100 Women Who Care - Chelsea Area

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is 100 Women Who Care - Chelsea Area?

It is a giving circle based on the simple concept of bringing local women together to make maximum impact for a charity in a minimal amount of time.  Three meetings each year are only one hour long.  In that time members select a local charity and thousands of dollars are raised for that non-profit organization.  There’s no volunteering, no telemarketing, no event planning, no silent auction item donations to solicit.  There is simply the joy of giving back to our own community with an Impact Award. 

  1. Is 100 Women Who Care – Chelsea Area a 501(c)(3) organization?

No, it is an informal group – sometimes referred to as a “giving circle” - where its members support the charitable work done by others.

  1. Is 100 Women Who Care – Chelsea Area affiliated with some national group?

There is no national organization for 100 Women Who Care.  However, there is an alliance of worldwide groups and through their website https://www.100whocarealliance.org/ they provide resources for independent groups.

  1. Who runs 100 Women Who Care – Chelsea Area?

This giving circle is managed by a Steering Committee under the rules outlined in its Operating By-Laws.  The Steering Committee is composed of volunteers who are members with the same rights and responsibilities as any other member.

  1. What does “Chelsea Area” mean?

The term Chelsea Area is roughly defined as the cities/towns/villages of Chelsea, Dexter, Manchester, Grass Lake and Stockbridge and adjacent townships.  

To be qualified for consideration, a charity must have a program supporting the Chelsea Area.  Members can be located anywhere though it is likely they also will be from the Chelsea Area.

  1. Who decides which charities receive an Impact Award?

The members do!  Each member or member team will have one vote.  Here’s basically how it works:  A member can decide to nominate a charity.  All nominated charities are vetted and eligible charities are announced to the members.  Prior to the meeting, three of the eligible charities are selected at random and announced to the membership.  Those three make a short presentation at the meeting.  Then the members vote for one of the three charities.  The charity receiving the majority of votes will be awarded that meeting’s Impact Award. 

  1. How much money does the charity receive?

The concept of 100 Women Who Care is that 100 women donate $100 at each meeting.  When that happens, the charity receives $10,000!  The member donation is always $100 so when there are less members, the total donation is less; more members, a larger donation.

  1. My husband is interested too.  Can he join?

No, this giving circle is only for women.  But encourage him to start a men’s group - 100 Men Who Care.  They do exist!


  1. I want to be part of this!

Complete the membership form found on the website http://www.100wwcchelsea.org/ and return to members@100wwcchelsea.org.  Members must commit to a $300 donation per year / $100 per meeting.  The $100 entitles the member to one ballot when voting for a charity.

  1. Do I send payment with the membership form?

No.  Payment is made at the meeting after members have voted and the charity winning the Impact Award has been announced.  See more about payment in “My Donation” below.

  1. Can I come to the meeting and sign up there?

Yes you can.  However, meetings are only one hour long and have a tight timeline.  Therefore we highly encourage you to submit your membership form in advance.  

  1. I can’t afford the $300 per year commitment.  Can I still participate?

Yes, if you form a team to split the commitment.  Each team member agrees that the team will arrange to have one check for $100 provided at each meeting.  It’s up to the team members to decide how to divide up the donation between themselves.  Each team will have one vote for that $100. 

  1. Can I form a team with a group of my friends?

Yes you can but we’d encourage individual membership for two reasons:  First, managing teams is time consuming and this giving circle is being managed by volunteers and second and more important, the more members the more dollars for the charity!  And isn’t that the real purpose of this giving circle!

  1. If I miss a meeting am I still committed to paying the $100 for that meeting even though I didn’t vote?

Yes, as a member you have committed to an annual $300 commitment which is $100 per meeting.  If you know you won’t be able to attend, consider sending your donation check with a friend.  Otherwise, you will be contacted to notify you of the charity that won the vote and how you should make your donation payment.

  1. I know now that I can’t come to all the meetings.  Will that be a problem?

If you miss a meeting, you are still required to submit a $100 payment.  If you know you won’t be able to attend, consider sending your donation check with a friend.  Otherwise, you will be contacted to notify you of the charity that won the vote and how you should make your donation payment.

However, when you know you’ll miss several meetings but plan on returning to the giving circle, notify us by emailing members@100wwcchelsea.org and your status will be temporarily changed to inactive.  When ready to return, you will be welcomed back!  Unpaid donation commitments during that time can be waived if requested.

The Steering Committee has the option to terminate a membership when a member fails to meet their donation commitment.

  1. Will you share my private information?

Your name and email address will be included in a membership directory which is available to all current members of the giving circle.  Your information will not be sold or given to any outside party or made public.

However, your information will be shared with the charity receiving your donation by the mere fact it appears on your check (or included in any payment made using a charity’s online payment portal).  Note that as a requirement of their eligibility, charities must agree not to solicit donors.

