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January 28, 2016

Women of Effingham County Establish Philanthropic Giving Circle

Women in Effingham County have a new opportunity to engage in local philanthropy by joining 100 Women Who Care. 100 Women Who Care Effingham County is based on a giving circle model in use throughout the country. A giving circle is a form of philanthropy where a group of individuals donate their own money to a pooled fund, decide together where to give the funds and, in doing so, seek to increase their awareness of and engagement in the issues covered by the charity or community project. 100 Women Who Care Effingham County was organized by Melissa Willenborg and Karen Etter, members of the Effingham County Community Foundation advisory board.

100 Women Who Care Effingham County will meet three times a year for a one-hour meeting. Members join the organization annually and sign a commitment to donate $400 per year. The first $100 commitment supports the 100 Women Who Care Effingham County Endowment Fund, managed by Effingham County Community Foundation, to address future needs of the community. In addition, every member pledges to donate $100 at each of the meetings for that year (whether they attend or not) to be given to a selected Effingham County non-profit organization. Non-profits are nominated and presented at each meeting and are voted on by the members.

“Our goal is to engage a minimum of 100 women in our community, but the larger the group grows, the greater of an impact we can make,” explains Melissa Willenborg, chair of the steering committee for 100 Women Who Care Effingham County. Melissa encourages all interested women to contact the Community Foundation to request a new member information packet and commitment form. Packets can be acquired by visiting the Community Foundation or by contacting Audra Clodfelter by e-mail ( or phone (217-342-4988).

The 100 Women Who Care Effingham County Endowment Fund is a component fund of Effingham County Community Foundation, a founding member of Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation.

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