July 9, 2019 Summer Celebration Meeting Summary

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Meeting Summary

YKDWIP Summer Celebration Meeting
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Home of Charlotte Gruber

Total number of attendees: 24
Thanks to Charlotte Gruber for hosting!
Announcements: We have reached a milestone: $100,000 threshold reached!

Funded Project Updates:
Dendra Martin introduced our 2018 local funded project (Smart Fit Girls) and our 2019 local funded project (Teens Lead Ahead! camp through TAAV at Tundra Women's Coalition).

Stacey Reardon presented on behalf of Smart Fit Girls, which has held two program cohorts so far. Funds remain to hold a third session, scheduled for September. Stacey shared that the success is the impact of the program on the participating girls' self-esteem. Girls in the class have loved it! The challenge is recruiting the girls to the program. Stacey provided program materials for members.

TAAV Coordinator River Posey, TAAV member Celeste Pauley and TWC staffer Annie Mae Lee shared the success of the recent Teens Lead Ahead! camp in June. Youth from Quinhagak, Napaskiak and Kwethluk participated and activities were held in Bethel and at the BCSF fish camp. River shared that she was really impressed with how the TAAV peer educators embraced and grew in their leadership roles with the camp as well as the bonding that happened (including at a dance party!) among all the camp members.

Katie Basile introduced Dr Jill Seaman of South Sudan Medical Relief, who shared some stories from her past year of work in South Sudan. Jill highlighted the experience of two women who had sought care at the clinic. Jill also shared how floods have significantly decreased the kala azar parasite- the treatment for which the clinic resources have historically largely been focused. Now, TB is on the rise and much of the clinic's resources have been spent treating patients with TB.

Fall Membership Meeting
The Fall Membership Meeting is tentatively set for Sept 30th at the Cultural Center.

September 13 , 2018 Fall Membership Meeting

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Meeting Summary

YKDWIP Fall Membership Meeting
5:00 – 7:00 pm
Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center

Thai food provided by Malada Vongsamath
Total number of attendees: 39

Welcome and Introductions- Led by Anne Komulainen
Each person introduced themselves and shared a story about one famous person they have met or seen or would like to meet.

Giving Circle Overview- Led by Tiffany Zulkoksy and Bethy Whalen
Overview of the giving circle structure and a breakdown of the specific projects and types of projects that our giving circle supports. All women are invited to join the giving circle at whatever level is manageable for them. 

Funds raised by YK Delta Women in Philanthropy are split five ways: 
24.5% go to an endowment fund for South Sudan Medical Relief (SSMR)
24.5% go to an endowment fund for YK Delta Women in Philanthropy
24.5% go to immediate local grantmaking
24.5% go to immediate grantmaking to SSMR
2% are retained by BCSF for administrative fees used to support meeting expenses, accounting, materials and communications.

Financial Report-Led by Akram Didari
Total funds distributed in 2017 equaled $30,284- with a quarter going to each of the four designations. In 2018, through the date of the meeting (Sept 13), the group had raised $9,111. The total amount of funds raised from the inception of the group through Sept 13 was $66,493.

 Voting-Led by Michelle DeWitt and Tiffany Zulkosky
Members voted on whether the group should entertain solicitations from potential political guests and from potential nonpolitical guests. Members at the meeting voted to decline political guests and, as a group, come up with a specific strategy to decide how to answer nonpolitical guests. (A survey was sent out later to members who were not able to attend in person, and their votes affirmed the choices of the in-person members.)

Small Groups- Led by Michelle, Debbie, Tiffany and Akram
Small breakout groups formed, with seasoned members and new or potential members going to separate groups. The new or potential member group discussed any questions or clarifications they had and the experienced member groups discussed the following:

1.    How is our frequency and style of communications working for you?
2.    Start times for our meetings are typically 5:30 pm- does this work for you or would you prefer a different time? Would you ever want us to consider meeting on a weekend? Saturday brunch?
3.    This group was designed to be a light time commitment, but we know there may be women who want to be more hands-on and more active through volunteering to take on more giving circle-related tasks or helping with fundraising. How can we support these women too?
4.    How do you feel about asking your friends to join or sharing information with them about this group? What’s easy? What’s hard?
5.    Are there any opportunities we are missing?