  1. What if I want to drop out of the giving circle?

A member or member team may cancel their membership at any time by giving notice to the Membership Committee.  Any remaining donation commitment will be waived.


  1. How does a charity get a chance to win the giving circle’s Impact Award?

To start the process, a charity must be nominated by a member.  That member making the nomination must be active and currently paid up on their donation commitment.

  1. How does the nomination process work?

A member completes the Nomination Form found on website http://www.100wwcchelsea.org/ and submit it by emailing it to charities@100wwcchelsea.org.  The form must arrive at least 14 days prior to an upcoming meeting in order for the charity to be considered at that next meeting.

  1. What qualifies a charity to be eligible?  Are charities vetted?

All nominated charities are vetted.  To become eligible to be awarded an Impact Award, the charity must:

  • Support the Chelsea Area;

  • Be a 501(c)(3) organization or be formally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) organization;

  • Not have received an Impact Award from this giving circle during the last year; 

  • Agree to use the Impact Award to support the Chelsea Area; and

  • Sign the Charity Agreement Form.

  1. Is there a deadline for nominating charities?

Yes.  For a charity to be eligible for the next meeting, the Nomination Form and Charity Agreement Form must be received at least 14 days prior to the next meeting.  But we encourage much earlier submissions so the proper amount of time can be available to vet the charity.  Meetings are four months apart so plan ahead.

  1. Can a large charity be nominated?

A charity can be large or small - size does not matter.  However national, international or other larger charitable organizations will not be considered by this giving circle because the geographic scope of their charitable efforts extend far beyond just the Chelsea Area.  

However, a restricted Impact Award can be considered when that larger charitable organization has a local chapter and/or program which is proven to support only the Chelsea Area.  A restricted Impact Award tells the charity that funds received must only be used for that purpose/program.

  1. Does the charity have to be a 501(c)(3) organization?

501(c)(3) organizations must certify their charitable purpose to the IRS.  This certification provides comfort that charitable works are being done.  Therefore 501(c)(3) organizations are preferred by this giving circle.  

However, charities without their own 501(c)(3) status that are formally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) may qualify when proof of funding allocations to the Chelsea Area can be validated.  

  1. Can the charity be a church? 

This giving circle does not directly support religious organizations nor their religious missions.  

However, when the religious organization provides some particular charitable support to the Chelsea Area without the need for a religious association, a restricted Impact Award to that particular program could be considered.  (Example:  Soup kitchen for all residents.)

  1. Does the charity have to support people or can its mission be something else, for example animals or the environment? 

The charity’s mission must be focused on the Chelsea Area.  It will be for the members to determine by ballot whether that charity’s mission is a cause they wish to support.

  1. If the charity does political lobbying, does this disqualify the charity from consideration?

Organizations whose primary purpose is to lobby, support political candidates and/or similar political matters will not qualify for consideration.

However, it is common that a charity will attempt to persuade certain government organizations to provide funding or make legislation that supports their mission.  This will not disqualify a charity.  

  1. If a charity does not win the Impact Award at one meeting, can they try again?

Each eligible charity will remain eligible until the earliest of: 

  • two (2) years from the date of the first Membership Meeting where presented as an eligible charity; 

  • the date the charity receives the Impact Award; 

  • the date the Nominating Member requests the charity be removed; 

  • the date the Charity asks to be removed from the list of eligible charities; or 

  • the date it is determined that the charity is no longer able to meet the eligibility criteria.  

A charity that is removed after being on the ballot for two (2) years may be re-nominated.

  1. Can a charity win the Impact Award more than once?

Yes but they must wait at least one year at which time a member can nominate the charity again.

  1. How do I know the charity will spend the Impact Award funds wisely?

With any donation to a charity, you put your faith in their organization to spend the money appropriately.  You may read their newsletters or annual report to learn about their work.  It is no different with the donation you make as a member of this giving circle.  However, with this one you will hear back directly from the charity, as they will attend the following meeting to inform us about the impact the gift has made toward helping that charity serve the Chelsea Area. 


  1. How many meetings are there and how long do they last?

There are three meetings per year.  Each meeting is one hour in length, although there may be on optional social/networking time before or afterwards.

  1. When and where are meetings held?

Meetings will be the 1st Tuesday evening of February, June and October.  Notice of the date, time and location will be announced via email or text to members and published on the group’s website http://www.100wwcchelsea.org/, on its facebook page https://www.facebook.com/100WWCChelsea and potentially on other social and news media.

If in-person meetings are not possible (example, covid-19 restrictions), virtual meetings will be coordinated with the membership. 

  1. Will there be food and drink at the meeting?

The meeting timeline is very tight therefore food and drink will not be served.  However a meeting may be preceded or followed by an optional networking social hour where food and drink may be available.

