October 15, 2018
Barb Van Winkle, WGC Chair – Remarks, Annual Celebration: “WGC By the Numbers”
I am thrilled to see all of you! So many faces of long-time friends and supporters, and so many new faces – this speaks volumes about the Women’s Giving Circle, our past, present and future. Our “circle” continues to overlap and grow. Thank you for being here!
My name is Barb Van Winkle and I am the Chair of the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County. I’ve been involved with the WGC for years, but this is the first year that I have the honor and privilege of welcoming you as the Chair.
I want to thank Howard Community College and Missy Mattey for allowing us to use this beautiful space and have our Annual Celebration in the Horowitz Center! And a big thank you to Lupa for the delicious food we have all been enjoying, and Beth Harbinson of SOBAR for her delicious non-alcoholic drinks!
I’d like to give you a little snapshot of the growth and strength of our circle today, by highlighting all of you – By the Numbers:
5 important numbers that are the catalyst for our growth:
- WGC Founders: We have 16 women who are our pioneering and visionary founders. In 2001, these 16 women began a year-long journey – from conceptualization to implementation – to develop, launch, maintain and nurture what is now our giving circle today. Will all founders here today please stand? Thank you for all you’ve done to bring thousands of donors together to fund women and girls in our community!
- WGC Chairs: We’ve had 8 chairs before me – 8 women who have made crucial decisions and led our efforts with courage, strength and vision. Will all former chairs please stand and raise your hands? Thank you for your strength and wisdom leading us forward!
- Former Advisory Board Members: We have 75 former Advisory Board members – women who have spent countless hours charting our path to success. Those who envisioned our work, and then implemented strategies to get where we are now. Will those of you here today please stand? Thank you very much!
- Current Advisory Board Members: We have 9 current Advisory Board members – Ladies, will you please stand? These are the women who are planning, organizing, and setting our course for the future. Ladies-I want to thank each one of you for being my colleague, my sounding board, and my friends. I am so grateful for your time and your dedication to WGC, these women are helping us grow in the future. Our committees of WGC are also critical, I want to thank Jennifer Bodensiek and April Force Pardoe for being the co-chairs of the Donor Development committee, who is responsible for making today happen, and thank you to Kim Agnor for being chair of the Youth Development committee. Will all the women who are on our Donor Development and Youth Development committees please stand? Thank you all!
- Sponsors. And a huge thank to our 38 sponsors. 38! Honestly, it is amazing!!! Thank you to the 12 Business Sponsors who instantly agreed to support our Annual Celebration!! These are businesses who understand the win-win value of investing in women and girls and the WGC by sponsoring our public events. Can you all please stand and remain standing? And, another huge thank you to the 26 women, our current and former Advisory Board members, who said “count me in!” to being a Circle of Strength sponsor. Can you all please stand? Ladies-Your investment in our work is incredibly important, and we truly appreciate your support. Friends, all these sponsors support women and girls – please support them! Thank you!
Supporters. And, finally, we have many friends and supporters who have attended our events, or maybe who are here for the first time. Will all of you please stand? Thank you for being here today – you are a part of our future!
Just look at the support in this room! This support is what has made the WGC what it is today – let’s take a look, By the Numbers.
10 important facts about who we are:
- Our Mission: The Women’s Giving Circle is building a community of philanthropists and creating a permanent legacy to address the needs of women and girls in Howard County.
- Pooling Dollars for Greater Impact: We are pooling our dollars to make grants to programs that benefit women and girls, so that we can have a greater impact together than we might otherwise have alone. This is the power of collective giving!
- Fund at the Community Foundation of Howard County: We are a fund at the Community Foundation of Howard County and are run by the WGC Advisory Board – our leadership board that makes ongoing decisions. Thank you very much to Beverly White-Seals, President of the Foundation, and her team, for our long-standing partnership.
- Endowment for Perpetuity: We have an endowment so that we will have money in perpetuity to fund programs that benefit women and girls.
