Below, we answer some of the most common questions about Dressember.
Don't see your question answered below? We'd love to hear from you.
Is my donation tax-deductible?
Dressember is recognized as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization by the IRS. Donations made are fully tax deductible to the extent allowed by U.S. law.
I'm donating from a country outside of the US? Is my donation secure? Is my donation tax deductible?
Your donation is secure, but not eligible for tax deduction outside of the US at this time.
How does Dressember raise money, and where does the money go?
Dressember participants help spread awareness about a world issue by committing to the challenge of wearing dresses all month. All month, those who participate spread the word about what they're doing and why, compelling many others in their lives to contribute to the cause by making a monetary contribution. Dressember is giving 85% of proceeds to International Justice Mission and A-21 in its 2016 campaign. 15% is retained for administrative, technological, and marketing expenses (almost 5% immediately goes toward credit card processing fees!). This is standard for 501c3 nonprofit organizations, and we are proud of our relatively low retention percentage - many nonprofits retain closer to 20% for overhead expenses.
Do skirts count?
You can wear skirts, but only over dresses. It's not called Skirtember, folks.
My job requires that I wear pants.
You can wear pants when you need to-- as with a job that requires pants, or when you're working out, cleaning, or sleeping. Wear a dress when you get to choose what to wear.
I only have a few dresses. Should I go out and buy a bunch more?
No. We encourage you to be creative! Consider sharing dresses with a friend/roommate/sister, or take the challenge of wearing the same dress all month!
I'd love to participate, but It's really cold in December where I live.
Believe it or not, many women in colder regions like Montreal, NYC, Chicago, Scotland, and even Alaska have participated in Dressember-- and loved it. There are some helpful loopholes-- like wearing pants under dresses, fleece-lined tights, lots of layers- and most importantly, enthusiasm for the cause- that can help you survive the bitter cold. We also suspect that those of you in colder areas can have the biggest impact in raise awareness and support, since it is such a jarring challenge to undertake! Consider this powerful statement from a participant in Ontario: "A dress everyday for 31 days during a Canadian winter is a minor discomfort compared to that of so many affected by slavery and sexual exploitation. I hope, if nothing else, to raise awareness of this dark reality that is still very present in our world, our country, our city."
I hate dresses. Is there another way I can help?
Yes. Spread the word in your community and encourage others to join in. You can also make a donation to the campaign or to a specific participant. If you're on the fence about joining, though, might we tempt you by pointing out that some of the most amazing stories and testimonials come from those who decided to participate in spite of hating dresses? We love the notion of doing one thing that scares you every day; maybe Dressember could challenge you in a new and beautiful way.
I'm a man and I'd like to participate in Dressember. Can I do so?
Absolutely! If you are someone who wants to advocate for those trapped in slavery, we would love for you to come alongside and help in this collaborative effort. Spread the word to your friends, donate to female friends' campaigns, commit to wearing a bow tie for the month and create your own campaign page, or hold a sign that says "Real men don't buy girls" and port to your social media, tagging #Dressember.
Isn't it the responsibility of government to address social issues like human trafficking?
Some of us live in democratic nations, where the government responds to its people lobbying for change. It is therefore the responsibility of the people to bring attention to injustice, and organizations like International Justice Mission are one manifestation of the people taking action. Modern day slavery is rampant in many countries where, because they see economic profit from the industry, government leaders turn a blind eye. We therefore have the challenge of not only seeking change in our own countries, but also abroad. International Justice Mission and A21, the organizations we will support in 2016, have been working tirelessly for years to free those who are trapped in slavery in countries whose legal systems offer little chance of liberation.