We issue a challenge for Giving Tuesday, discuss how to share your chapter's workload, introduce Little Sisters Fund, and sweeten your day with a Nepalese yogurt.

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The Chapter Meeting Menu | December 2015
Burlington, VT Chapter
Until recently, there were no DFW chapters in Vermont. Thanks to Co-Leaders Minta Trivette and Cecelia Watkins, that has changed. Welcome to the Burlington, VT chapter which had its first meeting in October!
Giving Tuesday Participation Challenge
During this time of year, we hear a lot about Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. Did you know that there is also Giving Tuesday, a global day dedicated to giving? Since its founding in 2012, Giving Tuesday has inspired giving around the world, resulting in greater donations, volunteer hours, and activities that bring about real change in communities.

As part of our 13th Month Campaign, we are issuing a special challenge tied to Giving Tuesday, on December 1st. Last year's 13th Month campaign boasted 1,500 individual donors, out of a membership base of more than 8,000. So far this year, 900 donors have participated in our year-end campaign. We want to double last year's participation goal! Or imagine what we could achieve with 100% member participation!

The goal of our Participation Challenge is to receive gifts from 1,000 individual donors during a 10-day period starting on Giving Tuesday. All donations received online or postmarked between December 1st and 10th will be counted in the challenge.

We will be sending out a series of emails to promote this challenge. If you have already given to the 13th Month campaign, we sincerely thank you and will not be sending you these emails. In addition, we will report our progress on the homepage of our website. We ask that you, our Chapter Leaders, encourage your members to participate and help us reach our goal!

And don't forget to show our 13th Month video at your chapter meeting.
December Featured Program: Little Sisters Fund
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The Little Sisters Fund provides financially disadvantaged and marginalized South Asian girls the opportunity to obtain an education in the face of adverse conditions such as extreme poverty, deprivation or social prejudices. By providing school scholarships and holistic support in health, mentoring and awareness raising, Little Sisters Fund aims to combat child trafficking for the sex trade, exploitive child labor, child marriage, and lack of education for girls in the Banke and Dang districts of Nepal.
Program Fact Sheet | Recipes, Customs & Cuisine | Powerpoint Presentation | Program Video
Google Hangout: Available Here.
Sustained Program
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December Sustained Funding Program:
Shining Hope for Communities
Our sustained funding program this month is Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO), which combats intergenerational cycles of poverty and gender inequality in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya. SHOFCO links tuition-free schools for girls to essential social services through a holistic, community-driven approach.

Our sustained funding grant of $20,000 per year for three years (December 2015 – 2017) will be used to support the Mother and Child Health Incentives program which is aimed at counteracting high child illness and death rates by encouraging mothers to seek regular prenatal, postnatal, and child welfare services.
The Proven Platter
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The Proven Platter – Nepalese Sweetened Yogurt (Sikarni)
By Linda McElroy, DFW Recipe Curator and Chapter Leader of WA, Seattle-1
Our culinary travel this month of December finds us in the Himalayas, specifically Nepal. Originally, I had it in mind to come up with an interesting twist on the "momo", a Nepalese steamed dumpling with a meat or vegetable filling, wildly popular and sold on the streets. What about a sweet dumpling filling and call it dessert? My first attempt at this idea was a complete failure, but I still liked the idea and decided I'd work on this for the next time we visit Nepal in April 2016. So I've got time to get this right!

But since it's December, and I'm thinking you were never going to take the time to make dumplings anyway, how about a recipe that is easy to whip up, with ingredients that don't demand several trips to different stores and is delicious as well? I've got you covered!
See This Month's Proven Platter
See All Recipes from NEPAL »
Meeting Ideas & Suggestions
Icebreakers Icebreakers
Here are a couple of icebreakers related to this month's impact area: education.
  • Which school teacher do you remember most, and why?
  • What did your education mean to you?
If you prefer more of a holiday-themed icebreaker, how about:
  • What is your favorite holiday tradition or memory?
  • What is your favorite holiday movie?
Icebreakers Questions for Discussion
  • How do you think education can stop human trafficking in Nepal?
  • Why should the focus be on such young girls?
  • What would you say to the mothers of the Banke and Dang regions to offer support?
Reminder Other Meeting Ideas & Reminders

