Dignity Grows Impact: Year in Review

March 14, 2024

In 2023, the Dignity Grows movement celebrated a significant milestone. With the establishment of nationally recognized chapters, a transformative national summit, and a coordinated research initiative, we achieved unprecedented levels of impact. As the lead national Period Poverty nonprofit organization, our efforts were dedicated to alleviating Period Poverty and upholding dignity for all, marking a pivotal step forward in our mission.

We are honored and energized to have the Dignity Grows program growing strong across 27 states, facilitated by 60 volunteer-fueled chapters. Through this dynamic network and with the creative innovation of our chapters, Dignity Grows direct product support reached record numbers of Americans in 2023.

Here’s a look at some of what we’re proud of from the last year:

The National Summit on Period Poverty

In October 2023, Dignity Grows organized The National Summit on Period Poverty, the first large-scale gathering of its kind. Held at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, participants took part in two days of thoughtful discussion, thought-provoking sessions, networking, and action planning.

Some of the highlights from the 2023 National Summit on Period Poverty include:

  • An inspiring keynote message from award-winning journalist and documentation Soledad O’Brien.
  • Panels of experts on the intersections between Period Poverty and physical and mental health, food insecurity, education, socioeconomic stability, domestic violence, and more.
  • A riveting dialogue between two of the nation’s foremost presidential historians, Mark Updegrove and Mark Atwood Lawrence, regarding the history of poverty politics.
  • The release of The American Blueprint to End Period Poverty, an achievable roadmap to eliminate Period Poverty over the next decade – outlined by Dignity Grows.
  • A Packing Party that resulted in 200 assembled Dignity Grows hygiene Totes, which were donated to the local Austin community.
lead period poverty nonprofit 2023 Summit to end period poverty quote by Soledad O'Brien

Summit presenters included:

  • Soledad O’Brien, Journalist and Documentarian
  • Grace Meng, U.S. Representative
  • Dean JR DeSchazo, LBJ School of Public Affairs
  • Pamela Benson Owens, Six Square
  • Jeannie Infante Sager, Women’s Philanthropy Institute
  • Jason Jakubowski, Feeding America
  • Chastity Lord, Jeremiah Program
  • Mark Updegrove, LBJ Foundation
    Mark Atwood Lawrence, LBJ Presidential Library

The inaugural National Summit on Period Poverty was a groundbreaking gathering and we can’t wait to grow upon it in the years to come – in fact, the next Summit is already in the works for Fall 2025!

The National Research Initiative on Period Poverty

In response to skyrocketing demand and with a goal to combat Period Poverty at a systemic level, Dignity Grows launched The National Research Initiative on Period Poverty.

This initiative marks the start of a multi-year, comprehensive endeavor to do the following:
Document the breadth and depth of the Period Poverty crisis across America
Measure the multiple educational, economic, health, and mental wellness costs of this growing crisis.
Examine how these issues could be addressed through social policy change.

The Dignity Grows national network of leaders, advocates, and supporters laid the groundwork for this crucial fact-finding journey and its results will uniquely position our organization to change the cycle of Period Poverty in the US forever.

Quote reads "to end Period Poverty, we must understand how this debilitating form of health, gender, and economic inequity impacts the lives of women, impacts the lives of families, and impacts whole communities.

National Research on Period Poverty Phase 1 Overview

In May 2023, Dignity Grows commissioned a national survey to explore the complex nature of Period Poverty in the US. Intended as a wayfinding instrument to help inform and guide much-needed research and policy development in this space, the survey engaged 1,000 American women over 18 years of age.*

For the purposes of this study, Period Poverty is defined as a lack, of or uncertain access to, basic menstrual hygiene supplies, due to financial constraints. The survey revealed the pervasive nature of Period Poverty, which impacts multiple dimensions of a woman’s life including employment, educational attainment, personal and sexual relationships, and mental health.

The survey results demonstrate the need and call for further research into several key issues, including the relationships and causality between Period Poverty and mental health, relational connections, education and employment, and generational persistence.

Top Findings of the National Research Initiative on Period Poverty

We’ve highlighted some of the most eye-opening findings from Period Poverty in America – phase one of the National Research Initiative on Period Poverty here:

  • Prevalence of Period Poverty in America: Period Poverty is a pervasive issue, experienced by more than one-third of American women at some point in their lives (35.8% of respondents).
  • Financial limitations and period products: 10.8% of respondents reported that they had gone without period products because they couldn’t afford them and 27% said they worried they would run out of period supplies because they could not afford products.
  • Period Poverty impact on education: Of the respondents who experienced Period Poverty, 30% reported disruption to school and education.
  • Period Poverty impact on daily activities: 55.6% of respondents reported a disruption to daily routine due to Period Poverty.
  • Period Poverty impact on mental health: Over 66% of women facing Period Poverty report it impacts their mental health.

To see the full report and gain even more statistically-backed insight into the prevalence of Period Poverty in America, click here.

2023 Period Poverty Nonprofit Organization Impact

We are so proud of everything our chapters and our organization have accomplished in the last year.

Here’s a snapshot of some of our proudest accomplishments:

Image shows the 2023 impact snapshot for DIgnity Grows, the leading period poverty nonprofit in the US
To read the full Dignity Grows 2023 Impact Report, click here.

Looking Ahead to the Years to Come

In the years to come, we are committed to intensifying our efforts in eradicating Period Poverty and ensuring hygienic dignity for all across America. Through strategic partnerships, innovative initiatives, and relentless advocacy, we aim to break down barriers, dismantle stigma, and create long-lasting solutions.

Alongside our dedicated chapters, we will forge a future where every individual can access the menstrual hygiene products they need, without hesitation or hardship.

Feeling inspired? Find a local chapter and join our mission to end Period Poverty for all.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the top nonprofit organization for Period Poverty?

Dignity Grows has emerged as a premier nonprofit organization combating Period Poverty in America. With a network spanning 27 states and fueled by dedicated volunteers, our impact is undeniable. In 2023 alone, our achievements include hosting the groundbreaking National Summit on Period Poverty and launching the comprehensive National Research Initiative on the topic. These endeavors have not only raised awareness but also provided tangible solutions, setting the stage for transformative change in the years ahead.

What social issues intersect with Period Poverty?

Period Poverty is far from a stand-alone issue and its solutions include dynamic wrap-around support. The lived experience of Period Poverty often intersects with issues of food insecurity, socio economic instability, education, workplace achievement, domestic violence, mental health, and more.

Which NGO is working on menstrual hygiene?

Dignity Grows is a prominent NGO dedicated to menstrual hygiene. Through initiatives like their National Summit on Period Poverty and National Research Initiative, they raise awareness and provide solutions.