Little Black Dress Initiative


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Beth Ann


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This year, the Junior League of Washington (JLW) will launch it’s inaugural Little Black Dress Initiative (LBDI) fundraiser. We’re inviting you to take part and contribute on behalf of an advocate to fund additional urgently needed nonprofit grants in the DC community and support the JLW’s mission to develop the potential of women and improve our community.

To learn more about JLW’s LBDI, click here.

What is the Little Black Dress Initiative?

LBDI is a social media-driven fundraising campaign started by the Junior League of London to raise awareness about poverty and its effects on women’s lives.

Since its launch in London in 2014, over 80 Junior Leagues have participated in the LBDI, raising tens of thousands of dollars and awareness about their particular community work focus, i.e., domestic violence, human trafficking, literacy, food insecurity.

In a non-pandemic year, LBDI participants (also known as advocates) wear the same black dress (or outfit) for five consecutive days to illustrate the restrictions poverty places on choices, opportunities, and access to resources. Each advocate normally wears a button that says “Ask me about my dress” that invites dialogue among colleagues, friends, and strangers about this initiative’s message. For JLW’s inaugural event, in recognition of the current health climate, advocates will be participating completely virtually, with a little black mask to assist in their virtual participation. Advocates will also engage on social media, sharing statistics, information, and their experiences throughout the initiative. Messaging includes a soft ask for donations to support the LBDI.

What is JLW’s goal through the LBDI? Our goal is to expand and encourage a culture of philanthropy by raising money for the Community Assistance Fund (CAF); these resources will be used to award additional grants to nonprofits in the DMV area.

The CAF was formed in May 2020 as part of JLW’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. JLW initially allocated $75,000 for grants to nonprofits experiencing urgent need as they provide community support as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through fundraising during the spring and early summer, an additional $5,000 grant was funded and deployed into the community.

Every donation matters, together we can combine our available assistance to aid our ravaged community from the wide-reaching health and financial impacts of the pandemic. JLW understands that the last year has been challenging for many in a myriad of ways. Donations made in any amount, by you, your friends, or your family, are greatly appreciated and help support the continuation of our impactful work.




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