Big Giving, No Strings: How Local Women are Making a Huge Impact

Imagine a local charity with a great cause – and need – getting $10,000 instantly, simply because 100 women made a quick decision and cut a $100 check.

It sounds too easy. But here’s the catch: It’s been working for nine years. And this effort, 100 Women Who Care, has strong ties with Michigan moms.

“This is the most efficient, powerful, effective fundraiser that I have ever seen,” says Amy Whipple, co-founder of the Greater Rochester Area chapter, whose group has given $151,500 to nine charities, most recently a food pantry, since 2013.

This month, her branch is among those doing a final vote for year. Each group gathers two to four times per year. At the hour-long meetings, women toss the names of worthy charities serving their area into a box. The founders pick three names, and the nominators give a brief pitch and answer questions. They vote. Finally, immediately, each woman writes a $100 check to the winner.

It all started with the late Karen Dunigan, a businesswoman in (and former mayor of) Jackson, Michigan. In 2006, she and 119 other women gave to a community health center to help low-income mothers obtain cribs for their babies.

Today, it boasts 350 chapters in 30 states and other countries, including four in southeast Michigan and 27 statewide. It also has spinoffs for men, kids and others.

“This is one way of giving back that is not time consuming,” says Marge Farrand, co-founder of the Washtenaw County chapter, which recently gave to Girls Group in Ann Arbor, supporting tween and teen girls who will be first-gen college grads.

The ranks usually easily pass 100. And the “no frills” approach has made it a great option for busy moms, Whipple adds, some of who even bring their kids to meetings.

From grief support and developmental disabilities to public schools and foster care, 100 Women Who Care lets ladies of all walks give back to families in need.

“It’s just a group of really caring women who are looking to help our own community,” Farrand says.

100 Women Who Care

Interested in giving $200-$400 per year? Get more info from four local chapters:


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