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Meredith's Musings

Minnesota visit leads to fresh fundraising ideas 

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Outstanding Leadership and Excellence Statewide Conference in Minnesota. At the conference, affiliates gathered information from HFHI programs and returned home with new ideas and a refreshed spirit. I exhibited at the Women Build booth and provided affiliates with lots of information about our program. I thought they would be walking away with great materials; however, I was the one who returned with fresh ideas and encouragement.

Nancy IglesiasNancy Iglesias, executive director of HFH of Winona-Fillmore Counties

The Women Raise the Roof workshop presented by Nancy Iglesias, executive director of Habitat of Winona-Fillmore Counties, was absolutely inspiring. The program she developed for her affiliate’s first Women Build home was very impressive.

They created a system where 18 teams raised about $5,000 each to build a typical $100,000 home. The teams were on their own in terms of how they would fundraise. Some were creative and others simply contributed the funds themselves. The teams each had three to five days on the build site and absolutely loved it. They reevaluated their strategy this year and recently launched the kickoff event for their second Women Build home.

If you wish to speak to Nancy about her Women Build program or borrow some of her ideas, contact her at

As National Women Build Week approaches, the Women Build Department at Habitat for Humanity International buzzes with excitement and preparation for our largest event of the year. National Women Build Week is the week before Mother’s Day, where 300 affiliates in all 50 states participate in our national event. 

This week is not the only time of the year women can build! Although National Women Build Week can bring a lot of media attention and excitement to your affiliate, we want you to keep this going all year long! Fifty percent of Habitat volunteers are women, but only 15 percent are actually on the build site–this is a major untapped resource. Think about the impact a solid base of female volunteers could do at your affiliate.

April continues to be busy as I travel to Habitat of Autauga and Chilton Counties to train three affiliates on Women Build basics. The next few weeks will continue to be busy for the Women Build Department.

Don’t forget to follow our Twitter and Facebook as affiliates begin to document their events! If you are interested in receiving information about planning your first Women Build, please contact me or write

Meredith Nelson is the AmeriCorps outreach coordinator for HFHI’s Women Build program, based in Americus, Ga.