The co-founder of 100 Women Who Care on the Central Coast invited me to check out their quarterly giving circle meeting, which I attended last night. The women running this circle have grown their circle from a few founding members to over 40 members in just over a year, so they must be doing something right. And I got to see some of that first hand. Here are four things I think are making the biggest impact with their members.
- Enthusiasm: Whitney and Ingrid are very passionate about their giving circle. They’re excited about the money they’re raising and the contribution they’re making in their community, and that excitement is contagious. Their high energy and friendly meeting was fun to be at, and I wouldn’t be surprised if members looked forward to the next quarterly meeting.
- Socializing: They start the evening with a full hour dedicated just to socializing. Local wineries donated wine for the evening, and members shared glasses of wine, snacks, and conversation. By the time they got down to business, people were in a great mood.
- Prizes: Throughout the evening, they raffled off prizes including a massage, a margarita maker, and movie tickets. By doing this throughout the meeting, they kept things moving along at a rapid pace and kept their members engaged. Plus, I think the possibility of winning a prize will keep women looking forward to coming back. It’s a great example of how to combine “doing good” with “feeling good”.
- Casual: Casual is a great description of this giving circle. The casual environment is a good match for their casual grant cycle. They heard three presentations from local organizations, the audience had an opportunity to ask questions, and then they filled out their ballots. The organization with the most votes won, and all members wrote their own personal check directly to the organization. This means that the giving circle itself does not have to have a 501c3 status for its members to deduct their donation on their taxes, and it keeps their costs and administration responsibilities low. Members make a bigger impact on their community but don’t need to make a big commitment in time or energy to the giving circle.
I look forward to following the success of 100 Women Who Care On The Central Coast.