Donor Profile - Joan Hadden

Joan Hadden

Los Altos, California

From Volunteer to Visionary Donor

"When I researched the global women’s human rights landscape, all roads seemed to lead to the Global Fund for Women. It is a highly respected organization. Other nonprofits have modeled themselves on the Global Fund."


In 2005, I was camping on the floor of a Boy Scout hut in Rayne, Louisiana where I was a Red Cross volunteer in a shelter after Katrina. A co-worker and I discovered that we shared an interest in strategic philanthropy (along with an appreciation for oatmeal and hot showers at the local truck stop!). I learned about the Global Fund for Women from her.

 I like the way they work and the work they do. The Global Fund for Women has become my favorite nonprofit. It is the one to which I give the most with no strings attached, completely confident that the Global Fund will use my donations efficiently and effectively for furthering women’s human rights.

In April this year, I had the opportunity to travel with the Global Fund to Morocco for a conference they co-organized with AWID on the Middle East and North Africa region. We also spent several days after the conference doing site visits with Global Fund grantees in Morocco. This gave me an opportunity to observe the work of the Global Fund in action. What I learned was that their peers looked to them as leaders, and their grantees appreciate them as partners.

I also got a first-hand education on the importance of respect for women and on the limitations that often exist on a woman’s freedom to make important decisions that impact her life and health, and to have those decisions honored. I have been thinking about this a lot since my visit to Morocco. Sadly, respect and freedom of choice are not something all women experience in their day-to-day lives.

My vision for women and girls, and the global women’s movement as a whole, is for respect and freedom, individually in the home and the community, as leaders in society, for the potential of women, the contributions of women, the perspectives of women. Progress in women’s human rights depends on these basic values of respect and freedom of choice. The Global Fund for Women is a key partner in my personal strategy of leveraging my support of a global movement to secure these basic rights for all women.


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