The next meeting of 100 Women Who Care Burlington (100WWCB) is slated for Monday, Jan. 23, and guests interested in learning more about this local “giving circle” are welcome to attend.
The group meets four times a year, and each session lasts an hour. During the meeting, three registered charities — selected from among nominations submitted by members — have five to seven minutes each to present their request for funding. One is selected to receive the quarterly donation.
Currently, 100WWCB has more than 90 members. With each member contributing $100 at each meeting, the impact is upwards of $36,000 per year directed to local non-profit organizations. Since its launch in 2014, the Burlington chapter has helped 35 charities with a combined total of more than $211,000 — and continues to grow.
“If we have 100 women in the group, that is a $10,000 donation at one time to the charity, making a huge impact,” noted Lisa Bilodeau, one of the leaders of the local group.
She points out that the quarterly meetings provide benefits aside from the philanthropic opportunity, such as networking and increased awareness.
“I have learned about charities and organizations that I had not been aware of, and issues I did not know were prevalent in our community,” she said. “Our members also network together, and we see them helping these charities in other ways: volunteering, promotion, providing resources or connecting them to other resources, or also donating to the other nominated charities.
“Philanthropy is so much more than money. It is about impact, where and when it is needed.”
While the main goal of 100WWCB is the dollar amount, the connections it creates are invaluable, said Bilodeau.
“Our main goal is the dollar amount, but the other biggest thing we get from this group and we encourage is the exposure to these different charities, to learn about our community and to include these charities within our network,” she said.
"When these charities come in and present to a group of 100 women, we then go home and tell our partners, our friends, our family members. So it expands the charity's network exponentially when they’re able to present to a group setting."
Membership to 100 WWCB is open to any woman, non-binary or 2-spirit person, and requires a commitment of a $100 donation four times per year to the charity selected by the group. Bilodoeau points out that there are flexible options: memberships can be for an individual, or shared by two or four people, with each team member contributing ($50 or $25, respectively) to the $100 fee. If someone wants to be part of a team but doesn't have someone to join with, they should get in touch with the group and they will be connected with a team.
“We also now have the option for anyone under 30 years of age to join our group with a commitment to donate $50 four times annually,” said Bilodeau. “We want it to be more accessible to more people and we know that the younger you learn about philanthropy and charity, and get involved in it, the more you continue to be involved in the community going forward.”
Charities must be nominated by a 100 WWC Burlington member to be considered as a presenter; once an organization is successful in securing the donation, they must wait three years before they can be eligible again. If a charity presents, but is not selected, they can continue to be nominated until they are selected.
“We welcome visitors to any meeting to check out what we are doing,” said Bilodeau. “We would love to get to our goal of 100 women committed to this group!”
100 Women Who Care Burlington will meet Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. The format is both virtual and in-person, at the Burlington Golf & Country Club (422 North Shore Blvd. E.). There will be a cash bar, which opens at 6:45 p.m. and registration opens at 7 p.m. The formal meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. Guests are welcome, but only members can vote.
For further information, email [email protected] or message them on Instagram @100_women_burlington or on Facebook or LinkedIn.