Women gather to give big

first_imgAn amused photographer stood on a ladder, looking at the group of more than 100 women trying to organize themselves for a group photo. They crowded on and around a small stage Monday night at The Heathman Lodge, quieting their chatter only for a few seconds until they heard the camera shutter click.The photo commemorated how in one hour that evening they had collected $11,200 to donate to the Portland-based nonprofit Friends of the Children. A few women sitting front-and-center for the photo were holding the giant check.It was the first meeting of 100 Women Who Care SW Washington, a newly formed chapter of the national 100 Who Care Alliance. The alliance began in 2006 when someone at the Center for Family Health in Jackson, Mich., asked former mayor Karen Dunigan to raise $10,000 to buy 300 cribs for expectant mothers. Dunigan, who died in 2014, knew she could find 100 women who could give $100 each. The effort was so successful, she decided to do that four times a year, and then the idea spread across the country.If 100 women give $100, or a total of $10,000 each quarter, that’s $40,000 being invested in local charities each year. This pooling and siloing of resources from a group of people is called a giving circle. Rather than scattering money across the community, a large lump sum makes a bigger impact. And, the members feel more ownership over what they’re doing because they collectively decide how the sum is spent.“There is need here, and we see it every day and it can feel overwhelming,” said Katherine Morris, one of the directors. She emceed Monday night’s meeting. “This is where we can make an impact and we can see the impact.”last_img read more