It’s the eleventh day of my 12 Days of Charitable Giving for 2018. Readers have suggested deserving charities over the past few weeks, and I’ll be posting one a day for – well, 12 days (I’m clever that way). Today’s charity is beGirl.world (bGw).
beGirl.world was founded as a vehicle to teach and expose the next generation to cross-cultural learning, careers in travel, careers that travel, study abroad programs, community service and overall growth that comes from exploring the world beyond yourself. bGw challenges girls to “think beyond their neighborhood, dream bigger than their city limits, and create possibilities outside their country borders.”
Through travel, bGw installs independence, strength, courage, inquisitiveness and a sense of positive adventure in teenage girls. bGw teaches teen girls that they are not limited by their environment or circumstance. This may include girls who may be slipping through the cracks at school, girls who may think they will never leave their neighborhoods, girls who have absent parents, girls who are questioning their identity and esteem or just girls who want to see what else is out there in the world. According to the founders, these are not just ‘other’ girls – these are the stories of all of us.
bGw teaches girls that travel can help you discover so much about yourself and the world. bGw educates about study abroad, language immersion, and student exchange programs (if you are a regular reader of the blog, you may know that I’m a huge believer in study abroad). It also teaches about careers in travel and careers that travel; for example, the girls plan mock trips using mock budgets and have to become familiar with how to communicate and coordinate with U.S. Embassies around the world.
bGw has several domestic trips planned each year and an international trip every two years. In 2016, bGw went to London and Paris. As part of their travels, the girls visited the U.S. Embassies in both cities and met with State Department employees to learn more about foreign-service careers.
So, does it work? Teens involved in the program reported having better grades and social interactions. Additionally, teens from the program who are now in college plan to study abroad.
So how can you help?
To make a one-time donation, click over to the organization’s website. Donations are also accepted via mobile app:
You can also mail a check payable to “Be Girl World” (on the memo line of the check, please indicate that the donation is for “Be Girl World”) at 1201 North 3rd Street, Suite #164, Philadelphia, PA 19122.
For federal income tax purposes, if you plan to claim a deduction for a cash contribution, you’ll want to keep a record of the donation regardless of the amount. Ideally, the organization will provide a written record with the name of the charity, date, and amount of the contribution.
Do your homework.
As always, you want to make sure that your donation is going to a qualified charitable organization. A search using the IRS’ new Exempt Organizations Select Check reveals that bGw is on the list (note that the IRS does not use punctuation in its search list and the organization is included as Begirlworld).
I often suggest checking out third-party sites like Charity Navigator for more information about charitable organizations, including evaluations and access to tax forms and other financials. BeGirl.World isn’t ranked by Charity Navigator because it files a form 990-N and form 990 N does not provide the needed information to complete a rating; small tax-exempt organizations with average annual receipts of $50,000 or less can file a form 990-N, or the e-Postcard (for more on the kinds of information returns filed by tax-exempt organizations, click here).
Remember: Submissions to the 12 Days of Charitable Giving are made by readers, and in most cases, I can’t personally vouch for the good work that these folks do. So be generous, but be smart: Do your homework.
For more on making charitable donations, click here.
For information about 2018 tax rates – those you’ll use for the 2018 tax year when you file in 2019 – click here.
Looking for more inspiration? Here are the other organizations on the 12 Days of Charitable Giving list this year: