Benefits of Membership

As a Many Hands member, you will:

» Multiply the impact of your giving by joining forces with hundreds of other donors to make high impact grants to local nonprofits.

» Meet a diverse group of talented, dedicated donors who are committed to making a difference in the lives of Washington, DC area women, children, and families in socioeconomic need.

» Gain unique insight into challenges facing local communities in the areas of economic empowerment, education, health, and housing and learn from nonprofit leaders how they are working to address those needs.

» Deepen your understanding of grantmaking and philanthropy and become a more effective philanthropist.

» Discover new ways to become engaged in the community.

Many Hands—Your Way

We have many volunteer opportunities but no volunteer requirement. We welcome philanthropists of all ages and backgrounds to support our mission in the ways that best fit their interests and needs.

Types of Membership

We have three categories of membership–Member, Sustaining Member, and Young Member–that differ only in the amount members contribute. All Many Hands members enjoy the same benefits:

» All members are invited to participate in education events and opportunities to meet other members. We typically host two events per year, one in the fall and one in the spring. These events frequently feature past grantees as well as local experts and have addressed a broad range of topics, including mass incarceration, challenges facing the foster care system, DC’s maternal mortality crisis, and philanthropy and racial equity.

» All members are invited to help plan events, recruit new members, work on communications and marketing, and support other areas of operations through the Membership, Communications, and ad hoc committees.

» All members who join by 12/31 are eligible to review grant applications as members of a Focus Area Committee (FAC). The four FACs meet from January to April to review grant applications, conduct site visits, and ultimately select one grantee each. The review process is collaborative and inclusive and typically characterized by lively, insightful discussion. FACs are scheduled at a variety of times and locations, including online, to maximize opportunities for participation.

» All members are invited to attend the Annual Meeting to hear presentations from the four grantees and to vote for the organization that will receive the $100,000 Impact Grant. (You do not need to attend the Annual Meeting to vote.)

Members and Sustaining Members both make an annual base membership contribution of $1,000 that goes directly to Many Hands’ grantees. The base membership contribution for Young Members (under 35) is $500.

Sustaining Members make additional voluntary contributions to support Many Hands’ operating expenses, including software, accounting services, technical support, and events. If you become a Sustaining Member, the first $500 of your gift in excess of the $1,000 base membership contribution will go toward operations. Amounts contributed in excess of $1,500 will go to grantees. (These calculations exclude covered credit card fees, which are allocated to operations.) If you have questions about the allocation of your gift, please contact us at

All memberships are for a single grant cycle (May-May). A membership takes effect as soon as a qualifying donation is made and expires after the Annual Meeting for that grant cycle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Many Hands is a 501(c)3 organization. Donations to Many Hands are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

The minimum donation to become a Member is $1,000 for women 35 and up. Women aged 25-34 may take advantage of our Young Member program, which offers full membership benefits and voting privileges for an annual donation of $500 or more. 

No. Each member can cast one vote at the Annual Meeting, but we greatly appreciate all donations in excess of $1,000, which help fund Many Hands’ operating expenses.

Sustaining Members choose to donate an additional amount to support Many Hands’ operating expenses. We deeply appreciate the generosity of members who make gifts beyond their basic membership contributions. Together with the board, they make it possible for us to operate efficiently and professionally by underwriting the costs of education programming, software for grant and donor management, accounting fees, legal fees, printing, and meeting support. Sustaining Members receive the same membership benefits and voting privileges as Members.

Your membership contribution is the amount that goes directly to grantees: $1,000 for Members and Sustaining Members and $500 for Young Members. Your donation is the entire amount you contribute to Many Hands, including any contribution you make to cover credit fees or help underwrite Many Hands’ operating expenses. This distinction is made solely for the purposes of Many Hands’ internal accounting. It does not affect the tax-deductibility of your gift.

To discuss a monthly payment plan, please email Margaret Vassilikos  at

No. All members are invited to serve on our committees and to vote on grants, but no one is required to do so.

No. All members are eligible to vote on grants.

Yes. All voting takes place electronically.

The Membership Year

The Many Hands year, or grant cycle, runs from May to May. We are typically most active in the fall, when we are recruiting members and accepting grant applications, and in the winter and spring, when we review applications and select our grantees. The summer is relatively quiet for members, although the process of reviewing and updating our policies, practices, and systems continues behind the scenes.

