Donor Profile

Every major campaign needs an early burst of momentum. For The Eliminate Project, the 100K Club pledge from the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham, Alabama, was one of those crucial moments—a major statement by a key part of the Kiwanis family.

But it wasn’t a surprise. Leadership and service have been signature features of the club throughout its history.

With more than 500 members, the Birmingham club is the biggest Kiwanis club in the world. Since its charter in 1917, the club has consistently translated its size and commitment into big results. For instance, the Boys and Girls Club’s first building was built in Birmingham in 1924, thanks largely to the Kiwanis club’s efforts. And the club has been a major factor in Kiwanis International’s initiatives through the years.

The Kiwanis Club of Birmingham was one of the three largest contributors to the global campaign to virtually eliminate iodine deficiency disorders. The positive experience of the IDD campaign made involvement in The Eliminate Project a “no-brainer,” says Tom Thagard, club secretary.

“IDD was a great success, and it truly did help children around the world,” he adds. “The Eliminate Project is well-designed to accomplish the same kind of result.”

That combination of good intentions and clear direction made the campaign worthy of the club’s dedication—and its pledge. “The project’s ‘roadmap’ is critical,” Thagard says. “We wouldn’t give $100,000 to something that wasn’t thought out. The IDD campaign made it easier to support a project of this size—it’s equally well-measured, and it’s designed to have maximum impact.”

Pride and presence

The decision to become a 100K Club didn’t require a long discussion. The Eliminate Project’s potential impact was obviously suited both to the club’s vision and its history. For instance, the 100K pledge saves or protects at least 55,000 mothers and their future newborns.

“Our club has a significant legacy of generosity toward civic needs,” Thagard says. “It was a natural fit for us.”

Locally, the club is a major part of philanthropy and service. In addition to the Boys and Girls Club, beneficiaries of club members’ kindness have included Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, “Reading Is Fundamental” and other programs.

“Our club has a very significant presence in downtown Birmingham,” Thagard says. “It’s something you really want to be a part of.”

A campaign with global impact offered a logical extension of the work the club does in its area. And the 100K commitment is another example of the club’s leadership within the Kiwanis family. Thagard hopes it can serve as an inspiration for others to give to The Eliminate Project—at whatever gift level works for them.

“We hope clubs around the world can do the same,” he says. “If you look at the results of the IDD campaign, you can see how even relatively modest contributions, combined with a worldwide effort, can have a spectacular result.”

For The Eliminate Project, that result will similarly come from the effort of the entire Kiwanis family. And it will be inspired by the pledges and participation of clubs such as the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham—a leader that continues to show Kiwanians around the world what’s possible.

Photo (below): Member Howard Chapman reads to Birmingham school children for the Reading is Fundamental program. KC Birmingham has a rich heritage and is excited to participate in The Eliminate Project.

Donor Profiles


Name of club: Kiwanis Club Birmingham

Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama

Serving children since: 1917

Members: 547

Community involvement: Boys and Girls Club, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Reading Is Fundamental

Upcoming fundraisers: Events, personal contributions, foundation gifts

Donation: US$100,000

Impact: Save or protect more than 55,000 mothers and their future babies