How it Works


Who are we and what do we do?

100+ Ely Women Who Care is a giving circle that focuses on supporting our local nonprofits. What’s a giving circle? A giving circle is a philanthropic vehicle in which individual donors pool their money and decide together where to give it. At each of our twice-yearly events, through a process of nominations and votes, in one hour we select one Ely charity to receive our collective donations. The selection process is simple, quick, and fun, the event is free, and we deliberately include a social time for participants to mingle and meet new friends.

We follow the giving circle model started in 2006 by Karen Dunigan in Jackson, MI. The process is simple – participants nominate their favorite local nonprofit, we randomly draw three of those and learn about them during short presentations, then we vote to select one to be the recipient of our donations. Karen’s vision of a simple way to make an incredible impact on a community is now carried on by over 1000 chapters in the US, Canada, and around the world. Chapters are informally organized under the 100 Who Care Alliance.

100+ Ely Women Who Care is an informal group composed of Participants and a Steering Team. Contact us to volunteer.

Sign Up

For our in-person events participants sign up as either an individual or as part of a team, each of which pledges to donate $100 (or more) to the charity selected by the meeting attendees. During this time of virtual events we are allowing participants to donate the amount you feel comfortable with and we will not be registering teams. You must be present to vote (no proxy voting). Register here.


Each time we meet participants have the opportunity to nominate a local Ely nonprofit. Your nominee must be:

  • a 501(c)(3) Public Charity (as defined by the IRS) that is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions,
  • in good standing with the IRS (meaning their tax return filings are up to date), and
  • a local nonprofit that serves the Ely area and that will use 100% of our contributions in the Ely area.

We have conducted a search through the IRS and have come up with this list of 501(c)(3)s that meet our requirements. This list may not be all-inclusive. If you know of others please tell us.

At each event we pull three nominees from the hat and a representative (board member or staff) of the nonprofit will give a presentation to tell us about their organization. The nominating member will also be asked to speak to briefly tell us what the charity means to them.


After the presentations we vote. The nonprofit with the most votes will be the recipient of our donations. In the case of a two-way tie, participants will vote between the two. If the second vote results in another tie we will randomly pick one of the two nonprofits’ names out of a hat. In the case of a three-way tie we will randomly pick one of the three names out of a hat.


100% of your donation goes to the selected charity. All women are welcome to donate even if you cannot attend the event. Mail your check, payable to the selected charity, to 100+EWWC, PO Box 216, Ely, MN 55731 within three days of the event. Note that the recipient charity may send an acknowledgment; otherwise your canceled check is your receipt.


About 10 days after the event we have an awards ceremony where we deliver the checks to the recipient charity. Come celebrate with us as we present the checks and cheer our success.


What do the nonprofits do?

When one of our participants nominates a nonprofit, we will ask the nonprofit to send a board member or staff person to our meeting to give a presentation if theirs is one of the three pulled from the hat. The nonprofit representative can use these suggested Presentation tips for nonprofits to guide them in focusing the presentation. Presentations are short (5 minutes or less) and very informal with no PowerPoint or other visuals allowed.

The nonprofit that receives our donations must follow these guidelines:

  • We expect the funds be used wisely to further the charity’s mission.
  • The charity must use 100% of the donated funds in the Ely area.
  • A representative from the selected charity will present at the next meeting how they used the funds and the impact our donations have had on their programs and services.
  • The charity must not use donors’ names for future solicitations (unless the donor has previously chosen to be involved with the charity).
  • The charity must maintain privacy and not release donor information to the public.

If the charity does not adhere to these conditions, they will be removed from any future consideration.

Once a charity has been selected, it is ineligible for nomination again for at least five years to allow for other nonprofits to be selected at future events.


“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” — Mahatma Gandhi