Greenville Women Giving-Making an impact in members and the community
Mothers change the world every day. In Greenville County, many of them are working together, pooling their resources, and mobilizing for good. That is the essence of the collective giving, education and inspiration that is poured into and flows out of Greenville Women Giving.
The philanthropic organization is celebrating a very sweet 16 years of harnessing the power of collaboration and making high-impact grants to organizations that serve Greenville County in the areas of arts, education, environment, health, and human services.
When Shaniece Criss learned about the organization, she saw it as an opportunity to make a difference in a way that worked for her schedule and family. Participating has given her the camaraderie of meeting people from different backgrounds and life stages.
“What really stood out to me was collective giving,” Criss said. “And depending on what’s going on in my schedule, I can go to the different events, or I can focus on my gift and I know both are appreciated and both make a difference.”
Greenville Women Giving awards grants to nonprofit organizations in amounts ranging from $50,000 – $100,000 each, with the support of a membership that is now more than 500 women strong. To join, each woman commits to donating $1,200 per year for three years. They have opportunities to serve beyond that as well, participating in the grant-making process, learning together, and simply making friends with others who want to be involved in making the community better for all.
Laura Moore said she was sold on the mission and the fact that there are no time requirements for serving.
“You can do as much or as little as you want,” she said. “We have some members that are at every single event and we have some that donate their money every year and vote on the organizations that we give a grant to.”
And both ways of participating are welcome.
“There’s no guilt if your soccer games interfere with night events,” Moore said. “You matter just as much as the person that comes to everything. It really is an organization that you can do as much or as little as you want, which is very freeing and also unique.”
In addition to its grants, a key part of the mission of Greenville Women Giving is to educate, engage and inspire others by hosting education sessions in each of its five areas of focus. Those events are free (with registration) and guests are welcome to attend.
When Gina Blohm joined in 2015, she was also in the season of parenting an almost 1-year-old. Flexibility was a requirement. Even though her name is on the membership, the giving is a family affair and her husband sometimes comes to the education sessions as well.
“You can learn a ton,” Blohm said. “You can grow with the organization.”
Learn more about Greenville Women Giving at greenvillewomengiving.org. Upcoming education programs include on The Abilities of Students With Disabilities (Education) Nov. 17, Clean Air! (Environment) on Jan. 18, and Using the Arts to Build Resilience in Teens (Arts) on March 15. For more information or to register for programs, call 864-361-1393 or visit greenvillewomengiving.org.