A summary of answers to these questions discussed by members is available here.

July 31, 2018  Summer Celebration BBQ Meeting Summary

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Meeting Summary

YKDWIP Summer Celebration
5:30 - 7:10 pm

Location: The home of YKDWIP member Abigail Morgan

ACTION ITEM: Members of YK Delta Women in Philanthropy have received an exclusive invitation to come WORK OUT with the phenomenal girls in the Smart Fit Girls program. They are previewing a workout that they will be demonstrating for family and friends at the end of their program and we have been invited to join them. Don't forget to show up ready to sweat in working clothing and shoes!
DATE: Tuesday, August 7th; TIME: 3:00 - 3:45 PM; LOCATION: Fitness Center Studio

Dinner by YKDWIP members and family members: Kathleen Pelkan, Ellen Hodges, Terri Hodges, Kim Nissen, Jessica Hodges, Christine Desnoyers
Total number of attendees: 31

Welcome- Led by Katie Basile

Legislative Citation- Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky
YKDWIP founding member and State Representative Tiffany Zulkosky honored members with a legislative citation from the 2018 legislature. All YKDWIP members who had active memberships in April 2018 will receive a copy of the citation.
The last sentence of the citation reads:
The 30th Alaska State Legislature is grateful for the YK Delta Women in Philanthropy's commitment to community development, strengthening visionary giving and leadership close to home, and remaining dedicated to families, neighbors and the region.
Check out the citation here!

Smart Fit Girls Update- Stacey Reardon (YK Fitness Center Director) and Alyssa Brown (Smart Fit Girls facilitator) shared about the first session of local funded project Smart Fit Girls. The session started with a cohort of 10 interested girls, with three participating consistently. Stacey and Alyssa noted the hard work the girls put in during the sessions and the positive self-esteem that the curriculum instills in the participants. Girls going into grades 6-8 can participate; most of the girls who are highly involved are going into 6thgrade this year. The YK Fitness Center is discussing plans for a second session of Smart Fit Girls in the fall. All YKDWIP members are invited to come work out with the girls on Tuesday, August 7 from 3-3:45 pm. Stacey and Alyssa thanked the group for funding the project and allowing the opportunity to deliver programming to girls at an age where studies show self-esteem is most at risk. For more info and inspiring pictures of the girls at work, click here!

South Sudan Medical Relief- Dr. Jill Seaman shared an update about the clinic in Old Fangak, South Sudan- the international funded project. Dr. Seaman shared the stories of two patients and thanked the group for the unrestricted funds that allow the clinic to provide the treatment needed to improve the health outcomes for those and other patients who seek medical help in Old Fangak. Dr. Seaman noted that there was a reduction in kala azar this year, likely as a result of flooding that killed the parasite, but increases in TB.

Guest requests- Michelle DeWitt led a brief conversation to gauge member thoughts and feelings about how to manage requests by politicians and other guests to present to or meet with YKDWIP. The results of the surveymonkey sent in July about the specific request we received from a political candidate revealed a variety of opinions about whether/not to have politicians address the group and whether/not to agree to allow presentations by non-members who wish to come speak to the group. At Summer Celebration, several members shared ideas, ranging from hosting panels outside of quarterly meetings where all candidates for an office are invited, or steering away from politics completely. After a fair amount of discussion, it seemed that most members present for Summer Celebration felt if we entertained any time with political candidates, ALL candidates should be invited- but that members generally feel fine with YKDWIP steering away from both non-member guests and politics in general for now. This conversation was left with the idea that we may wish to frame a question about this for an anonymous poll vote at the fall meeting so those present AND not present can weigh in anonymously.

Handouts- Printed slides were provided at the meeting detailing funds raised and distribution of 2017 funding. Click here to see handouts.

March 20, 2018 Spring Grantmaking Forum Meeting Summary


Meeting Summary

YKDWIP Spring Grantmaking Forum
March 20, 2018
5:30-7:30 pm
KUC Room 118

ACTION ITEM: YK Delta Women in Philanthropy members voted to fund the local project, Smart Fit Girls, at the YK Fitness Center. This $7,541 grant will fund three rounds of the program over the course of the year. Each round will have space for up to 14 girls, will include 20 two-hour sessions and will also allow the participants to spend time in the pool.

