Making a Difference – The Power of 100 Twin Cities

Published in North Oaks Living magazine – March, 2017

Edited by Tara Myers

North Oaks resident Lisa Mattson loves spreading the word about The Power of 100 – Twin Cities, an organization she founded with several women from North Oaks and the Shoreview area in 2012. Lisa explains, “The Power of 100 is a giving circle for women who are interested in collectively giving to charities in our local communities. Any charity that is a 501(c)3 is eligible to benefit from donations given by members of The Power of 100 – Twin Cities.”

So how did The Power of 100 get started?

“This group of women had volunteered together for years at our children’s schools and sports associations,” Lisa says. “As our children got older, we were looking for new ways to support our local community.” A group got together and started brainstorming about ways to collectively give back. Through a quick Google search, the ladies learned about a group in Ohio called 100+ Women Who Care that was bringing women together to help address the financial needs of charities in their area. Lisa and her group used their model to create The Power of 100 – Twin Cities in 2012. “I am delighted to be a founding member of an organization that has such a simple, powerful, and effective concept!” Lisa shares. Since then, The Power of 100 has fostered the development of three new chapters in the Twin Cities; in addition to their group in the east metro, there are now chapters in Eden Prairie, Lake Minnetonka, and Maple Grove.

Some of the highlights of being a part of this group include learning about the hundreds of charitable organizations in the local community, and the needs that they address. “It has been amazing to see how four meetings a year can have such a big impact on these charities,” Lisa says. An article in the Star Tribune led to a partnership with the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation and the development of a matching grant program. The matching donations from the Schulze Foundation have allowed these ladies to significantly increase the donations their group makes to the selected charities.

Over the past four years, the chapter has donated thousands of dollars to help local charities. Lisa exclaims, “To date, our group has donated over $320,000 to 17 different charities in the Twin
Cities area!” Their donations have helped organizations repair their furnace and security system (Alexandra House – women’s shelter), provide vehicles to families that need to get to work (Cars for Neighbors – repairs donated vehicles for new owners), or supply parents with items for their new baby (Second Stork – provides hospitals with items for families of newborns). The list of rewarding moments goes on and on. Lisa explains, “Each time we present checks to these charitable organizations, we get a much clearer understanding about the services that they provide to people in our local community and the ways that the Power of 100 can help address those needs.” Lisa is proud to report, “There are now over 400 chapters just like our group who are meeting quarterly around the world. The 100 Who Care Alliance was formed to support the continued growth of organizations just like ours. I was delighted to be a part of the inaugural Alliance meeting in 2015.”

 

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful
committed citizens could change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
~ Margaret Mead