Barbie is partnering with GoFundMe in an effort to help close the Dream Gap, the time — starting at age five — when girls start to doubt they can be anything. Researchers at New York University, the University of Illinois, and Princeton University have identified that many girls in the Dream Gap are less likely than boys to view their own gender as smart and begin to lose confidence.

Ahead of the International Day of the Girl (Oct. 11) and timed to the one-year anniversary of the Barbie Dream Gap Project, Mattel Inc. revealed the first nonprofit recipients to benefit from the program’s fund — launched in March — alongside details on how other donors can take part. The fund’s first grants are being distributed today as part of a $250,000 pledge through the Mattel Children’s Foundation.

“In the last year, we launched the Barbie Dream Gap Project to raise awareness around the Dream Gap by committing funds, research, products, and dedicated resources to find ways to better help this next generation of girls reach their limitless potential,” says Lisa McKnight, senior vice president and general manager, Barbie and dolls, Mattel. “Closing the Dream Gap is a multi-year initiative that cannot be done alone. We are pleased to be taking the next step by partnering with and selected nonprofit organizations that have powerful vehicles in place to reach girls at a global scale.”

Recipients Include:

  • She’s the First, which fights for girls’ education and girls’ rights, will fully fund education for 300 girls in Peru, Nepal, India, Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Ethiopia for one year, in addition to in-class activities focused on inspiring girls to dream big. Local organizations will be able to run at least three dedicated workshops on interesting career options, and access to curriculum that will help girls see themselves in new roles.
  • She Should Run, which provides guidance and support to women considering a run for office, will build and scale curriculum that helps girls imagine what is possible for their leadership in elected office through course offerings. This will influence at least 2,500 young girls to take action toward developing their political leadership.
  • Step Up, which inspires girls through after-school and weekend mentorship programs, will host four “I Dream To…” Mentorship Conferences around the country for 200 girls and take a multi-generational approach to role modeling and what it means to dream big and to confidently pursue those dreams.

Learn more about how to help close the Dream Gap on the Dream Gap Project website.