May The grant cycle begins on the day following the Annual Meeting that marks the end of the previous cycle; any donations made from this date onward go toward the grants that will be made the following May.
October The member kickoff featuring past Many Hands grantees welcomes returning and prospective members.
November The fall education event is typically held on a weekday evening.
December Members who wish to serve on a Focus Area Committee must make their gift by 12/31. However, we gratefully accept donations toward this grant cycle until the Annual Meeting in May.
January In early January, members are invited to sign up for a Focus Area Committee.
January-April Focus Area Committees review applications, conduct site visits, and select grantees.
April The spring education event is typically held on a weekday evening.
May We announce the four grantees in early May. Members receive the four organizations’ proposals in advance of the Annual Meeting, which is held in mid-May and includes presentations from the grantees. Following the meeting members vote to select the recipient of the $100,000 Impact Grant.

Stay Informed

Our monthly newsletter, which appears September through June, provides updates on our work and information about opportunities to get involved. Click here to sign up. We also encourage members and friends to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Supporting women to achieve their economic goals is essential to have thriving communities and families. Many Hands‘ commitment to supporting nonprofits engaged in making a difference in the lives of women and fostering economic agency speaks to my personal commitment to have an impact and acknowledge the dignity of all people.

Ritta McLaughlin, Many Hands member since 2020
Member headshot

I believe strongly in the exponential power of collective giving, especially female-centric philanthropy, and Many Hands is the perfect way to become part of this movement. My favorite part of Many Hands is the opportunity to learn about the hundreds of nonprofits in the metro DC area. I am inspired every day because of them.

Marianne MacDonald, Many Hands Founding Member
There is great power in the ability of Many Hands‘ membership to combine forces and resources to help effect change. Many small but important nonprofit organizations exist in this area, and it has been a profound learning experience for me to begin to understand some of the challenges they face.
Rita Shapiro, Many Hands member since 2020

At Many Hands, we trust the organizations to whom we give our funds to do the right things and to have impact in a way that truly meets the needs of the organization, the community, and the individuals in the community that the organization serves.

Gerri Walsh, Many Hands member since 2019
Member headshot

I am so happy that I found Many Hands and jumped on the opportunity to contribute to this wonderful organization. Joining has given me the opportunity to become intentional with my philanthropic donations, meet a diverse group of inspiring women leaders, gain exposure to numerous philanthropies in the area, and witness the complexities of a grantmaking life cycle.

Melissa Hancock O'Neil, Many Hands member since 2020

Being part of a larger collective movement of women with an aim to make change in the lives of women, children, and families is inspiring. The chosen organizations have the potential to be life-altering for so many. Knowing the work we do makes a difference motivates me to want to do more. I’m so very proud to be a member!

Mika Bellamy, Many Hands member since 2018

I love the amplification impact of a $1,000 donation being multiplied many times over.  I am aware of how difficult it is for small organizations to raise money and know how impactful a $100,000 or $50,000 grant can be for them. I also love the fact that the funds are contributed by successful women!

Theresa Pattara, Many Hands member since 2020

I’ve been inspired and impressed by the wide range of dedicated, high-performing nonprofits serving our area. I now have a much better understanding of the entire local ecosystem supporting women, children, and families. This makes me a more discerning individual donor, a better board member, and a better citizen.

Jan Piercy, Many Hands member since 2019

I joined Many Hands after having the opportunity to hear speakers from three organizations that had received Many Hands grants–Greater DC Diaper Bank, Horton’s Kids, and Reach Inc.–describe the direct and positive impact Many Hands had on the communities they served. After that incredible introduction, it was a no-brainer to join.

Rachel Li Wai Suen, Many Hands member since 2019

Many Hands has been a perfect fit for me. As a feminist and activist, I was looking for a way to make a difference in my community. Through Many Hands, I not only contribute financially but also, equally important, have the opportunity to evaluate firsthand the many local organizations that are transforming the lives of women and children. And finally, I have met amazing Many Hands women who are now my friends.

Joanne Howes, Many Hands member since 2015

Many Hands serves many purposes. Most important, of course, is continuing to raise funds to assist women and children in need in our community, but it also offers a unique opportunity for donors to learn about their community, philanthropy, and grant making while developing meaningful relationships with like-minded women.

Ana Collins, Many Hands Founding Board Member
Member headshot

In many cases, the fallout of a crisis is not gender-neutral. Seeing the economic toll of COVID-19 on women, in particular, prompted me to take action. I joined Many Hands so I can belong to a community of like-minded individuals working together to have large-scale impacts in helping to support women and families.

Suzanna Kang, Many Hands member since 2020

Many Hands gives a boost to dynamic grassroots organizations, while drawing together groups of women from diverse walks of life across the DC metro area. I joined Many Hands to support this exciting “alliance” of women.

Lydia Micheaux Marshall, Many Hands member since 2013