Mission Statement

The Banu Foundation is a non-profit organization devoted to three goals: empowering, protecting, and educating at-risk girls and women around the world. We offer grants to the most extraordinary and visionary organizations with successful track records on the front lines of empowering, protecting, and educating at-risk girls and women around the world.

Banu is a Persian origin word and girl’s name used in cultures from the Middle East to South and Central Asia. As an honorific title, it means “lady.” It has also come to mean “little sister.” As a name, in Hindi, it means “the sun.”

We have no geographic preference in our work. We only seek to support the most effective programs run by the most extraordinary and visionary organizations.

The letters of the word, BANU, encapsulate our vision for the foundation:

B – Believe.

We start with a statement of belief: we believe that all at-risk girls and women should be given a chance to live a life of hope, dignity, and empowerment.

A – Act.

We act on that belief by supporting organizations that dedicate their lives to helping at-risk girls and women, and hope to help others as they act on similar beliefs.

N- Nourish.

We hope our support will nourish the organizations dedicated to supporting at-risk girls and women, helping them grow and expand.

U – Understand.

We end with another belief: understanding the nature and scope of the challenges faced by at-risk girls and women is vital, so we will devote some of our resources to policy advocacy and information dissemination, so we can all understand.

What We Do and How

We offer grants to the most extraordinary and visionary organizations with successful track records on the front lines of empowering, protecting, and educating at-risk girls and women around the world.

Given our limited staff resources at the moment, we identify target organizations through a network of advisors and consultants as well as the networks of the board members. We are not able to accept unsolicited grant requests at the moment. As we expand, we hope to be able to do so in the future.

Areas of focus

We understand that the needs of at-risk girls and women are immense, and we are open to all initiatives that support our mission statement. However, our initial focus will be in the following areas:

  • Combatting Human Trafficking
  • Education
  • Entrepreneurship Support
  • Policy Advocacy
  • Media Engagement