On the evening of January 29, August Hill Winery hosted the second meeting of the Women Inspired Network, a network of philanthropic women who focus on the issues, interests and concerns of women throughout Starved Rock Country.
The event brought Kathi Davis, the Program Director of the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation, located in Bloomington, as the guest speaker. Kathi’s experience and involvement with the Women to Women Giving Circle in
Bloomington provided insight and knowledge about women’s giving collectives throughout the world.
WIN, as Women Inspired Network is frequently abbreviated, was created by the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation in partnership with OSF Healthcare Systems, I-80 Corridor. Giving circles such as Women to Women and the Women Inspired Network are generally created by community foundations to perpetuate and encourage collective community giving and related initiatives. OSF Healthcare has similar women’s organization throughout its communities. Pamela Beckett, President of the SRCCF, and Cherie Reynolds, Director of Philanthropy for OSF, I-80 Corridor, recognized the similar goals of their respective organizations and a partnership was born. The mission of WIN is to raise substantial dollars through collective giving, and to give back to not-for-profit projects, programs and/or causes in LaSalle, Bureau and Putnam Counties.
Kathi Davis shared stories of her own philanthropic endeavors, discussing how the Women to Women Giving Circle came to be and how it has since evolved. What started with 105 founding members has since grown into a large group of empowered and socially active women that issued nearly $42,000 in grant in 2016, and over $283,000 since its inception in 2011.
Although WIN is new to Starved Rock Country, word is spreading quickly. In less than 90 days, more than 50 women have joined the ranks of membership, with 17 others making general donations as “Friends of WIN”. The first year goal is to secure 150 members, each making an annual donation of $200, to raise more than $30,000 collectively. Nominations for grant recipients are made by members, and grant funds will be distributed at the annual celebration of giving in November, 2017.
The next WIN meeting will be held March 26 at August Hill Winery. August Hill Winery held the past event on a day and hour they would usually be closed in a show of support for this program. In addition, August Hill Winery pledged five percent of the proceeds resulting from product sales during the event to be donated to WIN.