When: July 16, 2013
Where: Jewel Restaurant
400 Broad Hollow Road
Melville, NY 11747
As a freelance writer, public relations professional, and job seeker, I network all the time. However, I have never come across a networking group quite like 100 Women Who Care about Long Island. The new group is one of many 100+ Women Who Care chapters internationally, and the local goal is to donate at least $10,000 to a deserving Long Island charity at each of four quarterly meetings. The donation amount is limited only by the number of members.
History of 100+ Women Who Care
Founded in 2006 by Karen Dunigan of Jackson, MI, 100+ Women Who Care’s first one-hour meeting brought in 100 participants. They raised $10,000 to buy 300 new baby cribs for a local charity. Since then, the original group has grown to over 200 members.
“[Dunigan] came up with this simple, elegant, brilliant solution, and since then, there are about 50 groups across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico,” explained Tracy Lobdell, founder of 100 Women Who Care about Long Island. At each networking meeting, she continued, three members each share their experiences with a Long Island charity for which they have a passion. Attending members vote for their favorite, and all members each write a $100 check directly to the winning charity. At the following meeting, the winning charity will send a representative to discuss the funded projects.
Each woman can either commit to four $100 donations per year, or split the commitment with another woman. “The beauty of the concept is that together, we can do so much more for a charity than we could individually,” Lobdell said.
Nominating a Charity
Members can nominate one or more 501(C)(3) organizations and submit them for consideration at least one week prior to each meeting. If an organization meets 100 Women Who Care about Long Island’s pre-qualifying criteria and is nominated by at least one member, its name will be put into a hat. Three charities will be presented at each meeting.
Each 501(C)(3) organization must be headquartered on Long Island, serve Nassau and/or Suffolk Counties, and agree not to solicit members directly or distribute their personal information to anyone. “We want to make sure that the charities are using their money wisely because we will be providing a sizable donation. We would prefer to support the smaller organizations because we know how hard it is for them to raise funds,” Lobdell explained.
Tracy Lobdell’s Inspiration To Found 100 Women Who Care about Long Island
Between 2006 and 2008, Lobdell ran three annual golf outings for an industry association. The golf outing and fund-raising raffle used to provide between $7,000 – $8,000 annually to The Sarah Grace Foundation for Children with Cancer. When revenue sources dried up and the golf outings ceased, Lobdell began to realize first hand the difficulties many small charities face.
Today, Lobdell works in the marketing department of an engineering firm in Syosset. She is also Executive Director of Canstruction Long Island, an industry charity where teams design structures built from canned food. People vote for their favorite structure by placing donated cans of food in front of that structure. All cans are donated to, and distributed by, Long Island Cares.
Over seven years, Canstruction Long Island has donated over 93 tons of food and thousands of dollars in cash. “We are all volunteers involved in the engineering, architecture, construction, and interior design industries,” Lobdell said.
In the next several months, this blog will include further updates on both Canstruction Long Island and 100 Women Who Care about Long Island.