Q: What is a giving circle?
A: The “giving circle” concept is as simple as it is powerful. A giving circle is formed when individuals come together and pool their dollars, decide together where to give the money, and learn together about their community and philanthropy. The concept behind giving circles is that pooled giving has a greater impact in a community. Here are our bylaws (PDF).
- Bylaws 2023 (199.908 KB)
Q: Who can join HTH?
A: All women are invited to participate in the HTH Giving Circle and become informed strategic philanthropists. A contribution of $500 entitles you to one year of membership and a single vote as to how the money will be granted back to the community. The annual membership drive takes place April-December of each year. Fill out the form here to join or renew your membership.
Q: What are the membership options?
A: As an alternative to the $500 Individual Voting Membership, women can join together for a Shared Membership. With a Shared Membership, two women split a membership and share a single vote. Shared Members are all welcome to serve on the Grants, Communications and Program committees. A Discovery Membership is also available for those interested in participating in HTH for the first time.
Q: Can I invite friends to Handbags?
A: Yes, please do! Most of our members became members because they were invited to join. You are welcome to bring a friend (or several) to any meeting except our March voting meeting. There will also be opportunities to bring guests to summer social and recruitment events.
Q: How much of my donation goes towards administrative expenses?
A: Absolutely no money from your $500 membership donation will be used for administrative costs. Administrative expenses are covered by interest earned on the collective fund and donations to the “Friends of HTH” fund at The Community Foundation. There will be a $45 fee per individual to cover meeting and administrative expenses (the need and amount of this fee will be evaluated each year).
Q: Will members be required to participate in fundraising activities?
A: Members will not be asked to do any fundraising. The only thing required of a member is a $500 annual contribution. That donation gives you a single vote as to how the pooled funds will be awarded that year. There may be special fundraising opportunities and events throughout the year, which are optional for members.
Q: Can I give more than $500?
A: Absolutely! Each woman is limited to a single vote. However, additional funds may be used several ways:
- Grow the Endowment: Giving to the HTH Endowment Fund will enable Handbags to grow in perpetuity. Donations are pooled and invested, then an annual distribution can be added to the grant pool if the membership chooses to do so.
- Gift a Membership: Depending on the amount of your gift, you may want to consider “gifting” a membership to a family member or friend. You would receive the tax deduction and your family member/friend will receive the membership rights.
- Add to the Grant Pool: Funds may be added to the total grant amount.
Q: How much time is involved in being a member of HTH?
A: That is entirely up to you. Your involvement can range from as little as sending your annual donation and casting your vote….to serving as an officer or a committee member. Meetings are held four times per year – March, April, September and December. Education opportunities are also scheduled throughout the year. For those who wish to be more involved, HTH members can serve on various committees such as Guiding Circle, Grants, Communication and Program Committees.
Q: What if I’m not able to attend the March voting meeting?
A: There are four meetings per year, with voting taking place at the March meeting. If you are not able to attend the meeting, especially for our “snow birds” who winter in Florida, your ballot will be sent to you immediately following the March meeting.
Q: How can I get more information about HTH?
A: Contact The Community Foundation at (419) 425-1100. You can also view our membership brochure and application.
Q: I'd like to apply for a grant. Where can I find information?
A: Visit the Grant Opportunities page.