Sometimes, it’s hard to imagine the impact that your gift has on the life of a YOTO student. There are moments when we might wonder what a small gift can do…

But your gift DOES matter! 

In fact, approximately 40% of YOTO’s fundraised income comes from smaller individual gifts! When our YOTO Family members come together to support YOTO kids, the impact is huge!

Recently, some folks wanting to see a greater impact from their collective donations have joined giving circles – groups of community-minded individuals who pool their resources and make a substantial collective donation to a charity chosen by the group.

Recently, YOTO was chosen as the recipient of not one but TWO incredibly generous collective donations from TWO local giving circles! This spring and summer, respectively, we received $3,600 from 100+ Guys Who Give Tucson and $22,600 from 100+ Women Who Care Tucson!

Both organizations work in the same way. Once a quarter, members attend a meeting – the “Big Give” – where they each donate $100 and nominate a local charity to be the recipient of this quarter’s donation. Three charities are randomly drawn from a hat. The nominating member of each chosen charity then makes a pitch for why their charity deserves the collective donation and answers questions from the group. It’s a great opportunity to learn about the important work nonprofits are doing in our community! Once all three charities have been presented, the members anonymously vote on the charity of their choice to receive the “Big Give”.

100+ Guys Who Give Tucson was founded just this year by Jon LePage. Jon formed the group after hearing about 100+ Women Who Care from a friend who was a member. He was interested in the concept of a giving circle, and after attending one of the women’s meetings, he decided to found the men’s chapter. Jon shared that his motivation was to give back to the community by using his strengths – particularly his stellar organizational skills!

Enrique Aldana, Director of Development at Arizona Public Media and a member of 100+ Guys Who Give, said he joined the giving circle because he liked the concept of pooling resources to create a bigger impact. About one year ago, Enrique was invited to attend a YOTO staff meeting. There, he learned about YOTO’s mission to support local youth experiencing homelessness, got a tour of the Mini Mall, and met YOTO’s dedicated staff. He said he was deeply moved by YOTO’s mission and work. “YOTO just really struck a chord with me,” Enrique shared.

The first 100+ Guys Who Give meeting was held virtually in May. Enrique nominated YOTO, was selected to do the pitch, and in the end YOTO was voted the winner! Their generous gift went toward providing 19 YOTO students with summer stipends!

A couple months later in July, 100+ Women Who Care held their quarterly meeting. YOTO was nominated and selected from the hat! YOTO’s CEO Elizabeth, who is a member of 100+ Women Who Care, was able to give a pitch on behalf of YOTO and won us the “Big Give”!

Elizabeth shared her thoughts on the feeling that comes from being part of a giving circle:

“To be in a room just for an hour and raise over $22,000 for a charity and to feel very directly part of that process is so fun and exciting! The energy in the room is amazing! It’s such a delight to see the kind of difference you can make by joining forces with your fellow sisters.”

Earlier this year Elizabeth published a terrific article about the grassroots power of women’s giving circles and their impact – it’s a must read!

We’d like to send out a special thank you to every member of 100+ Guys Who Give Tucson and 100+ Women Who Care Tucson for being your “Big Give” recipient! Thank you all for supporting and believing in our students during this time so that they can go on to pursue their dreams! Maybe someday, some of them will be joining you in your giving circles, too!


For more information about joining 100+ Guys Who Give Tucson, please visit

To learn more about joining 100+ Women Who Care Tucson, please visit

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