Our Story

Mabel van Oranje, an avid human rights activist, had an aha moment at a wedding where a couple asked for donations in lieu of gifts. What if she could marry the wedding industry to the cause she championed and end the international child marriage crisis? Darren Walker, the president of the Ford Foundation got on board. Enter VOW for Girls, the growing global movement that partners with brands and individuals to end child marriage. VOW for Girls is a vow for the future.

VOW’s 100% Donation Model

Every Dollar Raised Supports Girls

VOW for Girls believes in locally-driven solutions. And thanks to generous donors who fund VOW’s staff and infrastructure, we are able to ensure 100% of the funds raised from individuals, brands, and our wedding industry partners go directly to community-based organizations working to end child marriage.

We find that the more organizations engage directly with girls on a consistent basis, the more impact they have. That’s why we work with our sister organization and granting partner, the Girls First Fund, to fund effective yet overlooked organizations, striving to do so with energy, empathy, and respect.

Efforts include advancing girls’ rights by providing education, job training, and vital life skills, so girls can own their futures.

Over 175 community-based organizations in six countries currently receive grants, and 85% of those grantees are women-led organizations.

Our Team

  • Mabel van Oranje
    Board Chair and VOW Co-Founder
  • Darren Walker
    Ford Foundation President and VOW Co-Founder
  • Margaret Hempel
    CGRE Executive Director

  • Mary Catherine Burdine-Hurrion
    Vice President, Partnerships & Business Development
  • Clay Dunn
    CEO
  • Elodie Duyker
    Community Engagement Lead
  • Anika Patel
    Finance & Operations Lead
  • James Porter
    Communications & Marketing Lead

  • Estelle Bogaert
    Madame Wedding Design
  • Emily Campbell
    Go Bella Design & Planning
  • Lisa Gooder
    Former Editor of BRIDES
  • Lotte Groosman
    With Lotte
  • Sarah Haywood
    Sarah Haywood Weddings
  • Sabrina Hersi Issa
    Be Bold Media
  • Esther Lee
    The Knot
  • Neela Montgomery
    ​​CVS Pharmacy
  • Kristín Ólafsdóttir
    Klikk
  • Tanya Pushkine
    The Vow Whisperer
  • José Rolón
    José Rolón Events
  • Leontyne Green Sykes
    Wayfair
  • Fanta Toure-Puri
    Girls First Fund
  • Justin Warshaw
    Justin Alexander
  • Jenifer Willig
    hive
  • Michelle Wisson
    Girls Not Brides
  • Rebecca Yale
    Rebecca Yale Photography
  • Mwai Yeboah
    Exalt Africa

More About VOW

Every year, millions of couples celebrate their love by getting married and millions of their family and friends celebrate with them. VOW thinks: what if we could share this love to do something bigger? The U.S. alone spends billions on weddings each year. 66% of Gen Z & Millennial women are likely to pay more for a gift if it helps support ending child marriage. VOW is engaging this tremendous industry to help end child marriage and be the charity of choice for the wedding industry globally.

VOW for Girls believes in locally-driven solutions. And thanks to generous donors who fund VOW’s staff and infrastructure, we are able to ensure 100% of the funds raised from individuals, brands, and our wedding industry partners go directly to community-based organizations working to end child marriage. We find that the more organizations engage directly with girls on a consistent basis, the more impact they have. That’s why we work with our sister organization and granting partner, the Girls First Fund, to fund effective yet overlooked organizations, striving to do so with energy, empathy, and respect. Efforts include advancing girls’ rights by providing education, job training, and vital life skills, so girls can own their futures. Since our founding, 150 community-based organizations in six countries have received grants, and 90% of those grantees are women-led organizations.

The Girls First Fund has grantmaking expertise but is not designed to mobilize or accept donations from the public. VOW and the Girls First Fund complement and build on each other’s expertise.

  • Engaged couples creating a fundraiser for VOW in addition to or in lieu of gifts.
  • Engaged couples choosing to add a VOW donation option to their wedding registry/gift list. As an added bonus, if the couple is registered with The Knot, sales of items from their registry can benefit VOW.
  • Partnerships with brands, including proceeds from the sale of products and experiences.
  • Wedding professionals who join VOW Pro+ by donating to VOW.
  • Individual donations from consumers wanting to support girls’ rights.

No. 100% of the funds we raise are invested in underfunded local efforts in communities around the world that advance girls’ rights. VOW fundraises separately for its operational costs from foundations and generous individuals.

Yes, VOW for Girls is a registered 501c3 in the United States. EIN: 83-1964328.

We would love to hear from you! E-mail us at partners@vowforgirls.org