The organizer: Ken Haycock
The pitch: Creating 100 Gay Men for a Cause
A couple of years ago Ken Haycock saw a story on Facebook about a group of women who met four times a year to distribute $100 each to a selected charity.
The group – called 100 Women Who Care – intrigued Mr. Haycock and he decided to create something similar called 100 Gay Men for a Cause. He reached out to the Vancouver Foundation and set up a $10,000 endowment, funding it with $1,000 from himself and nine other people. They rounded up about 100 members who each chip in $100 every quarter.
The group meets once every three months or so to hear pitches from three charities. They vote on where the $10,000 from that meeting should go. The charity with the most votes receives $8,000 and the other two get $1,000 each. So far, the organization has helped nearly 30 charities involved in health care, education, the arts and refugees. All of the money is administered by the Vancouver Foundation, which also handles the tax receipts.
“It serves a community that doesn’t get much profile,” Mr. Haycock said from his home in Vancouver. Several members have volunteered with some of the charities or contributed more money privately.
Interest in the group has increased steadily and there are now different levels of membership – founders who give $100 a month and rainbow circle members who donate $50 a month. They’ve also struck partnerships with about a dozen businesses that help offset expenses. And Mr. Haycock is launching a separate appeal to double the endowment to $20,000.
The group has had to hold meetings online since the start of the pandemic, although some gatherings have been held in COVID-safe restaurants. “I’ve had inquires from New York, from Victoria from San Francisco about establishing other groups similar to ours,” he said. “It’s all very exciting.”