100 Women Who Care launch new philanthropy

Fort Dodge is a community blessed with a wide assortment of charitable endeavors. This is a town where showing concern for people in need of a hand up is a widely shared value.

The local philanthropic world has an exciting new entrant.

Marti Doyle, of Fort Dodge, and a large group of local women have banded together to launch an innovative approach to charitable giving. They have created a Fort Dodge chapter of 100 Women Who Care.

The approach this group has adopted is designed to mobilize financial support for worthy causes with a minimum of bureaucratic overhead.

The goal is for each chapter to have at least 100 female members who meet quarterly to select by a vote the charity to back. Each member writes a check for $100 to the designated nonprofit organization being assisted that quarter. The checks are then presented to the recipient charity. That amounts to approximately a $10,000 gift. Since the local chapter hopes to grow to more than 100 members, the aggregate amount of the quarterly charitable donations could ultimately become much larger.

At the quarterly meeting, members put the names of possible charities to help fund in a container. Doyle said three names are drawn and the group hears a 10-minute presentation in support of each of those candidates. A vote is then held. All of the group’s members have agreed to write a check to the winner even if that was not their personal choice.

The first recipient of approximately a $10,000 donation from the Fort Dodge chapter of 100 Women Who Care is Athletics for Education and Success – AFES. According to AFES Director Charles Clayton, the funds will go toward Project Slam, a fundraising effort to build a new gymnasium facility on the AFES campus, located in the former Hillcrest Elementary School.

The 100 Women Who Care approach is relatively new. The first local chapter was established in November 2006 by Karen Dunigan in Jackson, Mich. The concept has quickly proved appealing all across North America. There are now chapters in at least 23 states, three Canadian provinces and in Mexico. More are being formed each month.

The Fort Dodge chapter meets four times a year. Doyle said membership is open to all area women who want to be a part of this innovative philanthropy. Doyle can be contacted by email at martha.doyle@mchsi.com for more information. She said making the group as large as possible will increase its impact and is very much part of the game plan.

“I’d love to be able to say we are 100-plus women who care.” she told The Messenger recently.

That’s a worthy goal that deserves strong support.

The Messenger applauds Doyle and the other women who have banded together in this exciting undertaking. This group has the potential to benefit many important charitable projects in the months and years ahead.