Dinner by Tiffany Tony
Total number of attendees: 22

Welcome and Introductions- Led by Debbie Fairbanks and Katie Basile
Everyone answered the question, “If you had no fear or financial concerns, what would you do?”

Financial Report- Led by Akram Didari
In 2017, YKDWIP collected $30,781.03, which was split the following ways: 
- YKDWIP Immediate Local Grantmaking: $7,541.35
- South Sudan Medical Relief Direct Contribution: $7,541.35
- YKDWIP Endowment Fund: $7,541.35
- South Sudan Medical Relief Endowment Fund: $7,541.35
- BCSF Fund Management Fee: $615.63

Funding Decision Expectations- Led by Michelle DeWitt
Reminder that with the brevity of the application and for the relatively small amount of money being granted, it is not realistic to expect that members will be able to know every detail about how every project will work. We will work with the information that we have. 

Introduction to Cell Phone Voting- Led by Lisa Whalen
Anonymous voting was possible using the Poll Everywhere system.  Members got connected to the system and members who did have a working cell phone were set up with one for voting purposes. An introductory question regarding the members’ favorite part of summer was asked to test the voting process.

Conscientious Discussion- Led by Vicki Malone
Members were reminded that it was possible that some of the applicants were in the room with them and all discussion/questions should be undertaken with that in mind.

Grant Application Discussion- Led by Katie Basile and Bethy Whalen
Each of the four applications were discussed (BRHS Clinic Program for Adolescents, Smart Fit Girls, TAAV Outward Bound and TAAV Youth Organizing Committee). Bethy relayed all questions/answers she was asked about the four applications and Bethy and Katie briefly summarized each application.

Anonymous Voting on Local Grant- Led by Michelle DeWitt
Anonymous voting took place on the local grant, which was a monetary award of $7,541. The majority of the votes were cast for Smart Fit Girls at the YK Fitness Center. The grant will fund three rounds of the program over the course of the year. Each round will have space for up to 14 girls, will include 20 two-hour sessions and will also allow the participants to spend time in the pool.

Meeting was adjourned at 7:30 pm.

December 4, 2017  Winter Meeting Summary

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Meeting Summary

YKDWIP Winter Meeting
December 4, 2017

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Table of Grace Lutheran Church

ACTION ITEMS- for those who prefer not to read all the minutes, here are the most important three bullet points:
1)    We have raised $27,816 in 2017 and have $6,462.96 currently available for the local grant which we will award at our spring 2018 meeting.
2)    The group selected projects that impact Education for Women and Girls as their priority area for the grant which we will award at our spring 2018 meeting.
3)    We will ask for a “Detailed Letter of Request/Statement of Commitment” from individuals/groups interested in applying for the grant which we will award at our spring 2018 meeting.

Dinner by Tiffany Tony
Total Number of Attendees: 21
TOTAL MEMBERSHIP: 66 current for 2017; 9 memberships have until 12/31/17 for renewal.

Welcome and Introductions  Led by Katie Basile and Akram Didari

Slides – Led by Michelle DeWitt

-       Review of how funds are divided (financial chart available on website)

Michelle reported that $6,275.25 of 2017 funds raised has been put into the South Sudan Medical Relief Endowed Fund and another $6,275.25 was put into the YKDWIP Giving Circle Endowed Fund. Michelle forwarded the funds before close of 2017 to allow interest to begin generating as early as possible. $6,275.25 was sent to Crosscurrents for immediate use by SSMR. As of the presentation time, some contributions had come in between cutting those checks and the meeting- $6,462.96 was available for our pending local grant at presentation time, and an additional $187.71 is available for each endowed fund and Crosscurrents. We will forward these funds and any other funds we receive in December shortly after the first of the year; contributions processed through our website take a few weeks to receive at the BCSF office via check.

-       Discussed funding established programs vs catalyst funding, and what the different application processes and expectations of our group might look like (formal grant requests vs letters of support, risk, speed of developing the project, risk, etc.).

