Women in Tallahassee are joining forces to make an impact on local nonprofits and the people they serve through a new chapter of the 100+ Women Who Care Alliance.
Virginia Glass, a longtime Realtor, philanthropist and community volunteer, founded the Tallahassee chapter of 100+ Women Who Care, which had its first meeting in November. The idea is simple: when women pool their resources, they have a powerful and immediate impact.
“We come from different backgrounds and different walks of life, but we have one common goal – to make a difference in our community and in the lives of the people who live here,” Glass said.
Here’s how the organization works: each member commits to making a $100 donation at each quarterly meeting. Three nonprofits attend each meeting and pitch their services and programs for funding. Members then vote by secret ballot to choose a nonprofit to receive funding for the quarter.
The goal is to raise at least $10,000 each quarter for a local nonprofit.
“I learned of this through my daughter when a nonprofit she works with received over $11,000 in a one-hour meeting,” Glass said. “I thought, wow, we need to do that in Tallahassee. The concept is simple and appealing to ladies who lead very busy lives and want to contribute to their community in a meaningful way.”
About 65 women attended the Tallahassee chapter’s first meeting in person or via Zoom. That meeting resulted in $6,500, and funds continue to come in, Glass said. The first recipient for funding is Chelsea House, a home for women and mothers who have been displaced, which is part of the Good Samaritan Network.
“When we walked into the meeting, there was just a warmth and a welcoming spirit,” said Beth Burns, director of Chelsea House. “Everyone was receptive, and the funding we received has blessed our organization during a difficult time.”
Chelsea House and the Good Samaritan Network, which operate a food pantry and other support programs for people who are homeless, have experienced an increase in demand for services due to COVID-19 and the pandemic’s related impacts. At the same time, fundraising has become more difficult as events have been canceled and as donors have experienced financial struggles of their own.
“All local nonprofits have had to think outside of the box,” Burns said. “This funding will help us bridge the gap.”
The 100+ Women Who Care Alliance was founded in 2006 in Jackson, Michigan, when women raised $12,800 in less than one hour to purchase cribs for new mothers through a local nonprofit. The alliance has grown to include men’s groups, groups with both men and women, kids’ groups and business groups. There are now more than 650 active chapters and 250 under development, according to the alliance website.
Along with Glass, the Tallahassee chapter cofounders include Jaime Hoffman, Bethany Swonson, Melanie Carr, Danielle McBeth and Anita Favors Thompson.
“We have a giving community, and that was proven by the enthusiastic response we got when we invited ladies to team up with us,” Glass said. “We are welcoming new members, and if you want to join, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.