The energy and electricity in the room were exhilarating. As the chatter increased and the wine glasses clinked, the anticipation escalated. Over 100 women had come together for the purpose of financially gifting a nonprofit organization in Johnson County in a fun and simple way.
How to Give $10,000 in One Hour
We had come to learn about nonprofit organizations in Johnson County with a 501(c)(3) status and their efforts to serve our county. We would nominate three of them for a $10,000 gift at the end of the quarterly meeting of 100 Women Who Care. At the end of the evening, each of the women would write a $100 check to the nonprofit organization voted to receive the gift.
An Eyewitness Account
At 4:45 p.m., registration and new member sign-up began for the sixth meeting of 100 Women Who Care. The new location for the quarterly meetings in 2017, The Sycamore at Mallow Run Winery, invited the outside in through the expanse of glass windows overlooking nature. It is a beautiful location for a beautiful event. The cold torrential May 4 rain didn’t deter many. In fact, it was announced that 16 new members had joined, and we celebrated modifying the name to 100+ Women Who Care.
The $10 meeting fee provided for snacks, and wine was available for purchase while we waited for everyone to arrive. Waiting for the start of the meeting at 5:30 p.m. was pleasant because there was a party atmosphere. Not only was it a fundraising event, but it was also a social event as women introduced themselves to each other, sharing business cards and ideas. Some met new people, and others reconnected with old friends.
At precisely 5:30 p.m., our Master of Ceremonies, Garnet Vaughn, a stand-in for Lynn Gray, called the meeting to order with a big shout, “What time is it?”
The women responded in unison, “5:30.”
“What time will the meeting be over?” she asked.
The women responded, “6:30.”
“And what is our purpose this evening?” asked the emcee.
“To give away $10,000 in one hour,” the women replied, breaking out in applause and shouts.
After a couple of announcements and introductions of new members and guests, the main part of the meeting began. Nominations had taken place during registration and were placed in a gold handbag. One at a time, three were drawn, and a presentation followed.
Each nominee had an advocate who was a paying member. She gave a five-minute talk on that organization, sharing the purpose of the organization, who the organization serves and how the community at large benefits from that organization, all without using PowerPoint, videos or handouts. After the presentation, the floor was open for five minutes for questions. At the end of the presentations, the voting took place, and a winner was announced within five minutes. Then everyone took out a pen and wrote their check to that organization.
A Community Who Cares
In May 2016, the publisher of the Center Grove and Greenwood Monthly magazines assigned me an article on this new organization, founded in Johnson County in 2015. After attending this second meeting of the organization and hearing the enthusiastic presentations on three nonprofits in our county, I knew our community cares about the needs of others.
I researched and conducted an interview with Garnet Vaughn, communications volunteer for the Johnson County chapter. I was intrigued by the premise of 100 women who would give $100 every three months to a nonprofit organization. I thought it might be the amount an average woman would spend on indulgences during that same period of time. But I was not prepared for the enthusiasm I would experience at my first meeting. It was enough to compel me to join the organization and introduce it to as many as I could.
Making It Personal
The idea of philanthropy has always pulled at my heart. But not having the resources, I knew my donations could only make a small impact on our communities. But through 100 Women Who Care, I can come together with other women and make a huge impact because they give $10,000 each quarter to a nonprofit organization in Johnson County or one that serves Johnson County. Through them, I can experience the satisfaction of philanthropy by giving greatly to those whose cause is commendable.