Ahwatukee women lead group that makes ‘Big Gives’ to charities

Source: Ahwatukee Foothill News / Paul Maryniak

While gratefully accepted, a $100 donation to a charity doesn’t do much these days.

But multiply that figure by 100 or more and you’re talking about having a serious impact on that charity’s mission.

That is the essence of the 100+ Women Who Care of the Valley of the Sun Chapter, a growing philanthropic organization founded by Ahwatukee resident Kim Tarnopolski with the help of three friends two years ago.

“I heard about the concept two years ago and I thought it was amazing,” said Tarnopolski, who is getting ready for the group’s next quarterly meeting 5:30-7:30 p.m. Aug. 23 at Four Points by Sheraton Phoenix South Mountain, 10831 S. 51st St., Ahwatukee.

If you go to the meeting, be prepared for a friendly gathering run with the precision of a military marching band.

“It’s an exercise in awesome efficiency,” Tarnopolski said.

While members and guests have up to an hour to socialize, 6:30 p.m. marks the start of a meeting that moves according to straightforward and exact rules that eliminate back-door lobbying and favoritism in the group’s selection of a beneficiary.

First off, everybody who attends brings a check for $100 with the payee line left blank.

The name they put on that line will depend on what happens over the next hour as the names of three charities are pulled from a hat. Everyone who attends has a chance to nominate a charity, but they need to be there if their candidate’s name is pulled and be prepared to give a five-minute presentation about the group without the help of PowerPoints or any other props.

And they must have submitted the name to Tarnopolski and the rest of the executive committee at least two weeks before the meeting so the nominees can be carefully vetted.

That vetting process is designed to ensure that the charity is a registered nonprofit, has been active at least three years, can provide charitable tax receipts to the donors, and meet a number of other requirements laid out on the group’s website, 100wwcvalleyofthesun.org.

During the meeting, members can ask the presenter questions. After the three presentations are completed, the group votes. Whoever gets the most votes wins those checks.

The recipient of that largesse attends the next quarterly meeting to discuss how “Big Give” was used.

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