100peoplewhoshare makes a big impact in a small community

·3 min read

Five years ago, when Bill Pike attended the first meeting of a “100people” group in Hamilton, organized by his sons Jeremy and Nathan, it is unlikely he imagined he would find himself leading a similar group in Bruce County, or the huge impact the group would have on the local not-for-profit groups.

100peoplewhoshare is a community driven, third-party fundraising organization, with groups springing up across the province. It invites members to gather three or four times each year and donate $100 each meeting to a chosen charity. The gathering takes only an hour, but has an enormous impact on the charity that is awarded the donation. Pike refers to the organization as “the ever-ready local charity that keeps on giving.”

Pike says that back in 2016, his sons invited him to attend the first meeting of their fledgling group. He was so taken with the story of one of the presenting charities, Camp Erin, that he voted for it to receive the donation. He described feeling as he drove home that “it was the best $100 I ever spent.”

Shortly after attending the Hamilton meeting, his sons challenged him to start a similar group in Bruce County. So in January of 2017, Pike and his wife Sharon began sharing their vision and canvassing for members.

At the inaugural meeting of 100peoplewhoshare Bruce County in April, 2017 even they were surprised by the support and interest shown by the public. Eighty-two people came out, and Pike said he was “blown away” by the response. At that meeting, Bruce County’s Women’s House received $8,700. Since then, the group has continued to meet three times each year, and has just celebrated its fourth successful year.

The organization uses a simple selection process when choosing a recipient for the donation. Any member can nominate a charity to participate. The charity must be able to provide tax receipts, offer service to the local community and a representative must commit to coming to meetings prepared to give a five-minute presentation describing what the donation will be used for. At the meeting, three of the nominated charities are randomly selected to give a presentation. One of those three charities receives the donation, which is based on the votes from members.

Past recipients include Huron Shores Hospice, the Kincardine hospital auxiliary and Big Brothers and Sisters. Once a charity is selected to receive the donation, they are not eligible to participate for three years.

Since its first meeting in 2017, the group has raised more than $130,000., 100 per cent of which goes directly to the chosen charity.

“Our goal is to, and has been for four years, to make a local, financial impact,” said Pike.

Since the pandemic broke in early 2020, the organization has adapted its meetings to a virtual format, in order to ensure the safety of all members and presenters. The 2021 meetings are scheduled for April 26, July 26 and Oct. 25. The April meeting will be run via Zoom, and Pike has his fingers crossed that by July the group will be able to gather in some fashion. He says part of the appeal of the group is the excitement and connection members feel with the community and the charities they learn about.

“We are feeling even more need for our work with COVID, which has been disastrous for charities,” said Pike. “The entire country is suffering. Now more than ever is our time to help people locally.”

Anyone interested in learning more about 100peoplewhoshare Bruce County can email Pike at billpike3@gmail.comor find the group on Facebook. New members are always welcome.

Tammy Lindsay Schneider, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kincardine Independent