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East County Wednesday, Jun. 26, 2019 5 months ago

Sisterhood for Good's independence pays off

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Obtaining nonprofit status has allowed Sisterhood for Good to better control its philanthropic destiny.
by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

Last summer, after the Sisterhood for Good distributed $9,552 to six organizations, Grants Committee Chairwoman  Terri Stern set a lofty goal — to double the donations in one year’s time.

On June 18, that goal was realized as Sisterhood for Good gave out $20,000 to 11 area charities.

“I realized we were growing, and people were coming together,” Stern said. “I said, ‘Why not?’ Next year, I’d love to [hit] $40,000. It’s something to reach for.”

Last week, the organization reached 110 members, and Stern said the sky is the limit in terms of membership and fundraising.

The Sisterhood for Good organization started in 2011 as a donor-advised fund of the Manatee Community Foundation. 

Although the Sisterhood will continue to grow its $50,000 endowment at the Manatee  Foundation, its new nonprofit status, earned in October 2018, creates more opportunity to give because there are fewer restrictions around how money can be raised and spent, said Angela Massaro-Fain, founding member and board chairwoman.

Of the $20,000 awarded last week, about $9,000 came from funds held by the Manatee Community Foundation, while $11,000 came directly from the Sisterhood’s fundraising efforts, Massaro-Fain said.

The group is planning a “Designer Bag Bingo” fundraiser in October. Its fashion show fundraiser in April raised $22,000.

Massaro-Fain said such events are what make giving circles successful. Although members could write donation checks independently, giving circles focus on group philanthropy.

“It’s all women,” Massaro-Fain said. “We kind of get each other, and we’re about group philanthropy. It’s not as much fun to write checks [on your own].”

As the group grows, its ambitions will too. Last year, Sisterhood for Good considered 38 grant applications and awarded nearly $10,000 to six organizations. This year, more than 50 organizations applied.

Massaro-Fain said women are motivated to give as much back to the community as they can.

“Some of the applications, when you’re reading, you need a tissue,” she said. “It reinforces why we do what we do. That just tells me that the need is still out there.”

On June 18, Sisterhood for Good awarded grants from $1,000 to $3,600 to 11 charities.

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