-       A YKDWIP Endowment Fund report through June 2017 was printed and available to all attendees.

Polling- Led by Tiffany Zulkosky

-       Voting-By-Cell Phone Process Orientation

-       Preparatory questions (fun questions, YKDWIP hoodie question, application process question which we revisted after selecting our topic area)

-       We voted anonymously, via cell phone using polleverywhere.com, on our Top 3 (of 9) Issue Areas. Results for Top 3 were:

1.     Education for Women and Girls

2.     Community

3.     Youth Services

-       Top 3- Group discussion- verbally and via text, which was displayed on screen.

-       Voted on Top 3 to identify Top 1 Selection. Result was:

-       1. Education for Women and Girls

-       Reviewed and discussed the subcategories of this topic and Tiffany created a poll of the sub-categories of that area, adding self-esteem and anti-bullying and funded internships for girls. We voted on our top 3 of the subcategories, and the top 3 were:

-       1. Anti-bullying/self-esteem building

-       2. Healthy relationships

-       3. Health & sexuality/reproductive/sexual health

We discussed approaches to an application process, and consensus was that we would publish a call for applications that told possible applicants that the giving circle is interested in funding projects focused on women and girls, and that we are most interested in those top 3 subcategories- but leaving room for ideas from applicants.

Poll vote of application process- the group discussed and voted twice on application processes. the final result was to develop a process that would require applicants to submit  “A detailed letter of request/statement of commitment” for potential respondents. This was the middle ground between requiring a mini-grant or a simple letter of request for funds. This would leave room for startup projects or individuals who have ideas and might wish to respond. Discussed establishing a reporting requirement for the funds recipient.


-     Michelle asked for volunteers to help develop the instructions for the detailed letter of request/statement of commitment” for the grant made in 2018. So far we have one member who has volunteered to help develop this.

-     Drafts of the instruction document will be sent out for review/feedback to members in January 2018; next meeting will likely be held in March to allow time for responses to the grant application.

September 20, 2017 General Membership Meeting Summary

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Meeting Summary

Second annual membership meeting of YK Delta Women in Philanthropy
September 20, 2017
5:30 pm- 6:30 pm
Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center

Welcome: Vicki Malone welcomed attendees
Introductions: Led by Tiffany Zulkosky

Total Number of Attendees: 42

Total Member Renewals in person at the meeting: 15
Total Number of Members who joined or renewed for 2017 prior to meeting: 21
Total New Members added at membership meeting: 10

TOTAL MEMBERSHIP: 46 current for 2017; 15 memberships are pending renewal

Financial Report: Led by Akram Didari
In 2016, we raised a total of $25,987.79.
After credit card fees and the 2% BCSF fee, $25,016.66 was available to give out in grants.

50% of the funds were contributed to our international project, which is South Sudan Medical Relief operated by our local doctor, Dr. Jill Seaman. $6,255 went to CrossCurrents Institute, which handles the funding for South Sudan Medical Relief, for immediate use.
$6,253 went to start an endowment fund for South Sudan Medical Relief.

25% of the funds were allocated to a local project which is called A Place To Call Home, an emerging program to provide housing to homeless young adults. This was $6,255 and the group voted for giving circle funds to be catalyst funding for this effort.

25% of the funds, totaling $6,253, were set aside as a permanent endowment for YK Delta Women in Philanthropy. Giving circle membership will decide on how to distribute grants from the endowed fund after its holding period for growth.

Funded Projects Update: Michelle DeWitt spoke briefly about the South Sudan Medical Relief project, funded as the international project. Katie Basile shared that most of the funds provided by YK Delta Women in Philanthropy to this project were used to fly a plane of Plumpy’Nut, a nutritional supplement, to the SSMR hospital in Old Fangak during a time where access to food was especially difficult. Eileen Arnold provided an update about A Place to Call Home, the local emerging project that received start-up funds. This project is still moving forward, but in a formative phase of development.

 Vision: Tiffany Zulkosky and Katie Basile presented briefly on the vision of the giving circle as a vehicle for collaborative grantmaking, pooling dollars for increased impact and encouraging new philanthropists.

