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'100 Women For Good' come together to give back in Bloomington-Normal

A local organization is looking to expand its numbers as members continue giving back to the community.

100 Women for Good: Bloomington-Normal gathers 100 women to give $100 each, resulting in a total of $10,000 to donate. The women meet to speak to three or four nonprofits several times a year when the nonprofits present gaps they have in their funding. At the end of the meeting,100 Women collectively decide which group to assist.

Marie Eledge, founder of 100 Women for Good Bloomington-Normal, said the parameters for funding is simple: The program must have local impact.

“We want that money to stay within our local Bloomington-Normal area. That money has to actually directly impact people within our community. So, in other words, it can't be, maybe gap funding that they need for an administrative position or capital improvements like landscaping or painting,” said Eledge.

She also emphasizes wanting more women in the community to join the organization to expand the amount of donations in future meetings.

“I would say that we call it 100 Women, but that's, I'll say, a spiritual number and we'd really like to see our membership grow in 2022 to 300 women right now,” said Eledge.

She said she wanted to bring this to Bloomington-Normal because nonprofits often face a gap in funding and she saw this as a way to help the community while bringing women together.

“Some women working in all sorts of industries and professions, and an opportunity to meet each other. As well as educate this group of women on the services that are available within Bloomington-Normal and help them understand that there is an underserved population within our community,” said Eledge.

"And I really wanted to bring that group of women together to help meet some of that need that some of our services, our nonprofit services, sometimes can't meet due to a lack of funding.”

Eledge said the group was only able to meet once in person before the pandemic hit, but they moved to a virtual setting. Afterwards, many organizations began to see an increase in need for many nonprofits, and 100 Women began to see a jump from three to four applications to around 17 in recent meetings.

She said the group also encourages nonprofits that have received funding to come back and talk about the impact it had on their programs.

“So, our members not only donate and see that money go to that nonprofit. But they also get to hear from a nonprofit about how they use that money. They usually tell us some personal stories about impact with individuals, so that's really great as well,” she said.

Maritza Navar-Lopez is a student reporting intern at WGLT. She joined the newsroom in 2021.