The Zionsville Century Club and the Community Foundation of Boone County’s Women of Impact are making differences around the community — one big donation at a time.
Both groups are called what is known as a giving circle. Each member of the group gives a certain amount of money, then together they donate that money to a nonprofit organization.
The Zionsville Century Club is an all-male giving circle group that meets four times a year. At the beginning of the meeting, any member can put in the name of a nonprofit organization they think the group should help. At the end of the meeting, three organizations are drawn and those three members have five minutes to say why they think the organization they chose deserves the money.
The Century Club was started by Todd Sullivan and a group of his friends in 2014 and has continued to grow.
“The goal was to get to 100 guys,” Sullivan said.
Now their goal is 150 members.
Meetings take place in the Zionsville American Legion Auxiliary and only last an hour, however many of the members like to stay, buy a drink and relax with friends.
“It’s been a really neat little aspect,” Sullivan said “the friendships that have been developed.”
The money raised goes to nonprofit organizations in the Indianapolis area, but donations have become more and more local. They have given a total of $113,300 to 15 groups. A few of those groups include Best Buddies, Noble of Indiana, and the Boys and Girls Club of Zionsville.
The highest amount the club has given was $13,000 to School on Wheels in February.
The Women of Impact, part of the Boone County Community Foundation, is also a giving circle that meets four times a year, but this group is women only. Members donate quarterly based on their membership level. As a standard, women donate $500 a year, $400 of which is donated to the different non-profit groups selected throughout the year, and $100 of it goes into an endowment fund at the Community Foundation of Boone County.
The group has 140 members and has given over $70,000 to six local nonprofit agencies, including The Black Box Theatre Company, Sylvia’s Child Advocacy Center, The Humane Society for Boone County, Lebanon Area Boys and Girls Club and the Boone County Cancer Society.
Participants can also choose to be a part of a shared membership. This means the members would split the cost of the membership, which would be a $250 annual commitment.
The group has just recently started a junior membership. Junior members are either junior or seniors in high school who commit to donating $100 dollars annually, $20 of which supports and endowment fund with the Foundation, and the remaining $80 supports the four groups selected throughout the year.
“Giving circles allow a number of people, men or women, to come together and pull their resources together to make a bigger impact,” Susan Albers, member of the WOI steering committee, said.
Like the Zionsville Century Club, the women's meetings last about an hour and a half, with socialization at the beginning.
The group can also inspire more than just a monetary donation. Members may also do other things for the groups mentioned, like volunteer time, and the meetings help raise awareness for the organization.
“The beauty is that it brings all kinds of different people together,” Albers said.
The Zionsville Century Club’s next meeting is at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 9, and the next Women of Impact meeting is at 5:30 p.m. in Ulen Country Club, Lebanon, on Aug. 29, both groups look forward to growing their membership and creating an even bigger impact.