(From left) Chantelle with the Allan Brooks Nature Centre, Bronwyn from 100+ Women Who Care, Marni from the BC Wheelchair Basketball Society’s Let’s Play, AJ and Noelle from 100+ Women and Community Foundation North Okanagan’s Leanne Hammond gather for a photo during the 100+ Women Who Care meeting in Vernon.

Caring for community, North Okanagan style

100 Women fundraiser event in Vernon yields great results for three community-boosting groups

By now many of us are familiar with the 100 Women and 100 Men groups that have popped up in communities across the country. These groups combine being social with making a difference in the community through giving.

The concept is simple, yet brilliant. Invite a few charities to ‘pitch,’ pick a winner, then everyone in the room writes a cheque to that charity. The no-fuss, no-muss model is catching on and appeals to charities that are used to devoting huge hours and resources to writing detailed grant applications for what are often small amounts of money.

North Okanagan fundraisers appreciate the format

While 100 Women Who Care and 100 Men Who Give a Damn are not intended to replace other funding sources, they are a welcome breath of fresh air in the fundraising world.

“To be invited to present at the 100+ Women Who Care meeting, and to be told to simply speak from the heart for no more than five minutes was great,” says Chantelle Adams, Education Co-ordinator at the Allan Brooks Nature Centre in Vernon. “It was so freeing to tell the story of how being a kid growing up with a passion for the outdoors impacted my life. I want all children to have that experience, and the programs at the Centre are how I make that happen!”

Three worthwhile causes

Those in attendance at at Vernon’s most recent 100+ Women Who Care meeting agreed it was the best one yet! Guests were also treated to presentations by the Community Foundation North Okanagan and B.C. Wheelchair Basketball Society.

Leanne Hammond, executive director with the Community Foundation, describes her “light bulb” moment from the meeting: “As I was standing there talking about the importance of our Vital Signs report, and how the research helps shine a light on issues in our community, I kept thinking, how can I compete against compelling stories of youth in the outdoors, and the joy on a child’s face when they get a wheelchair that allows them to play in the gym with their friends?”

Thinking on her feet creates a true triple play!

Not one to be deterred by a challenge, Hammond devised an idea that appealed to everyone in the room. As the Community Foundation is usually a funder, she suggested she would approach a donor to help out. “While my job that night was to secure funding for the Vital Signs Report, my broader responsibility is to help secure funding for other charities in the North Okanagan.”

So she did. By accessing a Donor Advised Fund at the Foundation, all three presenters walked away winners that day. 100 Women Who Care donated to the Community Foundation’s Vital Signs program, and the Community Foundation made grants to the Allan Brooks Nature Centre and BC Wheelchair Basketball Society.

Nothing like leveraging $10,000 into $30,000! Triple the impact, triple the smiles!

To find out more about the Community Foundation and its work, visit cfno.org or check them out on Facebook.

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