By Marci Narum
“Never underestimate the power of a woman.”
Ladies Home Journal made that slogan popular when it first appeared as an ad campaign in 1941. A movement spreading across the country 76 years later shows us how true those words are, especially if the woman has $100 and she is willing to part with it for something simple, meaningful, and powerful. That’s the idea behind the BisMan Power of 100.
The Power of 100 is a nationally-known fundraising concept. It multiplies the money people give to nonprofit organizations. And it’s simple. A group of women, each one having $100 to give, selects a nonprofit to receive the collective money raised—several thousand dollars—in one short evening.
In North Dakota, the cities of Dickinson and Fargo have Power of 100 chapters, but another one got a powerful start recently in Bismarck. When Tess Schlafman heard about Power of 100 from a friend and co-worker involved in the Fargo chapter, she teamed up with a couple go-getters like herself—Deb Eslinger and Deidre Hillman—to start the Bismarck-Mandan chapter. They began marketing the event and adding members, and then launched BisMan Power of 100 on June 8 at the Bismarck Aero Center. The goal was to raise $10,000.
“Deb and I do event planning for our jobs, so we’re used to having registration and knowing exact numbers and having everything in place before the event starts,” says Deidre. “This was open invite to the public. The advice from the Fargo group was to just order enough food for about 100 people and when it’s gone, it’s gone. These women aren’t here to eat. They’re here to give.”
As they filled the Bismarck Aero Center, the members could nominate a charity to receive the money raised that evening. Three were randomly drawn from the nominees and a representative of each was there to speak to the women on behalf of the charity. Members then voted, selecting one charity to receive the money raised at the event. They selected Hope Manor, a sobriety house in Bismarck for women recovering from alcohol addiction. Deidre Hillman says the BisMan Power of 100 executive team presented $9,700 to Hope Manor.
“It was very moving, and very interesting to hear them all speak about what they do in the community,” says Tess Schlafman. “And it was amazing to give that amount of money.”
“It gave us goosebumps to see such an overwhelming response of women in the community that wanted to give,” Deb Eslinger shares.
“We got a lot of compliments which fuels us for the next event,” Deidre adds.
The next BisMan Power of 100 fundraiser will happen on Thursday, September 28. Events are hosted quarterly and the executive team is anticipating more members—and more money to share with a nonprofit—with each one.
After all, it’s wise to never underestimate a woman nor the power of $100 in her hand.
Inspired? Learn more!
BisMan Power of 100: facebook.com/bismanpowerof100
To join: bismanpowerof100.com
Thursday, September 28
Comfort Inn, Bismarck ND
The BisMan Power of 100 executive team needs sponsors to help cover the cost of each event. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to help with venue, food, beverages, and paper products.