- Give Grants: We give grants to nonprofits in Howard County that focus on our mission.
- Raise Money: We raise money from donors to support our grantmaking, partly by hosting events and programs to inform and engage our donors – all of you.
- 17 Years Old: We have been part of the Howard County community for 17, going on 18 years.
- $1 Million +: We have raised over $1 million to support our efforts.
- 1,000+ Donors: We have raised this money from over 1,000 donors.
- 100+ Grants: We have given over 100 grants to nonprofits Howard County.
10 ways we’ve made a difference this past year:
- Growing our Assets: This year we’ve raised over $55,000 from more than 125 donors to fund our efforts.
- Growing our Donors: This year we’ve engaged a number of new donors and It’s been exciting to see so many new faces at our events.
- Growing our Network: We hosted 3 networking events – two Happy Hours, at Seasons 52 and Sub-Zero and Wolf Showroom by Fretz, and a Reception at HCC in advance of the Community Foundation’s Annual Spring Party to celebrate the naming of a classroom in the new SET bldg. for the WGC in recognition of our long-standing funding partnership.
- Grantmaking: We have given almost $50,000 in grants to 4 nonprofit partners to empower women and girls, including:
- JA Rising Women– our multi-year grant supporting a 13 week after-school entrepreneurship program for girls’ grades 9-12, in partnership with Junior Achievement of Central MD. Over 100 young women have gone thru this incredible program. WGC has agreed to continue our relationship for another 3 yr grant in part to a very generous donation of $25K from Bob and Bach Jeffrey.
- Girl Power!– a one day STEM expo for middle and high school girls, in partnership with the Applied Physics Lab and the Maryland Space Business Roundtable that had over 600 girls participate this year!
- Journey Camp for Girls– a week-long summer leadership camp for girls entering 8th and 9th grade, in partnership with Maryland Leadership Workshop. This past summer had a full group of 25 girls. In 2018, we started a Scholarship Fund in memory of our beloved former Advisory Board member Cindy Hankin. I am very proud tell you that we donated over $5000 towards scholarships this year. We had a follow-up Journey Tea in August where the girls honored five amazing women: Shirley Collier, Bessie Bordenave, Linda Joy Burke, Stacie Hunt and Tahira Musserat Hussain.
- Continuing Education for Women – a women’s scholarship program, providing help to low- and moderate-income women seeking job-related courses, through our long-time partnership with Howard Community College!
- Emergency Response Network: We launched our newly enhanced WGC Emergency Response Network – that was created 15 years ago in response to the desire of many women to provide direct help to other women in need, in our community. WGC donors have addressed the specific needs of women clients identified by our nonprofit partner agencies serving women and girls in Howard County. This year alone we’ve sent 3 requests and raised $1,850 to help women in our community – thank you so much!
And special thanks to Alison Canning, Immediate Past Chair, who worked tirelessly to make the happen.
- Informed and Engaged Donors: And, finally, I want to give a huge thank you to Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, who we have hired as a consultant to handle our marketing and communications! Buffy, will you please stand? She is one of the Founders of WGC and has spent her entire career working with Giving Circles both locally and on a nation level. I am sure you have noticed an increase in activity on all social media, she is ensuring that you are all informed of the great work we are doing together – we’ve enhanced our website, grown our social media outreach on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and updated our eNewsletter, which we are sending monthly, consistently. We’ve done this because we are committed to keeping you informed and engaged. Thank you for all that you are doing to help us grow!!!
Take a look at the brief visual overview of our year. This is a quick highlight of many of our events and programs this year – a snapshot of the camaraderie, excitement, and impact that we are having together. These are wonderful pictures, all of which you can find on our Instagram and Twitter pages!
I hope our 2018 WGC By the Numbers overview and these photos have inspired you as much as it has me – it fuels all of us to continue to work together to support women and girls in our community. I’m feeling the need to support one another perhaps more than ever this year. So, to that end, I celebrate with you, I thank you, and I’m inspired by you.