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How Women Giving Back Got Started

The idea for Women Giving Back was inspired by a Chicago Tribune article about a group called 100 Men Who Give a Damn.  This group meets quarterly and funds a charity voted upon by the members. The article also mentioned a women's group called 100 Women Who Care that has a similar mission. 


So we thought, "Why can't we form our own group, invite family and friends, and accomplish the same goal?" We then organized Women Giving Back Illinois with the goal of funding local charities doing great things.  


Our first meeting was on August 21, 2017, at Sunset Foods in Northbrook. We continue to meet three or four times a year to support amazing charities

If you are interested in learning more about Women Giving Back Illinois, contact us


Meet our Co-Founders

Sandy Wagman


"Helping other people has always been my passion.  I got my dream job as a lawyer when I went to work in the Consumer Protection Division of the Illinois Attorney General's Office right out of law school.  I was able to help people who had been the victims of deceptive business practices and loved it.


Over the past few years, I've felt overwhelmed by the depressing news that confronts us every day. I wondered what one person could do to make a positive difference in other people's lives.  The Chicago Tribune article about 100 Men Who Give a Damn gave me the answer.  Why not form a community of family and friends who shared this goal of making an impact by supporting small charities doing great things.  We'd pool our resources and fund the missions of these amazing organizations.  


I then shared this idea with Lisa, and she said, "Let's do it!". We became a team, combined our contacts, and started Women Giving Back Illinois.  We've been amazed by its success and hope to grow our membership--and donations--substantially. 


I live with my husband, mom and two naughty, but loveable rescue dogs in Glenview where we raised our two sons.   When I'm not working, you can find me every morning at my second home--the Glenview Park Center where I'm a fitness class junkie."     

Sandy Wagman (l) and Lisa Dembo (r) with Blair Brettschneider, Founder and Executive Director of GirlForward. 
Sandy launching website.JPG
Sandy Wagman launches our website!  And check out the cool Women Giving Back t-shirt. 

Lisa Dembo


Biography to come.     

What our members say about Women Giving Back Illinois



"I find it so easy to get wrapped up in my own day-to-day life that it's easy to forget just how many people are facing big challenges each and every day. Going to these meetings makes me happy to meet those angels who are working to provide assistance. I'm so happy to be an "angel-apprentice" for a night and hope to be able to do more in the future."

Renee, Buffalo Grove, IL 


"I always come home from the meetings feeling inspired and better about the world.  Thank you for what you're doing!"

Colleen, Highland Park, IL


"I hope we keep getting suggestions like Curt's Cafe and The Nora Project. I was so glad we voted for them. Two homes runs, Sandy. Thanks to Sandy and Lisa!"

Susan, Northbrook, IL


"At each meeting of Women Giving Back Illinois, we learn about amazing charities run by passionate and dedicated people.  It is difficult to decide between the nominated charities as each is deserving of our support. If you want to connect with positive people supporting charities doing great things, join us at our next meeting!"

Cathy, Glenview IL


I got goosebumps reading your report of last night's meeting!  I’m so proud of you and your vision, and so I’m happy to have participated!  You should feel so good!!     

Laurie, Highland Park IL



Writing checks is the easy part. I’m so impressed with all that you and Lisa are doing to bring attention to all these worthy charities. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I can see by the emails, you are spending a lot of time into the wee hours working on this. It is appreciated by us, as well as, the charities.

Eve, Buffalo Grove IL


Our Mission
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