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‘Good Guys’ create men’s giving circle in St. Pete

Ashley Morales

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A newly-formed giving circle called 100 Good Guys held its first meeting Dec. 7 at Webb City Cellar. The organization is now looking for new members to join and local nonprofits to donate to. Photos provided.

They say nice guys finish last, but Joseph Papich has to disagree.

Inspired by Christina Noordstar, co-founder of St. Petersburg’s 100 Women Who Care and a fellow Leadership St. Pete Class of 2019 member, Papich and three fellow St. Pete residents got together to form a male-driven offshoot of the giving circle called 100 Good Guys. 

The format is simple: 100 people get together and watch a five-minute pitch from three local nonprofits, after which the crowd selects a winner and donates $100 each to the chosen charity, expanding their giving power and getting to know the people and organizations doing great work in the community in the process. 

“The format is quick and meaningful. It’s easy to do and it’s meant to be fun,” Papich said. “Every member has a part in the outcome, so it’s a shared experience.”

The first 100 Good Guys meeting was held Dec. 7 at Webb City Cellar. Papich and co-founders Jeff Baker, Dex Fabian and Mark Sprague wanted to test the waters with their first gathering and were pleasantly surprised to max out the room’s 50-person capacity. The guys also secured a matching grant from Duke Energy, helping them donate $8,400 to Men in the Making, an initiative focused on increasing minority male success through mentorship and life skills.

A matching grant from Duke Energy helped 100 Good Guys donate $8,400 to Men in the Making, an initiative focused on increasing minority male success through mentorship and life skills.

“For those who are civic-minded, it gives you the opportunity to learn about three organizations having significant impact in the community in a very short period of time,” Baker said. “Even if the nonprofit you’re voting for isn’t selected, it may be that you’ll choose to become involved with that organization by serving on the board or making your own personal financial contribution. It’s an educational opportunity and a social event, and you’re making an impact while you’re doing it.”

The success of their first meeting is propelling the founders to grow the organization in the new year. They’ve created a formal application process for interested nonprofits and formed a steering committee to help select finalists.

“We know how to advise the nonprofits a little bit more now about what topics they might want to hit on during their five-minute pitch,” Papich said. “We’re there to help them make sure they hit all the notes we think will resonate with the members. It’s an opportunity for them to share their story, their vision and mission, what they have done for the community and what they hope to do for the community.”

100 Good Guys is one of more than 650 similar groups worldwide that are part of the 100 Who Care Alliance. Papich said the guidance of other giving circles in the alliance was crucial to getting 100 Good Guys off the ground. With such a large network already in place, Papich and his co-founders are able to focus specifically on funding nonprofits that directly serve St. Pete.

“The initial format is a lot of copy and paste, so we’ve done our best to understand what [other groups] are doing. They’ve shepherded us along to get started and launched, but I think it will be evolving as the guys work over the years,” Papich said. “I don’t know if we’re going to vote for the same nonprofits that the women’s group does. I’m excited to see what the guys are going to do with it.”

100 Good Guys is also looking for new members to join the group and attend the next meeting Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. at Bayboro Brewing, which has room for 150+ people.

“If you’re gonna go to have a beer, go have a beer and do something good at the same time,” Baker said.

Men interested in joining 100 Good Guys are encouraged to register online. Nonprofit leaders can also apply online until Jan. 26 to be chosen for the next pitch event.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Garnet Vaughan

    January 9, 2024at11:00 pm

    Congratulations GUYS! I love that you modeled your group after 100 Women – such great success stories. And I love how you emphasized the gift of discovering the good work nonprofits are doing in your community.

    I’m part of a 100 Women group in Indiana – completing out 8th year. We just crossed a significant milestone – $400,000 gifted – no strings attached. Together, with Collective Giving – we can all do GREATER things – you can and WILL do great things for your community, too.
    Sincerely,
    Garnet Vaughan, 100 Women Who Care Johnson County: https://www.facebook.com/100WomenWhoCareJCIN/

  2. Avatar

    RITA SEWELL

    January 9, 2024at7:24 pm

    Wonderful news. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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