  1. What happens at meetings?

After a brief introduction, the meeting begins with a report from the charity that won the Impact Award at the prior meeting.  They will report on the charity’s progress in using the funds received.

Next, each of the three charities selected will make a short presentation.  Although there may be several more charities that were nominated and eligible, only three are allowed to present at a meeting.  The selection of those three is done a week prior to the meeting so that members can be notified and have the option to investigate them in advance.  (Don’t worry, those other charities may still be eligible for an Impact Award at a future meeting.) 

Then the members vote for one of those three charities.  The charity receiving the majority of votes will be awarded that meeting’s Impact Award.  Members and teams are given instructions on how to make a direct payment to the charity and it is expected that the payment will be made at the meeting.

Then we all celebrate!

  1. What will I learn from the charity presentation?

One individual - either the nominating member or a representative of the charity - will give a 7 minute presentation about the charity and the work they do in the Chelsea Area.The charity decides on the content of the presentation and how much time to allot for questions and answers from the members.

If you want to research the charities in advance of the meeting, you can.  About a week before the meeting we will contact the members with the names of the three charities selected from the list of eligible ones nominated by members.

  1. What happens when the meeting is not held in-person?

We anticipate using Zoom to run any virtual meetings.  You will be emailed a registration invite and provided a guide for how the meeting will be run.

Voting for a Charity

  1. How do I vote for a charity?

At each meeting a ballot will be distributed to each member or team that is current with its donation commitment.   When the presentations are complete, you will be asked to vote for one of the three charities that presented at the meeting.  

If you are a member of a team, the lead contact will be given the ballot.

  1. Can I vote in advance?

No.  It is important to hear each of the three stories before making your decision.

  1. If I cannot make it to a meeting, can I still vote?

No.  Voting must be done in person.

  1. Can I buy two votes with a $600 commitment?

No.  This giving circle wants all members and teams to have equal say when it comes to determining which charities win the Impact Award.  If you wish to donate more to the winning charity, feel free to do so when you write your donation check.

  1. Is my vote confidential?

Yes.  Voting is done on a ballot provided at the meeting which will not have your name on it.  

  1. What if there is a tie vote?

In the event of a tie, the members and teams will re-vote on the charities that were tied.   In the event of a second tie, Steering Committee members who are present at the meeting (maximum three) and two or three members (however many needed to provide an odd number) will re-vote confidentially between the tied charities to determine, by majority vote, the recipient of the Impact Award.

  1. What happens when the meeting is not held in-person?

We anticipate using Zoom to run any virtual meetings.  Zoom has the functionality to do a poll, which will allow the members to cast their vote.

My Donation

  1. Will I write the check to the charity or to 100 Women Who Care - Chelsea Area?

Payment is always made directly to the charity at the meeting after the winning charity is announced.  Payment instructions will be provided.

  1. Will I get a receipt that I can use for a tax deduction?

At the meeting your donation will be logged and that log sheet along with the payments will be given to the charity.  Depending on its policies, the charity may send you a tax donation letter.  (Note:  The IRS requires written acknowledgement from the charity only when the donation is $250 or more.)

You can request a receipt at the meeting if you want written confirmation we received your payment, but it won’t be the official document from the charity.

  1. What if I want to donate more than $100?

You are certainly welcome to increase the amount of your donation!  (Note:  This does not buy you additional voting power.)

  1. I don’t use checks.  Can I pay with cash, credit card or some other electronic payment type?

Cash is an alternative; receipts will be provided at the meeting.  

If the charity is present at the meeting and if they have the means then electronic payment may be available.  But do not count on this being an option!  You must bring a check or cash and maybe you’ll have the ability to switch payment methods.

  1. Do I have to pay the $100 if I did not vote for the charity?

Yes.  All members agree to the donation commitment no matter which charity wins the ballot.  

  1. What happens when the meeting is not held in-person?

We anticipate using Zoom to run any virtual meetings.  After the winning charity is announced, payment instructions will be provided.  It is expected that your $100 donation will be received no later than 7 days after the meeting.

Steering Committee

  1. What does the Steering Committee do?

The Steering Committee establishes the overall policy framework to perform the responsibilities consistent with this giving circle’s mission and in accordance with its operating by-laws.

Specific responsibilities include such matters as:

  • Recruit members 

  • Vet nominated charities

  • Plan and coordinate meetings

  • Assure charities attend the following meeting to report how they have used the Impact Award

  • Distribute membership and community messages via website, social media, news media and/or email

  1. I’m a member but want to do more!  How can I help?

Email steering@100wwcchelsea.org to see what opportunities are available for volunteering or a place on one of the committees:  Membership, Charities, Meetings, Communications.

Frequently Asked Questions - printable