More specifically: 3 reasons why I love being 1 in 100 Women Who Care Calgary.
Let me tell you about how being one person in a group of 100 women can be one of the best things you ever did in your life!
It was September of the year 2013.
My twin sister had just returned from a trip to visit the in-laws in Windsor, Ontario. With two little boys at home, 3 and 1, she was busy. She was settling back into the routine at home, but she couldn't shake the experience she had had with her mother-in-law, Donna just a few days before.
Donna had asked Alison to join her at a meeting for 100 Women Who Care Windsor.
It was a revolutionary idea: bring 100 women together for one hour, listen to 3 members describe a local charity that they are passionate about, everyone votes and then they each write a cheque for $100 to the charity of choice.
hour + 100 women + $100 each = $10,000 raised for a local charity!
Between making meals, changing diapers and mom-and-me classes, Alison searched online for a chapter near her, in Calgary. She thought "There must be a chapter of 100 Women Who Care here already!". After all, this idea had already spread like wildfire throughout the United States.
But, no, there wasn't!
Long story short, Alison joined with fellow Calgarian, Christy Parker and they co-founded the very first chapter of 100 Women Who Care in Western Canada! I have been a proud member since the beginning, and we are so proud that we have raised
more than $400,000 for local charities
with no more than 4 hours and $400 a year asked of us. Amazing, right?
So, there you go.
Reason #1: Be a part of making a huge impact in your community.
But, there are more reasons why joining 100 Women Who Care Calgary is such an awesome idea.
This organization is for women. Nothing against men, but we are different creatures, and there is something powerful about being in a room that is 100% female. And the women who choose to join tend to be pretty freaking awesome. Our meetings go like this: We invite a representative from the charity who received our latest donation to come and share with us the impact of our donation in a short speech. Then, three nominations are pulled from a box and the nominating member from each gets 5 minutes to pitch for their charity of choice.
Often the charities they speak for are ones that I’ve never heard of.
There are more than 2000 registered charities in Calgary! So, even when they don’t win the donation, I love learning about the amazing charities that are helping my local community. I have even volunteered for them.
The women who are brave enough to nominate and speak for their charity of choice are always passionate, and often have used the services that the charity offers. I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten through a meeting without being moved to tears. No slideshows, photos or prepared material is allowed. Just words from the heart.
We then vote by ballot, take a quick break to have the votes counted and then announce a winner! Everyone in the room, and all the members who are not present donate $100 each to the winner, and that is how we raise >$10,000 in an hour. In fact, our donations usually exceed $20,000!
In one hour, we have accomplished so much, so there is time to catch up over a glass of wine after. I look forward to seeing familiar faces at each meeting, and I almost always meet somebody new. It is a great way to network and meet other like-minded professionals and business owners.
Reason #2: Network with awesome women, like you!
These first two reasons are more than enough to convince me that being 1 in 100 is right for me. But, then there is the bonus that members get when they actually attend the meetings. There are awesome door prizes that get donated regularly by members and sponsors.
Reason #3 - Member Perks
Being able to contribute a small amount of my time and money to make such a massive impact on charities in my local community is reason enough for me to be a member for life. Everything else is just a bonus. So, 3 years ago, I decided that I wanted to join the generous women who were donating back to members. Our November meeting happened to land on Giving Tuesday that year, so I brought my lights and gear, invited my hair and makeup artist (@makeuparts) to come help with makeup touch-ups and
offered free headshots to as many people as I could.
My theme for the 2016 headshots was a clean white background - classic LinkedIn head shot.
In 2017, I decided to do a more modern 'Personal Branding' style photo for the members on a black background
It was so much fun that I decided to make it an annual thing: The Annual Personal Branding Event. I only have time to photograph 12 people, so before opening bookings this year, I have decided to start a wait list. Members will have several opportunities to become aware of the promotion, and when I open the bookings up, they will have equal access to snag one of the 12 spots if they have signed up for the wait list.
I am combining this promotion with the launch of the new 100 Women Who Care app. I created an app for members years ago, which I update and maintain regularly. My favourite feature, which I use myself, is the one-click access to Google Maps for directions to the meeting. You can always check the app to know when and where the next meeting is, as well as access all the contact information for 100 Women. This month, I have completely redesigned the app and am launching it in time for our Sept 11 meeting.
You can check out the new app and download it here.