PLATINUM2024

Dignity Matters Inc

aka Dignity Matters   |   Westborough, MA   |  www.dignity-matters.org

Mission

Dignity Matters enables homeless and low income women and girls stay healthy, regain self- confidence and live with basic dignity by providing them with monthly access to free menstrual care, underwear and bras of their choice.

Ruling year info

2017

Founder and Executive Director

Mrs. Kate Sanetra-Butler

Main address

Dignity Matters, Inc. PO Box 1262

Westborough, MA 01581 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

81-4572839

NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Dignity Matters was created in 2016 to address the lack of access to essential menstrual care and underwear and bras among homeless women and girls in Massachusetts. The need for free menstrual care at shelters, food pantries and schools is overlooked, so Dignity Matters' mission is focused on these necessities. Dignity Matters strives to provide period protection to all Massachusetts women in need to help them restore their dignity, and to remove some of the monthly reoccurring barriers these women face that prevent them from continuing education or work, looking after their families and achieving their other goals. We carry our mission as the available research, data, and our experience and observations at shelters as well as common sense point to the fact that lack of access to reliable, free period protection amongst women it harmful to menstrual health and dignity of women.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Dignity at Schools

"Dignity at Schools" - through this program Dignity Matters supplies menstrual products, sports bras, and underwear to high and middle schools as well as community colleges across the entire MA. Some of the product is distributed through our partnership with Catie's Closet. Recent US study showed that nearly one in five American girls have either left school early or missed school entirely because they did not have access to period products. 2017 New York study also proved that providing free period protection to school-aged girls reduced school absenteeism by 2.4%. Because of the direct link between the provision of free menstrual care to schoolgirls and an increased school attendance Dignity Matters considers it a priority to continue to grow its Dignity at Schools program.
To further support students, Dignity Matters supports many after school programs across the state, so the girls have access to product also after schools and during school vacations.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Economically disadvantaged people
At-risk youth
Immigrants and migrants

"Dignity at Shelters" program is very large and supports homeless women at tens of shelters and domestic violence programs with menstrual care and other necessities. All product is delivered regularly, in pre-scheduled quantities. Women can choose the product they need the most.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Intersex people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of groups brought together in a coalition/alliance/partnership

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of women provided with free menstrual care.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Per year. For example, in 2023, we served 174,594 women per year (circa 14,549 women per month who received menstrual care. Every woman receives a minimum of 20 units of menstrual care each month).

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

In the short term, we strive to provide free tampons, sanitary napkins and underwear to those women and girls who cannot afford or readily access them. Addressing women’s most basic needs is central to improving the quality of their life, which in turn improves the lives of their family and all those around them. Through our current programs at shelters, public schools, food pantries and medical centers for homeless population, Dignity Matters support 2100 women EVERY MONTH with full period protection, as well as required underwear.
Our long term vision is a world where basic feminine hygiene products are available in all public bathrooms, free of charge, just like toilet paper is (and, incidentally, for similar health and cleanliness reasons). Accomplishing this, ideally though legislative changes, would bring us a big step closer to achieving true equality, which is imperative for a fair and sustainable world where everyone can thrive.

After six years of operations Dignity Matters grew from a small grass-roots organization to the largest reliable provider of period protection and underwear for homeless women in Massachusetts. We currently (2022) serve over 14,000 women each month with all their menstrual needs, as well as underwear and bras to truly provide them with comfort and dignity we all deserve.
To scale up, Dignity Matters went successfully through a strategic shift from predominantly in-kind donations, to a more scalable product purchasing strategy. This higher efficiency model of increased purchases of products directly from a low-cost volume manufacturer quickly enabled us to increase scale of operation by directly delivering the right specification product, straight to the women in most need, with more controlled delivery timing and product batch quantities exactly matching the needs of the shelters, schools, food pantries we support on monthly basis.
We have negotiated extremely low built-to-spec product supply costs and we plan to pursue our strategic shift over the next 3 years to reach over 4,000 women per month (in 2020), 8,000 women monthly in 2021 and 14,000 women in 2022. As of May 2022 we can confirm we achieved the goal and we continue to grow to serve even more women in need.

Dignity Matters is managed by a strong Board of Directors and Advisory Board who work closely together on governance, vision, relationships, advice and funding. Our staffing consists of the Executive Director, Development Director, Foundations Officer, Warehouse Coordinator and Outreach/Volunteers Coordinator. Our mission is also supported by over 100 regular and 500 additional volunteers each year.
Over the last 2 years we also invested heavily in systems and processes to run efficient operation.

In six years Dignity Matters developed 5 programs through which we serve on monthly basis over 14,000 women at:

1) homeless shelters
2) public schools
3) food pantries
5) public colleges and universities
6) textiles program (underwear and bras) for all women we serve

Dignity Matters also organizes bra and underwear fittings (Dignity Beneath the Blouse Program) through which we serve women at shelters in Boston, Cambridge and Metro-West area. During a one half-day bra fitting as many as 150 homeless women can be fitted with new bras.

Dignity Matters parents with over 160 nonprofits EACH MONTH to deliver over 2.4 million free item each year to the community of local women in need.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently

Financials

Dignity Matters Inc
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Dignity Matters Inc

Board of directors
as of 04/13/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Kate Sanetra-Butler

Dignity Matters

Term: 2022 - 2023

Kate Sanetra-Butler

Dignity Matters

Jennifer Schiller

Dignity Matters

Laurie Mills

Dignity Matters

Donna Fernandes

Dignity Matters

Anne Ruggles

Dignity Matters

Consuelo Del Catillo

Dignity Matters

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 9/5/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/05/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.