TERRE HAUTE —
A new organization, 100 Women Who Care, has formed in Vigo County to help provide financial support to local nonprofit organizations while creating a sense of community among female philanthropists.
100 Women Who Care started in Michigan in 2005 and has spread to communities around the United States and Canada. The idea behind it is simple: get 100 (or more) women to join by committing to donate $500 per year. The $500 fee includes an annual membership fee of $100, which goes to an endowment fund to address future needs of the community, and a $100 donation at each of four meetings a year.
At the meetings, members can nominate Vigo County nonprofits for consideration. The names of three members are drawn, and each one gives a five-minute presentation about the nonprofit group they nominated. After the three presentations, the women vote, and the winning charity gets the proceeds. If 100 women join, the proceeds from each meeting would be $10,000, all of which would go to the winning organization.
The local group grew out of a discussion hosted by Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College President Dottie King on ways to expand upon the Women of Influence program created last year to recognize local female leaders and provide support for the Success by Six program of the United Way.
“Dottie asked for ideas on how we, as a group of women, could expand upon the existing program to help improve our community. I had heard about the Bloomington Chapter of 100 Women Who Care and thought it was a brilliant way to make a great deal of impact with relatively little effort. Beth Tevlin immediately offered the assistance of the Wabash Valley Community Foundation, and we were off and running,” said Teresa Exline.
A steering committee was put together, a blog at 100womenwhocarevigocounty.wordpress.com was created, and the recruitment of members got under way. The organization is open to any woman who would like to get involved and is willing to commit to the $500 donation per year, whether or not she can attend the meetings and regardless of what non-profits are selected by the membership.
To be eligible for consideration, organizations must be a 501(c)(3) non-profit or a government entity. Non-profits affiliated with religious organizations are also eligible as long as their services address a societal need and are not restricted based upon religious affiliation. Only local organizations are eligible. Organizations may receive funding only one time during a 12-month period.
“100 Women Who Care is a great way for women to provide financial support to groups right here in Vigo County while also providing an avenue for increasing awareness of worthy charities and networking with a group of other philanthropic women,” said Tevlin, executive director of the Wabash Valley County Foundation. At the same time, the group will be building an endowment fund for future funding possibilities once the endowment’s principal has grown to $50,000.
The Holiday Inn is providing space for the organization’s meetings in its Sycamore Grove dining room. Registration and networking begins at 5:30 p.m. with the one-hour business meeting starting at 6 p.m.
The group will meet the first Wednesday of February, May, August and November with Feb. 6 being the first meeting. A cash bar will be available along with light refreshments.
“We set what we thought was an ambitious goal of having 100 women join before the first meeting. The steering committee has done an excellent job of spreading the word, and the response has been great. We are already very close to meeting that goal,” said Tevlin.
In addition to Tevlin and Exline, the 100 Women Who Care Vigo County Steering Committee includes Margie Anshutz, Julie Baesler, Cheri Bradley, Barbara Brugnaux, Mary Ann Carroll, Bev Christee, Mary Ann Conroy, Martha Crossen, Jan Cutter, Marla Flowers, Bernice Helman, Dottie King, Kim LaGrange, Boo Lloyd, Jackie Lower, Cindy Martin, Jen Perry, Whitney Gurman-Roberts, Sally Stewart, Claudia Tanoos, Ann Valentine and Sally Zuel.
Women interested in joining can contact the Wabash Valley Community Foundation at 812-232-2234, email email@example.com or complete the membership form available on the organization’s blog. Payment of the $100 membership fee and the $100 quarterly fees can be made by check or through PayPal via the Wabash Valley Community Foundation’s website at wvcf.com/giving_online_100women.html.
“It is exciting to be a part of a group that potentially will have a dramatic impact on our community. It’s simple and doesn’t take much time or effort but can still be quite powerful,” said Exline.