Women Giving Together giving circle of CFSC makes first grant to Second Chance, Last Opportunity
The Women Giving Together Giving Circle of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County has made its first grant to Second Chance, Last Opportunity (SCLO), a community-based 501(c)(3) grassroots organization that has been offering life management skills classes to at-risk teens and their low income and/or homeless families since 1995. The grant of $2,350 was enhanced by an additional $1,000 in matching funds from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, which provides "back office" support services for the giving circle, including handling the set-up, charitable tax receipting, and management and disbursements of funds.
The total grant of $3,350 is earmarked for the Sisters Circle program of SCLO, a seven-week program where women meet, share their experiences and develop a support network. The weekly sessions include counseling, enrichment activities, goal setting, communication skills, problem-solving and more. The goal is for participants to gain skills and a new, positive outlook on life to help positively impact the women’s attitude, behavior within the family, and work prospects.
There was a ceremonial check presentation from members of Women Giving Together to SCLO on Tuesday, December 3 at the Community Foundation.
Women Giving Together, formed through the framework of the Association for Fundraising Professionals’ Giving Matters initiative, was created to provide women in our community a way to join together to make a significant impact on needs within our community. The Giving Matters Giving Circle Initiative was launched in April during the AFP “Gems of Philanthropy” luncheon; the Community Foundation announced the availability of up to 10 matching grants of $1,000 to the first 10 giving circles formed and housed at the Foundation in response to the luncheon.
This Women Giving Together Circle was formed with three main objectives:
- To educate women about the giving opportunities in our community: The Women Giving Together Circle members researched nonprofits in the community, reviewed 12 possible gift recipient organizations and invited three to make face-to-face presentations to the Circle.
- To incubate new giving circles: Each original Giving Circle member was asked to invite another woman to the group. After the initial six months together, each Women Giving Together Circle member is asked to start her own, new giving circle, multiplying the effects of the experience.
- To celebrate the beginning of new giving circles and the funding provided to nonprofits through them.
The 17 members of Women Giving Together meet on a monthly basis to learn from and grow with one another. The group, whose mission is “To encourage and promote women’s philanthropy in our communities,” agreed not to contribute to any organization that any of the members represented as professional staff, board members or significant donors. All members contributed equal amounts over six months, and utilized a democratic process to make the final selection of SCLO to receive the funds.