What it Means to Be a 100 Women Member – Helen Axton

Being a member of 100 Women divides into two clear reasons for me; giving and receiving.

Like many people I have always being a regular donor to charitable causes, but over time things started to seem ‘not quite right’. Street and door knocking charity collectors were increasingly tainted by stories of donations being used to cover significant ‘expenses’, while the larger charities, desperately chasing the donation dollar appeared to be wasting more and more money on marketing materials and giveaways – funds that I felt should be going to the intended recipients. And then I was introduced to 100 Women. I had known founder Alicia Curtis for many years and admired her consistent support of women’s causes, plus, what really attracted me to her new 100 Women venture was the fact that all the money donated would be going to directly to the people who needed it most. Knowing that my donation will provide tangible benefits for women and girls, and being given an opportunity to vote on where the funding goes are strong reasons for me to give. And if ever there was in any doubt about the value 100 Women brings to the community, just listening to the recipients’ stories and knowing that you, as an individual, have made a significant difference to the lives of these people is all you need to know.

What I hadn’t anticipated was how much I would personally benefit from being a 100 Women member. It’s been fascinating to meet women from such a diverse range of backgrounds, each bringing their particular strengths and talents to the organisation. I’ve found it refreshing to see how open everyone is at social events; happy to say hello and include you in their conversations. However, the real benefit has come from joining the grants sub-committee; discussing the grant applications and working with my peers to reach what I’m confident are the best outcomes – for recipients and donors. The range of backgrounds of the sub-committee members regularly reminded me that there are so many different ways to view the same issue. I’ve gained and learned so much from my time with 100 Women – it really is the virtuous circle of giving and receiving.

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