 Small Group Discussion: Members broke out into small groups based on new membership status or recurring membership status. Topics discussed included: Number of meetings per year, rotating meeting focus (membership/local project topic area/local project selection/education), discussion of what “endowed” means, growing wealth through that method while also giving money for immediate use, communication to members about the giving circle, the ability for members to choose level of participation, mentorship, member recruiting, the process for making grants, etc. After the meeting ended, facilitators made notes of the many suggestions, ideas, and concerns that members shared insmall groups.  Small group facilitators will create and share with members a separate document that captures the detailed feedback provided during the small groups.

 Membership & Renewal Process: Members who still need to renew may do so through the website, ykdeltawomen.org, via mail at PO Box 2189 in Bethel, in person at the BCSF office, or at future meetings. We can also pick up contributions - call 543-1812 if you would like your contribution picked up inperson. Monthly installments for membership are possible.

Other: Members were given the opportunity to share opinions for future local funding priorities on forms on the table. Responses have been transcribed into a Funding Ideas document and will be used as a starting point for discussions on funding priorities at the Winter Brainstorming Session.

Next Meeting Date: The date for our next meeting, the Winter Brainstorming Session, will be announced soon for November or December 2017. This meeting will focus on identifying areas of interest for grants made from 2017 funds raised by the circle. Discussing the voiced suggestions, ideas and concerns from the small groups will also be an agenda item at the next membership meeting.


July 13, 2017 General Membership Meeting Summary

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Meeting Summary

Wonderful summer night barbecue on the deck at Vicki's house. Thanks to Kathleen Pelkan for transporting and donating food, Mimosa Pelumbi and Debbie Fairbanks for desserts, Lisa Meyers for the vegetables and all the people who helped with spearing shish kabobs and clean up. 

No policy decisions were made, but we got a short but cogent update from Dr. Jill Seaman on the South Sudan Medical Relief Project--in person, because Jill is here through August.  Due to crop failures, disease and war, her clinic is under greater pressure to provide more services. Our support is much needed. (FYI: we are in the second year of our commitment to her project.)

SAVE THAT DATE:  AUGUST 24, 2017 for the annual South Sudan Medical Relief fundraiser. Lentil and rice feed and silent auction. Contact Debbie Fairbanks at 543-4227 if you want to volunteer or have an item for the  auction. 

LOCAL CONTRIBUTION UPDATE:  The new nonprofit A Place To Call Home is forming to provide transitional housing for 5-7 young adults between the ages of 18-24.  Housing will be subsidized, not free, with the goal of helping young adults transition to self sufficiency. A Place To Call Home, Inc.  is hoping to eventually open a drop in center for teens between the ages of  14-18 who need a safe place to stay and get hooked up with services.  YKDWIP funds will be used for start-up costs. 

EDUCATIONAL PRESENTATION ON PHILANTRHOPY:  Melody Hoffman  (BCSF Board Member)  and Michelle DeWitt gave a funny and inspirational summary of a national conference on philanthropy they attended in Chicago.)
The power of collective giving through giving-circle style models was discussed on a panel featuring Women's Collective Giving and Grantmakers Network, based in the South, and the Asian Women's Giving Circle in New York. One of the founders of the Asian Women's Giving Circle is interested in traveling to Bethel and talking with our group in the summer of 2018; they use their funds as catalyst funding for emerging projects and programs, an area where our group has expressed interest.

The power of storytelling was clear- groups who grant funds and groups who seek funds both showed different versions of storytelling, and the most well done are clearly the most memorable.

Finally, there were some great illustrations of social entrepreneurship- essentially creating companies or organizations using principles from the private business sector to develop, fund and implement solutions to various social/environmental/etc. issues. Two memorable examples: Rumi Spice and Open Books/The Chicago Literary Alliance.




Sue Angstman
Eileen Arnold
Katie Basile
Monica Charles
Michelle DeWitt
Debbie Fairbanks
Katie Frutiger
Chelsea Gulling
Ellen Hodges
Vicki Malone
Mimosa Pellumbi
Sally Russell
Susan Taylor
Tiffany Zulkosky

Sixteen interested non-members joined us for this meeting!