Don’t hesitate to ask questions or make suggestions at any time … this is your club!
Do I need to be invited or can I just join on my own? No formal invitation is needed. You can join and get involved immediately. Just complete the membership form to join. Once you submit the membership form and pay your dues we know you are committed. OR come to a meeting and complete the quick membership application there. Joining is simple!
Can I join the club for less than $80 a year? To be a club member you must commit to writing a $100 check at each meeting to the chosen nonprofit AND pay an annual $80 membership fee (during COVID we are still collecting this fee. The bulk of the fee is then sent on to nonprofits). We want our members committed to our giving philosophy.
What can I expect to see and experience at a meeting? Upon arrival you’ll pick up your name tag, nomination form, drink tickets and voting card. Then it is time to greet old friends and meet new ones. It is also during this time, if you wish, you will want to write the name of the nonprofit you wish to nominate on your card and drop it in the bucket. Around 6:00 everyone moves to the meeting room. There three nomination cards are randomly selected from the bucket. Then we learn about the three selected nonprofits (a quick two minute presentation each) and a few minutes for membership comments or questions and then a written vote is taken. You are asked, that night, to write a check (or put cash into an envelope) to the chosen nonprofit.
After a couple of meetings what if I decide this club isn’t for me? First of all, we’ll be disappointed you are quitting and hope you take the time to provide us with any feedback as to what we could improve in order to keep you a member. Joining is a commitment we hope members take seriously. Since you committed to writing a $100 check to the chosen nonprofit per meeting we’ll hold you to that commitment until the end of the cycle year. With that said, you can always stop attending, but we’d like you to stick around forever!
I have a friend who might be interested in joining. Can she come as my guest before deciding? We love having guests attend. If you have a chance let us know they are coming so we can have a name tag ready (firstname.lastname@example.org). Guests can attend one meeting at no expense. They will receive two drink tickets and certainly can enjoy our appetizers and dessert. They cannot nominate nor vote though. But they can write a check to any of the nonprofits presented that night if they so desire.
How should I dress for the club meetings? Our mantra is simplicity so wear what is comfortable. Ok, I take that back, none of us have yet to show up in our pajamas! Many women come directly from work so they are dressed in business attire yet others arrive in casual clothes. It is Grand Junction so don’t worry about it!
Will the club accept credit cards for donations? Our mantra, as you have read, is simplicity and although credit cards might make your life simpler, it turns out taking them is not so simple for the club. Therefore we are asking everyone to bring either a check or cash to the meeting or to prepay for the entire year ($400 plus $80 in membership dues) and have us write your checks for you. NEW in 2020 – members can pay via VENMO. Sign up for this app for free and transfer money from your bank account to ours (for free) using the account: @judy_vanderleest
I never seem to remember my checkbook. Can I just write you one check, per year, for $400? In fact that is the preferred way these days. Simply write your $400 check to The Giving Club and then every meeting we will write a check to the chosen nonprofit for you. We will let the nonprofit selected know the check coming from The Giving Club represents your contribution. You will receive a thank you which should include tax donation acknowledgment from the nonprofit. Do be aware we personally are not a 501 (c) (3).
What if I can’t make one of the meetings? If you don’t make the meeting you are still committed to making the donation. You will receive an e-mail within the next day or two letting you know about the evening and which nonprofit was selected. We’ll then ask you to write a check payable to that nonprofit and have you mail it to THE GIVING CLUB, P.O. BOX 1382, 81502. Our goal is to collect all no show’s checks within the week so we can present them all together to the nonprofit.
I dislike awkward socializing. Can I skip that part of the meeting? We too dislike awkward socializing therefore we are going to make this part of the meeting fun and very un-awkward! If you still aren’t interested, feel free to arrive around closer to 6:00 when the socializing part is winding down.
I love the networking aspect. Is it ok to put my cards around so people know of my services?
Our focus is on nonprofits and we have a place where nonprofits can leave their brochures or fundraising posters. Remember we want to keep things simple so we ask for members to focus on the nonprofits and not on their own businesses. Thus please do not place your cards around or hand them out without being asked for one.
Must I nominate a local non-profit at the meetings? Simplicity is our mantra so we won’t make you do anything you don’t want. Thus you are never required to nominate any organization. It is fine to sit back, enjoy, listen and learn.
What happens if I don’t care for the non-profit the group votes on? There are many great organizations to support and we realize you might not deeply care for the charity chosen. However it is a Giving Club and club members support each other right? By joining you participate in selecting the charity by voting. As a club we all totally support the charity who receives the most votes that evening.
What exactly will the $80 membership fee cover? Your fee covers wine, beer, well and soft drinks along with heavy appetizers and desserts at each meeting (and yes you can have more than one dessert). In addition it covers our minimal overhead costs (ie banking, webpage, notecards, etc). We are extremely fortunate SpringHill Suites offers us our room at no cost thus saving us a lot of money!
Can I nominate a nationally recognized non-profit? Yes – since many of our local non-profits are nationally recognized!! If you meant can you nominate a non-local charity the answer is no. The Giving Club would like to support local nonprofits only.
Ok, are there any other limits on the non-profits I can nominate? They must be active 501(c)(3) nonprofit which has a direct impact in our community. Although some religious and political groups meet this qualification we are going to limit our support to non-political and only religious entities if their mission excludes preaching the good word (i.e. Catholic Outreach with their soup kitchen or a church housing the homeless of all denominations). Lastly if the nonprofit has received the quarterly donation from The Giving Club in the past they are not eligible to be nominated until three full years have passed. A list of these organizations is displayed near the nomination bucket.
Can we tell the non-profit how we want the money spent? One of the things we love about this club is … simplicity!!! So we are not going to require the nonprofit to spend the donation in any specific manner nor will we require they complete any 6 page report! The process of having members vote should largely provide the “protection” the club will choose a worthy group.