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The Scarlet & Black

100+ People Who Care collective philanthropy

Photo By Sarah Ruiz SARAH RUIZ 100+ People Who Care met on April 25 to decide where to donate this session’s $5000 went to Tiger Packs.

By Zane Silk

Photo By Sarah Ruiz
100+ People Who Care met on April 25 to decide where to donate this session’s $5000 went to Tiger Packs.

Grinnell, and Poweshiek County more broadly, have many different organizations working in social justice to help those in need. After realizing that these organizations are frequently underfunded, two couples joined forces to start 100+ People Who Care in Grinnell last December.

Al and Donna Ricks and Christine and Dennis Day were inspired by similar groups in Pella and Marshalltown to start a group, in which all members commit to donating $100 to the organization chosen by the group at meetings four times per year.  Most recently, the group met on April 25 to determine the recipient for their first pooled donation, and Tiger Packs was selected as the winning organization.

“Any member can nominate an organization or a cause, and then they write that on a card, and those go in to a bag,” said co-founder Donna Ricks. “Last night we had four, and so we drew three out. Last night, the three that were drawn were Social Entrepreneurs of Grinnell and then also the MICA Food Pantry and then Tiger Packs. So those were the three that we heard presentations on, and then we voted.”

The organization’s method of pooling resources allows them to provide one charity group the potential to do a lot more good than smaller, dispersed donations individuals could do.

“There are so many organizations in the Grinnell area, and worthy causes, that really are in great need of more financial assistance, and we could each individually write them a check of a $100. But by pooling our resources, we can do a whole more good by giving them a check for $5,000, $10,000, whatever it’ll end up being,” Ricks said.

Tiger Packs, the winning organization, is seeking to expand its provision of food packs to low-income children and will receive roughly $5,500. At the next meeting in July, a new organization to support will be chosen, and a representative from Tiger Packs will give a rundown of how the previous donation has been used.

Ricks hopes that members do not divert funds from other giving they are already doing to support the group, but rather supplement their philanthropy.

“We have said to our membership that we hope that they will still continue to give to the other organizations that they have already been giving to. My sense is that people are going above and beyond what they are giving to other organizations,” Ricks said. 

Through word of mouth and local media, 56 members have joined the groups, though as its name implies, the goal is to surpass 100 members eventually.

“We are growing and I think we will have our 100 members by the time we meet again,” Ricks said. “People will read about it in the newspaper, they’ll see what’s happening and want to be part of it.”

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