(UPDATED 8/28/19) The Sacramento Women’s Action Network (SWAN) held their last giving circle meeting on August 15, 2019. Over its almost 16 1/2 years of existence, SWAN members made monetary donations totaling $148,647.50 to local non-profits! Not included in this figure are the non-monetary gifts dispersed each year during the annual holiday project, nor the items purchased for individual foster youths in need.
It was a bittersweet decision to disband the group, but members can rightly be proud of SWAN’s accomplishments over the years to help those in need and make Sacramento a better place to live.
(Original Post) Description of the Sacramento Women’s Action Network, a local giving circle composed of women – both working and retired – who want to help make a difference in our community.
SWAN 15th Anniversary Celebration
Sacramento Women’s Action Network (SWAN) celebrated its 15th Anniversary this month – a real milestone. To celebrate, in lieu of a business meeting SWAN members attended a performance of A Raisin In the Sun at Celebration Arts, a recent SWAN recipient.
See Related Post: Celebration Arts – A Raisin in the Sun
Arrangements had been made for the group to meet in advance of the performance at Celebration Arts to celebrate with champagne and cake. More importantly, SWAN members wanted to recognize and show our appreciation for Pam, SWAN co-founder and group coordinator.
Among her many interests, Pam blogs at Sacramento Vegan about vegan dining options in the Sacramento area. The cake served that evening was a vegan chocolate cake from Freeport Bakery. Believe me – you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy vegan chocolate cake!
SacramentoRevealed.com – All Things Sacramento (from a personal perspective)
What is a Giving Circle?
If you are not familiar with the “giving circle” concept it is pretty simple.
Two or more SWAN members volunteer to research and present to the group a local non-profit organization for consideration. SWAN has a list of “categories” (environment, animals, children, women, health/disabled, education/literacy, housing/homeless, culture, local disaster relief (as needed), seniors, hunger/poverty, foster children, potpourri, recreation, mental health), and when the list is completed we start over again.
SWAN members present vote (secret ballot) for the organization that will receive that month’s SWAN donation. A standardized format is utilized so that each presenter is providing the same information.
After the vote, SWAN members write a check (in whatever amount works for them). After a specified period of time the SWAN coordinator bundles the checks gathered at the meeting, along with others sent by members unable to attend, and sends them on their way. The heartfelt letters of thanks received from recipients are passed around at a future meeting.
Believe me – it is not uncommon for SWAN members to struggle when making a decision – as there are so many local organizations doing much needed work in our community. However, we all take solace in knowing that the organization(s) not selected that month can be presented again for future consideration.
In addition to participating in SWAN, many members actively work as volunteers with a variety of local non-profit organizations.
SWAN meets ten months a year, forgoing monthly business meetings during November and December – although a December get-together/party benefiting a local non-profit is an annual occurrence that we all look forward to.
Do you volunteer your time or regularly contribute to a specific local non-profit? If so, please share what makes this organization(s) special to you.
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