How it Works

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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 away. At each of our events, through a process of nominations and votes, we select one Ely charity to receive our collective donations. The selection process is simple, quick, and fun, and we deliberately include a social time for participants to mingle and meet new friends.

Join us virtually and be part of this extraordinary gathering of women. The following describes our original meeting process. We will modify some aspects of this due to not being able to meet in person.

What is this group? Is this a club I have to join?

We are not a club. Even though we sometimes use the term “members,” it’s just how we designate our participants. This is a gathering of women called a giving circle. Participants can attend as often or as little as you want and we make it easy to donate even if you can’t attend an event.

I attended the last meeting. Do I need to sign up again?

Yes, please register so we’ll know whether you will join us for an event. There is no future commitment to registering for any one event.

What are Individual Participants?

For our in-person events participants can sign up as an individual or as part of a team, each of which pledges to donate $100 to the charity selected by the meeting attendees. During this time we are unable to gather in person, we are allowing participants to donate the amount you feel comfortable with. We will not be registering teams. You must be present to nominate and vote.

What if I can’t attend the meeting?

All women are welcome to donate even if you cannot attend the event. Register online and mail your check, payable to the selected charity, to 100+EWWC, PO Box 216, Ely, MN 55731 within three days of the event. We will include your donation when we present the checks to the nonprofit.

What kind of nonprofits can I nominate?

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.

How do I know if my favorite nonprofit qualifies?

If you are not sure of the status of a nonprofit, check the IRS website. Using the search tool, look for Public Charities eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. We have done a search and have come up with this list of 501c3s that meet our requirements. This list may not be all-inclusive. If you know of others please tell us.

Can I nominate a nonprofit that I work or volunteer for?


Can I nominate a family in need?

No. Your nominee must be a 501(c)(3) Public Charity that is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions.

Do I have to give a presentation?

If your nomination is one of the three picked from the hat, then yes, you give the presentation. Presentations are short (5 minutes or less) and very informal with no PowerPoint or handouts allowed. This is a safe place to present – you can do this! You want Participants to vote for your nonprofit so come prepared and be persuasive. We do allow other Participants to chime in during the Q&A if the presenter doesn’t know the answer to a question. See our Presentation tips for helpful ideas on how to focus your presentation.

Am I required to nominate a nonprofit?


Do I get a tax deduction for my donation?

To be nominated, the nonprofit must be a registered 501(c)(3) Public Charity in good standing, meaning they are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions.

Will I get a receipt for my donation?

The recipient charity may send an acknowledgment; otherwise your canceled check is your receipt.

What about all these other charities that don’t get selected?

The purpose of 100+EWWC is to leverage the power of collective giving to make a significant impact to one charity so they can offer programs and services that otherwise might not be possible. There are many local nonprofits worthy of our donations and in future meetings we will select another one. Once a charity has been selected, it is ineligible for nomination again for at least five years in order to spread the funds around.

Is there a fee to join 100+ Ely Women Who Care?

Participation is free.

How often will events be held?

We hold events twice a year, in the spring and fall. You are not obligated to join or attend all events.

Can I nominate a national/international charity?

No. While there are many worthy national/international charities, we want to focus solely on local charities that directly serve the Ely area.

Can the nonprofit chosen this time be in the running again?

Once a nonprofit has been the recipient of the donations, that organization cannot be nominated again for a period of five years to allow for other nonprofits to be selected in future meetings.

What happens if there is a tie?

In the case of a two-way tie, participants will be provided with the names of the two nonprofits and a second vote will be taken. 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.

Can I give more than $100?

Yes, of course.

What will the selected charity do with my donation?

The nonprofit will choose how they use the funds, but of course we expect them to make good use of the money. 100% of the donated funds must be used in the Ely area.

What does the selected nonprofit have to do?

These are the requirements that 100+ Ely Women Who Care expect of the recipient nonprofits:

  • 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.

Is 100+ Ely Women Who Care a nonprofit charity?

No. We are an informal group composed of Participants and a Steering Team.

Is this group unique to Ely?

Not at all. There are numerous collective giving groups around the world. The basic model 100+EWWC uses is drawn from chapters loosely organized under the 100 Who Care Alliance.


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