Through an innovative technology platform, Sisters Rising Worldwide is a nonprofit making it possible for Sisters to overcome the challenges of geography, language and separate congregations in order to effectively share ideas and strategies that solve the root causes of injustices throughout the world.
With more than 700,000 Sisters doing life-changing work in 190 countries, this platform brings their projects to life, giving them the opportunity to communicate their needs, share their understandings, and allow others to join their mission by focusing donations and support directly to nuns who are on the ground in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.
We believe that by building a social platform that better connects Sisters and their supporters, we will be able to provide funding and resources to those most in need–truly changing the world.
We invite you to join us on our mission to support powerful women doing powerful work.
“Sisters know the root cause of social injustices because they themselves live in the communities where the most vulnerable live. Understanding the root cause allows for true, systemic change to occur.” (Sister Irene O’Neil)
Empowering Sisters worldwide to address root causes of injustices through innovative technology.
Providing an innovative technology platform that allows Sisters and their supporters to collaborate and network in order to address critical issues of today.
There are two sites associated with our technology platform—a secure, private site for Sisters called Peace Room and a public website for supporters and donors called SRW.org.
Peace Room includes a database of members and gives them the opportunity to not only share resources and information, but to articulate and concretize collaboration among networks as they work to address root causes of systemic problems throughout the world. Sisters seeking resources for their ministry can submit a resource request form which, once accepted by SRW, allows us to share their needs with others via our public site.
The public site is a crowdsourcing platform that invites others to be a part of the valuable work the Sisters are doing by donating to specific programs, categorized by type (i.e. human trafficking, education) as well as geography. The objective of this site is to reach as many people as possible and move the Sisters’ work forward through their donations.
Bringing Awareness to Sisters’ Work
Sisters live in communities where the most vulnerable live; therefore, they know the root cause of social injustices and are able to lead systemic and sustainable change. Although most consider Sisters to be some of the most trusted people in the world, few know about the work they are doing to address some of today’s most horrific injustices.
By bringing awareness to the impact Sisters are having around the world—and how a little bit of money can go a long way towards moving their projects forward—we are able to bridge an emotional connection between Sisters and donors, not only fulfilling their monetary needs, but creating a movement that helps powerful women do powerful work throughout the world.
Sisters Are Not Who the Public Thinks They Are…
There are 700,000 Sisters around the world, living their lives side by side with the people they serve. They often work without any parish backing or financial support from the Catholic Church, dedicating their lives advocating for the most marginalized among us.
They’re fierce advocates and they do it with so much love, respect, and humility. But, Sisters see success through those they advocate for – and not always through themselves. They often have a difficult time articulating exactly what they do, because they’re too in the weeds to see it. They don’t celebrate their own successes or measure their daily impact – there’s just too much else to do. As a result, funding that might profoundly amplify their work has remained elusive.
Sisters are trusted eye witnesses, skilled change agents, they work to eradicate human rights violations, they are teachers, organizers, philanthropists, care givers, knowledge workers, spiritual resources and Sisters are the most prolific movement of, for, and by women in history of the world.
Our Founder, Sister Irene O’Neil
1987-91: Curriculum Coordinator for the St. Paul MPLS Archdiocesan Schools
Computer labs were just beginning to be required in elementary schools during these years. In 1987 suburban schools had labs, but city and inner-city schools struggled to afford them. With the ingenuity of the school librarians and computer teachers across all 105 schools, together we leveraged enough computers for all. We went from a school system with few computers to the largest purchasing agent in the State of MN. In 1991 the school principals were introduced to email technology as well as on-line learning. A grant paid to fully outfit 3 schools—two high schools and one elementary with the technology for inter-active classes. This enabled the educators and students to experience first-hand the potential of the technology that would effect all education in a decade to come.
1993 – 2013 Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet Ministries FoundationThe St. Paul, Minneapolis metropolitan had become a resettlement area for immigrans from all over the world. Societal needs became more complex and extreme. Sisters of St. Joseph responded to needs as they surfaced. By 1993 the Sisters needed help to fund the works that had established as there was no end in sight to the needs. They invited me to help found are run a foundation to fund the programs of the Sisters. The Ministries Foundation board and staff helped raise an endowment that was approaching 20 Million by the time I stepped down and raised an additional $2million in grants and gifts as well. The foundation is still going strong.
2002 The St. Joseph Worker Program
From my work in the early 1990s with the elementary schools, I saw a great need and huge opportunity to mentor young women as leaders in the way of the Sisters of St. Joseph. In 1998 I found 2 Sisters of St. Joseph who had deep personal experience as volunteers. We visioned a volunteer program with Sisters that could eventually be replicated arcoss the United States and perhaps the world—wherever there are Sisters. We expanded our group to include many more Sisters and lay members to think through all the details. The program was founded in 2002 and run by an lay member of the Sisters of St. Joseph. Within 10 years the program was franchieshed across the USA. Today, the Sisters of St. Joseph alone has over 150 St. Joseph Worker alums who claim still to be St. Joseph Workers. St. Joseph Workers are young women who spend a year with Sisters and learn leadership, community/simplicity, spirituality and social justice. This program is still going strong.
2016 – Present: Sisters Rising Worldwide
People across each generation alive today long for a reasoned voice and help for our entire world as those poor get poorer, the environment freefalls, and the complexity of poverty seems insurmountable. However, there are 700,000 Sisters around the world who can name the underlying root causes to the poverty around them! We need to hear their voice and help them solve the root causes as well as treat the symptoms in order to turn things around. But, as luck would have it, there did not exist a technology to connect these Sisters to each other or to resources. I gathered a core of other visionary Sisters to help figure out how to get a platform built for Sisters as well as a system to connect them to resources. Together we built a world-class board of directors and a growing core of volunteers. Since, we have developed a secure technology platform and will roll it out this month. Sisters Rising Worldwide has been on national TV, had articles published nationally and internationally. SRW has been invited to partner with Alight—where we have worked together helping Sisters during Covid-19 in 32 countries. We have raised funds for Sisters programs internationally, and only now are we beginning to fundraise for sustainability. In addition, A nearby University is interested in partnering with SRW in all aspects.