The Women’s Legacy Circle is a grassroots giving circle hosted by Carle Center for Philanthropy and supported by concerned women who want to make a difference and change lives. This group of women is distinctive in a couple of ways. The first is its purpose. The Women’s Legacy Circle inspires, educates and empowers women to pool their charitable gifts and improve the health of their community. The second is its originality. The Women’s Legacy Circle is the first initiative of its kind in our community.
The premise is simple: Members commit to a $500 annual donation and then, through a member-directed grant review and voting process, decide which healthcare-related projects at Carle to fund.
Last year, for example, our $500 individual donations grew into grants totaling nearly $80,000 for projects at Carle. Our membership reviewed grant applications and then voted on the projects they wanted to fund. Since 2009, the Women’s Legacy Circle has granted more than $580,000.
Another attraction of the Women’s Legacy Circle is the fact that there is little time commitment. Members are encouraged to attend only three events each year—a business meeting in October, the grant proposal presentations and member vote in November, and a celebration luncheon in June. In short, members can be as involved as they want to be.
Members in this unique giving circle make an annual donation of $500. Commitments must be received by October 1. Dues must be paid in full by December 31.