Many Hands is committed to being the most meaningful vehicle for giving in our members’ lives. By leveraging the power of collective giving, we multiply the impact of our members’ gifts. Equally important, Many Hands members become well-informed donors by participating in our grant review process and education events. By working with a diverse group of passionate, dedicated women, they receive a unique education in local needs and nonprofit strategies and become more engaged members of our community.
Many members go on to volunteer with and support organizations they have met through the grant review process, while remaining active in Many Hands.
Join Many Hands Today
As a member of Many Hands, you will:
Multiply the impact of your giving by joining forces with hundreds of other donors
Meet a vibrant group of talented, dedicated women who are committed to making a difference in the lives of area women, children, and families in need
Gain unique insight into the challenges facing our region in the areas of education, health, housing, and job readiness
Learn directly from nonprofit leaders how they are working to address local needs
Discover new ways to become engaged in our community
How To Get Involved
Many Hands members can engage in the ways that best fit their interests and schedule. Many members participate in one or more of the following ways:
All members are invited to attend the Annual Meeting in May, to hear presentations by our finalist organizations, and to vote for one organization to receive the Many Hands $100,000 Impact Grant. The other finalists receive Many Hands Partner Grants, the value of which is determined by the total raised during that grant cycle. Members who cannot attend the Annual Meeting may cast an absentee ballot.
We typically host two events per year, one in the fall and one in the spring, that are open to all. Sometimes co-hosted with other organizations, these events have included expert panels and book discussions on topics of regional concern, such as gentrification, the impact of adverse childhood experiences, and mass incarceration. In addition to introducing Many Hands to a broader audience and supporting our mission of helping our members become well-informed donors, these popular events offer members opportunities to connect with one another and with local experts and nonprofit leaders.
All members who have joined Many Hands by December 31 are invited to join one of our Focus Area Committees–Education, Health, Housing, and Job Readiness. Each committee meets half a dozen times from January to April to review grant applications and conducts site visits at several organizations before selecting its finalist organization for the Annual Meeting.
Focus Area Committees meet on different days and in different locations across the area. The review process is collaborative and inclusive and typically characterized by lively, insightful discussion. For many members, the opportunity to serve on a Focus Area Committee is what they value most about Many Hands.
All members are invited to join the Membership Committee, which plans our education events, oversees outreach to prospective members, and supports the member experience. In addition, we encourage all members to share information about Many Hands with friends, neighbors, colleagues, and their broader networks. The greater our reach, the greater our impact.
Our monthly newsletter, which appears September through June, provides information about all of these opportunities to get involved and periodic updates on our work. We also encourage members and friends to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
We are grateful to all our members who support Many Hands in whatever way they can.
The Many Hands 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||We begin the new grant cycle 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 in 12 months time.|
|September through November||We typically schedule our fall education event on a weekday evening between late September and early November.|
|October||In mid-October, we hold a kickoff event featuring one or more Many Hands grantees to welcome back returning members and introduce ourselves to prospective members.|
|December||We ask members to make their donations by December 31 if they wish to serve on one of our Focus Area Committees. However, we are happy to continue accepting donations toward this grant cycle right up until the time our members vote in May.|
|January||In early January, we invite members to sign up for a Focus Area Committee.|
|January through April||Focus Area Committees meet half a dozen times to review and ultimately select their finalists. In addition, they typically conduct site visits at 5-7 organizations.|
|March through April||We generally hold our spring education event on a weekday evening while the Focus Area Committees are wrapping up their work.|
|May||We announce our finalists in early May. All Focus Area Committee members are invited to sign up for site visits at the four finalist organizations. All members receive the finalists’ grant proposals in advance of the Annual Meeting, which is held in mid-May. At the Annual Meeting, all members are welcome to hear from our finalists and vote for the organization they believe should receive the Many Hands $100,000 Impact Grant.|
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. Women are eligible to participate in the Young Member program for three years, which need not be consecutive.
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 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 donation is the entire amount you contribute to Many Hands. Your membership contribution is the amount that goes directly to grantees. For Members and Young Members, your membership contribution is equal to your donation minus any credit card fees. For Sustaining Members, your membership contribution is equal to your donation minus your contribution to operating expenses and any credit card fees. This distinction is made solely for the purposes of Many Hands’ internal accounting. It does not affect the tax-deductibility of your donation.
Yes. We are happy to accept payment by credit card in quarterly installments (November, January, March, May). To set up an installment payment plan, please contact our treasurer, Wendy Gray, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. We accept absentee votes by email prior to the Annual Meeting.
Types of Membership
We have three types of membership, reflecting different donation levels. All members enjoy the same membership benefits and voting privileges. We are grateful for the support of all our members.
All memberships are for a single grant cycle. A membership takes effect as soon as a qualifying donation is made and expires after the Annual Meeting for that grant cycle. All members must make their donations by December 31 in order to be eligible to serve on a Focus Area Committee for that grant cycle.
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.
I benefited enormously from working on the Job Readiness Committee, where I got a front row view into the work of so many impressive DC area nonprofits. All the women are super committed to thinking critically about how to maximize the impact we have. A great experience overall.
My participation in Many Hands is both enjoyable and fulfilling. I feel good by doing good, which is, of course, Many Hands’ purpose. In addition, it is fun getting to know my fellow committee members—while the committee work vetting so many worthwhile non-profits is intellectually engaging and emotionally gratifying. So, what’s not to like?
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!
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.
It is critical to be aware of the issues that the underserved face, especially in your own community. Many Hands allows me to better understand their plight and gives me a voice in allowing me to choose which nonprofits best deserve the chance to further their mission.
I admire the Board and members of Many Hands because they have chosen to jump into the fray to help. Through their outreach and fundraising, they are not only supporting area nonprofits, but more important, they are awakening people to the realities of what is going on in our region.