Caring & Sharing
100+ Women Who Care Hamilton County Sets Higher Fundraising Goal For 2020
Photography Provided by Ellie Sophia Photography & 100+ Women Who Care
For 13 years, Mary Beth Woehrle lived in Greenwood where she was involved with 100+ Women Who Care Johnson County, an organization that benefits local 501(c)(3) charities. When she moved to Noblesville in 2007, she was eager to join 100+ Women Who Care Hamilton County but found that such a group didn’t exist. So Woehrle rallied some friends and got one going.
“We, as moms, don’t just want to stay busy driving our kids around to their games and events,” Woehrle says. “We want to make an impact in our community, and this organization is a great way to do that.”
She acknowledges, however, that between work, motherhood and life management, women are often stretched thin. As a result it can be difficult to carve out time for charity work. That’s what makes 100+ Women Who Care so great. All they ask is for women to gather quarterly for one-hour meetings.
The meetings are structured the same way each quarter. Any member who is current in their giving can nominate their choice of a local 501(c)(3) organization registered within Hamilton County. All nominations go into a hat and three are pulled out. Representatives from the three finalists then give a brief, informal presentation that describes their charity’s purpose and mission. The group asks follow-up questions and then vote to determine which non-profit should receive the donation for the quarter.
“Each person writes a $100 check right then and there to the non-profit chosen, to make a collective, impactful donation,” Woehrle says.
The first 100+ Women Who Care Hamilton County meeting took place in August 2017. It started out with three co-founders – Woehrle, Dana Randall, and Carolyn Deines – each reaching out to their own circles of women to encourage participation. It has since grown as members have told friends, colleagues and neighbors about the group.
“It’s been a grassroots, word-of-mouth kind of thing rather than a strategic marketing plan,” Randall says. “It’s been great, though we would like to continue to spread the word that we exist.”
Currently, 45 women come consistently. Though they ask women to commit to a year at a time, they do not track the giving. If someone comes at the start of the year but doesn’t make it to another meeting until the end of the year, that’s okay. They also allow the annual $400 membership amount to be split among friends, colleagues or siblings.
“We want to bring in as much money as we can for charities, yet at the same time we want to make this simple to manage for women to be a part of,” Randall says.
Since May the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation has matched donations for up to 50 percent of total dollars raised (up to a $5,000 match).
“Now, when a group wins they not only win the 100+ Women Who Care donations but they also get a grant from this foundation,” Woehrle says. “For nonprofits, especially those still in their infancy stage, to get awarded a $5,000 donation and have it matched by 50 percent is huge for growth, and makes a huge impact in the types of services these organizations can provide.”
In the past 2.5 years, 100+ Women Who Care Hamilton County has recognized ten charities and donated more than $50,000. They have donated to organizations such as HAND, Inc., which addresses the housing needs of low- and moderate-income individuals, families and senior citizens, the Fishers Youth Assistance Program, which strengthens youth and families through community involvement, Redemption Rescue, a foster care program for sick, injured and abandoned animals, and the Megan S. Ott Foundation, which provides care packages for women suffering from breast cancer.
“The beauty of this group is that we are always hearing about charities we didn’t know existed and all of these great things happening in Hamilton County,” Woehrle says.
The group’s goal for 2020 is to have more women from surrounding areas like Westfield, Noblesville and Carmel take part, in order to impact charities in those communities as well. They are constantly striving to get 100 women to consistently attend quarterly meetings.
“Still, that’s not the end zone for us,” Woehrle says. “After all, the group is called 100+ Women. We’d love to continue to grow.”
Each quarter the group meets at 7 p.m. around the middle of the month at the Delaware Township Community Center in Fishers. Meetings in 2020 are slated for February 12, May 13, August 19 and November 18. Guests are welcome.
“Ultimately we just want more people involved because the more that are involved, the greater the impact on the community,” Randall says.
For more information visit 100womenwhocarehamiltoncounty.com. Donations may be mailed to: 100 Women Who Care of Hamilton County, P.O. Box 1102, Noblesville, IN 46061.