By Kimberly Schols
A friend suggested I might be interested in joining a newly formed Women’s Giving Collective (WGC) in Oakville and I was very interested. The Collective appealed to me because it is locally based and I am proud to say I am now entering my third year as a member.
The WGC started over three years ago and it has been very rewarding to actually see what our group donation can do to help support struggling and needed services in Oakville. As a group our combined funds are able to make a significant difference.
The WGC model is unique because it not only ensures granting immediately from our annual support, but it also invests a portion to provide for long-term granting stability. Already, the WGC has provided $16,500 in granting support AND has created a $60,000 Endowed Fund. The Endowed Fund is now generating perpetual funding for future grants.
The Collective currently consists of 32 women but its goal is to grow to 50 members. The membership consists of a variety of women of different ages and experiences – all with the common desire to donate and help support needed community services. We meet three to four times a year, and I am able to learn about various organizations that are helping people in need in my community, and the impact of my donation on the charity that we choose.
As a group, we try to support charities that are brand new and need support to get up and running, and charities that are developing new programs. The WGC members like to consider multi-year support to help maintain the charity’s work. To make sure our donations are used effectively, all the research, reporting and coordination of the Collective is provided by the well run and experienced Oakville Community Foundation.
I would have a much smaller impact if I was donating by myself but as a member of this Collective, I feel that I can make a difference and be part of a group of women with the shared goal of supporting my community. I don’t have to do the research to find deserving charities because the organizers of the Collective do the groundwork. I just have to cast my vote in the selection process – which does allow me to be part of the decision. Also, I contribute on a monthly basis so it is not a financial hardship for me.
In all, I believe it’s a win win for me, for the other members and for Oakville charities. I would encourage any woman in Oakville who wants to build a better community, to join with other like-minded women and benefit from the power of our group donation – it’s a great feeling!
If you’re interested in joining the Women’s Giving Collective, please contact Sarah McPherson at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.