What is WIGS?
The Valley WIGS is a Women’s Giving Society in the Santa Ynez Valley, based on a similar concept that originated in Los Angeles and spread to other cities. A giving group has proven to be an effective way to empower women by enabling them to have a real impact by being part of a larger group that decides how to allocate the significant amount of funds that they raise through their membership.
How did WIGS get started?
Starting with a few individuals, an initial group of 10 committed to being Founders– each agreeing to contribute $1,000 per year for 3 years and to ask other women to join them.
How can I become a member?
A membership is $500 per year and each member has one vote in deciding how funds are allocated. Two individuals may choose to share a membership, deciding together how to cast their vote. Sustaining members contribute $1,000 and are identified with Founders on WIGS materials. They may also join the Oversight Committee. Although larger contributions are encouraged, no member has more than one vote. All members are encouraged to become more involved and bring in new members.
Why did WIGS choose to use People helping People as their tax exempt non-profit umbrella organization?
Rather than incur the significant organizational and administrative overhead and legal liabilities involved in creating an independent non-profit organization, WIGS is using People Helping People (PHP) as an umbrella organization. This allows members to donate and take a charitable tax deduction up to the amount provided by law. In addition to being a well- established local organization, PHP has a record of fiscal responsibility and excellent audited financials.
Why did WIGS decide to choose PHP as a beneficiary of their fundraising?
Founders wanted to give to those most in need in the local community. With the diversity of its four program areas encompassing 18 distinct social services, PHP allows members of the WIGS to select from among a wide array of programs that serve the disadvantaged in both the Santa Ynez and Los Alamos Valley communities. Last year PHP served 3,700 unduplicated clients.
PHP has a track record of 21 years providing a hand up to those in a temporary crisis and it also provides longer-term assistance to children and families to enable then to become self-sufficient and over time improve their lives. PHP does all this very effectively and efficiently only spending 9.5% of expenses on administration and fundraising. In this way we are assured that the vast majority of our donations go to help those in need.
Does PHP charge for their services to WIGS?
Under guidelines proposed by WIGS founders and approved by the PHP Board, PHP may charge up to 1% of the total annual WIGS donation for their services. To date, PHP has NOT charged for their administrative services in any year.
How does PHP account for WIGS funds?
The PHP Board has established a restricted program account for the Valley WIGS. PHP accounting staff produces quarterly and year-end Balance Sheets and Profit and Loss Statements for each restricted program account including WIGS. All of these accounts and financial statements are subject to audit by an external Certified Public Accounting firm each year.
Are WIGS membership donations tax deductible?
WIGS memberships are fully tax deductible to the extent provided by law and checks should be made out to People Helping People, Memo: WIGS membership.
What is the organizational relationship between WIGS and PHP?
The WIGS Oversight Committee, consisting of both Founding and Sustaining members, acts as an advisory committee to the Board of Directors of People Helping People. WIGS funding recommendations are forwarded to the PHP Board for final ratification. The expectation is that these recommendations will be followed although, as required by law, it is the Board of PHP that makes the final allocation.
How are WIGS funding decisions made?
Annually, the WIGS Oversight Committee hosts a luncheon for all the members of WIGS at which PHP presents programs for funding consideration. Based on a vote of the members on which program(s) to fund, the Oversight Committee makes their recommendation to the PHP Board.
How do WIGS members know how PHP spent funds?
To assure that funds from the WIGS program account are being spent in accordance with the agreed upon allocations, PHP provides January and July expenditure reports to the Oversight Committee although such reports may be requested more frequently.