are dying of preventative diseases in Africa or India but fail to realize that the same is happening in their backyards. I looked at my circle of friends and associates and saw altruistic social change agents; they were civically engaged, volunteers, social entrepreneurs; I wanted that to become the “new cool.”
We’ve had countless conversations with young adults who have great intentions, “I will be a philanthropist when I become a millionaire.” Or the all too familiar, “I don’t have enough to give.” The truth is we all have something to give- at every level- we have to stop thinking of philanthropy as a dollar amount but rather as the giving of one’s self. FEW believes in young adults, in the arts and in bringing social good into mainstream conversation- a part of pop culture.
Photo Credit: Weikerken Altema, Surpass Visuals.