The Women's Giving Circle of Jefferson County held its first event Thursday to vote on which organizations would receive funding from the group.

About 150 of the 215 members of the Women's Giving Circle attended the membership meeting or elected by absentee vote on the decision of how over $15,000 gathered by the group in the last year will be distributed.

The 2012 grant winners will be announced after the Community Foundation of Madison and Jefferson County's board meeting on March 20.

The grants will be awarded to 501(c)3 - or non-profit - organizations that have the greatest potential to help women and children of Jefferson County, a release from the group stated.

The non-profit organizations must fall under the four Fields of Interest of education, economic empowerment, physical and mental health, and violence and crime.

The Women's Giving Circle combines a group of philanthropic-minded women of all ages, means and backgrounds to make a positive change for women and children in Jefferson County thanks to their financial contributions.

To be a member of the Women's Giving Circle, the organization asks for an annual tax-deductible contribution of $100 from each member of the group. There are no other obligations or expectations of the members except for the contribution.

The annual donation of $100 is broken up with $75 going to a fund for immediate granting and $25 going to an endowment fund for future granting.

Assets of the Women's Giving Circle are held and maintained at the Community Foundation of Madison and Jefferson County.

To join the Women's Giving Circle of Jefferson County, potential members may contact the Community Foundation of Madison and Jefferson County at 265-3327 or online at www.cfmjc.org.