Why a women's giving circle? And why now?

Give Together. Decide Together. Benefit Together.

The way we think is different.

The way we show up is different.

We cannot be successful as a gender if some of us are held back.

As president of The Community Foundation of Macon County, I’m thrilled to announce the launch of the She Gave Women’s Giving Circle, one of a growing number of charitable giving circles nationwide that help members engage more deeply in a cause or issue in order to leverage their gifts wisely.

Our giving circle brings together women from a range of neighborhoods, backgrounds, races, ethnicities, lived experiences, religious affiliations and generations. Our goal: to build relationships and to amplify our charitable impact to promote community vibrancy for women and girls in Macon County.

The extent of challenges facing women and girls in Macon County is clearly noted in community needs assessments. Macon County is ranked among the least healthy counties in Illinois, ranking 89 out of 102 counties with data. Roughly one in six people in Macon County are living in poverty (16.7%). Lack of access to reliable, high quality and affordable childcare is a structural barrier to employment, as is the lack of safe and affordable transportation. For households in Macon County that fall into the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) category, 76% are households headed by a single woman with children. ALICE families are often unable to afford the basics of housing, childcare, food, transportation, health care and technology even though they are employed.

The She Gave Women’s Circle provides us with a tangible and substantial way to help transform our community.

She Gave provides common ground for us as women. Our members have equal say and an equal vote in funding choices, and funding decisions are recommended from within the circle by members. Each member is entitled to vote to determine the organizations, churches, clubs and programs that will receive funding.

We will learn from one another and from outside speakers about issues disproportionately impacting women and girls as we work to shape the focus of our group’s annual grantmaking, including areas relating to education, job training, and childcare accessibility and affordability. The She Gave Women’s Giving Circle is focused on systems change!

She Gave is building a permanent endowment that will ensure funding to enhance the lives of women and girls in Macon County for generations to come. You can make the giving circle part of your annual charitable plan and you’ll know your donations will have an immediate impact to help carry our community forward.

Join us. Here’s how –
Each member makes an annual contribution: $100 (young women ages 12-21); $250 (women ages 22-39); or $500 (women 40 years and older). There is also a $5,000 lifetime membership option as well as a monthly payment plan. Learn more details, including the group’s event calendar, and join She Gave at maconcountygives.org/she-gave.

I encourage you to reach into conversations where we help each other, and in turn, ourselves.

I encourage you to have fun and experience the joy of giving.

I encourage you to join me as a member of the She Gave Women’s Giving Circle.

The She Gave Women’s Giving Circle needs you. Your energy. Your resilience. Your strategy. Your humility. Your passion. Your seeds of discontent. Your grace. Your stories. Your empathy. And we need it now.