Find Me Unafraid Book Discussion. Many of our chapters discuss books relevant to DFW's mission; some even have "lending libraries" for their members. This month, consider asking your members to read and discuss the new book by the Co-Founders of Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO), DFW's sustained funding program this month. Find Me Unafraid, by Kennedy Odede and Jessica Posner, tells the uncommon love story of two uncommon people whose collaboration sparked a successful movement to transform the lives of vulnerable girls and the urban poor. This book is already receiving rave reviews from many DFW members!
  • Giving Tuesday Participation Challenge. Be sure to tell your members about our special challenge from Dec 1-10. You may want to set your own chapter-specific challenge. You can check your monthly chapter report to see how many of your members have already donated to 13th Month. (In your monthly report, go to "Chapter Donations Last Month" and look for all donations listed as "Operations".)

  • Shop With a Purpose. Encourage your members to make their holiday shopping easier this year and help their favorite charity at the same time! DFW's online Marketplace offers many great gift ideas – some from past DFW programs such as BeadforLife, Anchal Project, and Maya Works. And DFW benefits with a percentage of every sale through our Marketplace page! Why not set up a laptop at your meeting to give members a peek of what is available on our website and then encourage them to go home and shop!

  • Encourage recurring donations. Make available or hand out copies of our Monthly Giving by Automatic Withdrawal form at each meeting. Remind members that automatic recurring donations help us increase our efficiency and reduce costs, allowing us to help even more women and girls! 

  • Please remember to check your chapter roster for missing or incorrect emails. All tax receipts are sent via email so it is important that any changes be sent to
Sharing Best Practices
Sharing Best Practices – Making the Workload Lighter
Several of our regions, including the Mid-Atlantic, West, Southeast and Northeast, held Chapter Leader retreats this past year. Meeting other Chapter Leaders and sharing best practices is always the most popular activity at these retreats.

One topic that is frequently discussed is how to manage the workload involved in running your chapter. Sharing the load is a great way to get your members more engaged, while making your role easier and more enjoyable!

As this year draws to a close, please consider some of these suggestions for involving your members in 2016. All of these ideas came from Chapter Leaders across our organization.
  • Prepare a sign-up sheet at the start of the year to recruit volunteers for various tasks. Pass the list around at each meeting and confirm assignments by email.

  • Encourage different members to host each month. Share the Hostess Checklist and have a "hostess bag" with necessary items including the Dinner Affirmation, name tags, pens, sign-up sheets, etc.

  • Limit the hostess role to opening up her home for the meeting; tell her she doesn't have to do any cooking!

  • Encourage different members to present the program each month. Do a mini training session to help members find and use the online educational materials. Your members will benefit from the different approaches and styles of your presenters!

  • Establish a chapter "executive". This may include a treasurer for handling donations, a communications person for sending out meeting invitations and other correspondence, and a membership person for keeping your roster up-to-date and forwarding changes to home office. Rotate these positions to keep people energized.

  • Other volunteer roles could include designated "greeters" or clean-up crews. (Some chapter members even learn a greeting in the language of the country being featured that month!)

  • Be sure to recognize and thank all of your chapter volunteers! A follow-up email or a brief handwritten note to each host or presenter is a nice touch.
If you have any other suggestions for sharing the workload in your chapter, please send them to for use in future issues.
Are Your Members Getting The Dish?
Sometimes we hear about chapter members who are not receiving The Dish, DFW's member newsletter which is distributed by email around the end of each month. There can be several reasons for this: Does home office have the correct email address? Did the email inadvertently end up in the member's spam or trash folder? Did the member unsubscribe at some point? (FYI, if a member unsubscribes from any email, their name is automatically removed from ALL future DFW emails!)

Please check with your members to find out if they are getting The Dish. If someone is not receiving it, suggest they check their spam or junk folder and confirm that we have the correct email address. Any changes to your member roster should be sent to If someone has inadvertently unsubscribed, they must subscribe again; DFW home office is not able to do this on their behalf. To subscribe to the newsletter, go to the bottom of the homepage of our website.
Sharing Best Practices
Happy Anniversary: On Oct 21st, the Portland SW 3 (Westside) chapter celebrated its' 5th anniversary with a champagne toast. Founding Chapter Leaders are Stephanie Sussman, Karen McCune, and Elaine Winans. The chapter has 27 active members and has raised $19,500 in its 5 years! Congratulations and thank you to this wonderful chapter!
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