Women Giving Back (WGB) Illinois is a Glenview-based micro philanthropy created to “support local charities doing great things”. The group was founded in 2017 by Glenview resident Sandy Wagman and Northbrook resident Lisa Dembo. At its 12th meeting in September 2021, Women Giving Back Illinois surpassed the important milestone of $100,000 in donations given to local charities.
As with other micro philanthropies, Women Giving Back Illinois combines smaller individual donations to impact local charities. Wagman explains, “I read an article about 100 Men Who Give a Damn of Chicago and their commitment to pooling their donations to support a local charity. Lisa and I decided to form a similar group and asked our families and friends to join. They were excited by the idea, in turn invited their friends, and started suggesting amazing local charities to support. To think that in just 12 meetings we’ve donated over $100,000 to more than 17 local charities is unbelievable. It truly takes a village.”
Women Giving Back meets several times a year. In advance of each meeting, members can nominate a charity to receive the group’s support. Up to three charities are drawn from a hat to present to the WGB members in attendance. After the presentations, attendees vote by secret ballot on a selected charity. Members then write a check to the charity (the recommendation is $100 but any amount is welcome) and many write additional checks to the other charities. Wagman said, “The stories presented by our nominated charities are so compelling and the need so great that our members often can’t choose one over the other. Many write a check to the other charities, too.”