I just learned about a fantastic club that only meets twice a year, holds meetings that are very, very short and makes magnificent donations to local nonprofits. Members don’t have to get dressed up to go to some banquet room. They don’t have to listen to speeches. And they have a vote on where their annual donation of $200 goes.
The group, called 100+ Women Who Care, was organized in San Luis Obispo County in 2008. The original chapter was formed in 2006 in Michigan. Over the past seven years, the local group has donated $100,300 to county organizations, not counting what they voted on this month.
Their mission is “to have a positive effect on our country through direct local donations,” according to a pink application blank I saw.
The requirements for membership are easy: Each member is required to donate $100 at each of the two meetings (March and November) for a total commitment of $200 annually. Only three charities/nonprofits are considered at each meeting. Donations go only to nonprofits and charities in San Luis Obispo County. No national charities are even considered.
Local charities and clubs can’t even make an appeal to the group. Members of Women Who Care may submit the name of a group they want to support by dropping their group’s name in the “hat.” Then three names are randomly drawn. The three women whose names are pulled get no more than five minutes to voice support for their choice. Then all the women present at the meeting vote, and the majority rules.
If a woman can’t be at the meeting, she votes with her check delivered by someone else as a proxy vote.
When you join, you are advised that even if you aren’t fond of the charity chosen, you must fulfill your commitment by writing your check. By the way, you write your check directly to the recipient charity/nonprofit to avoid administrative costs and to allow 100 percent to go straight to the chosen group.
I love this organization.
According to Cathie Orrick, a local contact for Women Who Care, there are 115 members in the county organization. There are 280 chapters of Women Who Care in the world. Can you imagine how much good they are doing with this simple idea?
Lon Allan’s column is special to The Tribune. He has lived in Atascadero for nearly five decades and his column appears here every week. Reach Allan at 466-8529 or firstname.lastname@example.org.