Leslie DeVore would liken Henderson GiVe to a book club — it meets once a month with the same group of women who discuss a topic.
However, instead of a book, these women pitch $50 each, which equates to about $500 or $600 per month.
The topic is who the giving circle will donate that money to.
“It was just $50 (per month), but it adds up quickly,” said DeVore, the group’s founder.
In October, the group reached its “Golden Give.”
“We just gave our $50,000 donation,” DeVore added. “How quickly $50 turns into $50,000.”
The idea formed in 2007 when DeVore picked up an article that featured the concept.
“I read it and thought, ‘That’s something I could do,’ ” she said.
She presented the idea to her group of friends — 10 Henderson women — who gathered regularly for birthdays and special occasions. Instead of going out to eat, they would do a potluck and donate the money they would have spent on food.
While the group has changed over time, most of the original members are still around. There are now 12 women in the group, which means they donate $600 per month.
“Because we all have busy schedules , they can’t meet up every month,” she said. “They do contribute their money every month though.”
As far as what the money goes to, DeVore said the group was open to ideas.
“We all throw out different ideas each month,” she said.
Laura McBride, who has been a member since its inception, said one of the things she enjoys about Henderson GiVe is the freedom to choose just about anything to donate money to.
“We don’t give to political or religious organizations because we wouldn’t want to do anything that would make one of us uncomfortable,” she said. “I like that we have the flexibility in who we give to.”
The first donation, in 2007, was to a landscaper that was well known within the group.
“He had a very serious shoulder injury,” she said. “It was his family business. If he couldn’t work, that would be bad for his business.”
While $500 wasn’t a lot of money, DeVore said he could at least use the money to take care of a bill or two.
McBribe added the group doesn’t follow up with how the person spent the money.
“They are free to use it how they want to,” she said.
The October milestone was given to Clark High School teacher Luanne Wagner.
“And of course, she spent it on other things for her students,” DeVore said.
Throughout the years, Henderson GiVe has donated to organizations such as the Rape Crisis Center and Trauma Intervention of Southern Nevada, or to people fighting cancer who have GoFundMe pages.
McBride said being part of Henderson GiVe has touched her heart.
One in particular was at an elementary school, in which the group used the money to cater lunch for the staff.
McBride said along with lunch, the principal had one more request.
“She asked would the 12 of us manage the student’s lunch and recess so they could all eat together,” McBride said. “Of course we said yes.”
The group disseminated all the lunches and got to play with the children at recess.
While DeVore likes the group’s loose structure, she’s thinking about how the giving network could have a bigger impact.
“I think more people could be doing this,” she added.
She recently launched givetogether.org to spread the message about giving networks and inspire others to register groups.
Two other groups have popped up on the website, one being in Coronado, California — both groups were created by people she knows.
The website gives resources and ideas on how groups can form.
“A giving circle is a wonderful way to get involved in your community, leverage your charitable giving dollars, and meet and socialize with like-minded friends,” DeVore said. “I hope others would be part of this movement.”
To reach Henderson View reporter Michael Lyle, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 702-387-5201. Find him on Twitter: @mjlyle.