Adjusting our grants process due to the coronavirus

Like so many others around the region and the world, Impact100 Philadelphia is looking closely at its operations to see what should be adjusted for health and safety concerns related to the spread of the coronavirus.

At a special meeting of the Grants Planning Committee last week, we determined the immediate first step would be to shift site visits (occurring in March and April) from in-person meetings to conference calls. While we face obstacles in adapting Impact's process to the coronavirus outbreak, we can only imagine how difficult this situation is for the nonprofit community, and the many critically important and time-sensitive challenges they face.

We've convened a task force to look ahead and map out contingency plans for the rest of our grants process this spring. We'll stay in close touch with members and applicants, and share plans publicly through this newsletter and our website.

Our best wishes to all during this challenging time.
Takeaways from a collective giving conference

Six Impact100 Philadelphia members attended a Seattle conference in late February led by the national network of women's collective giving organizations, Philanos (formerly Catalist).

The conference's overarching theme was Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and our members who attended came away inspired to explore new ideas. While we are proud of what Impact100 Philadelphia has accomplished in its first 12 years, we know there is always room for improvement, and we look forward to discussing ways we can be a better organization for both our members and the nonprofit community.

Here are some of the ideas that we intend to explore further:
  • It's essential to include all perspectives. As one speaker said, "Grantmakers should ask the people they're helping: Do you feel helped?"
  • Every organization should ask itself: How are we complicit in allowing racism?
  • Traditional philanthropy puts applicants in the position of supplicant. Instead, funders can put more work on themselves and find ways to research and learn about applicants in ways that are less burdensome to organizations.
  • Trust-based philanthropy -- a movement building over several years -- is the notion that funder-grantee relationships are strongest and most effective when based on mutual partnership, with funders providing support that frees up the grantee's time for its core work.

Impact is convening a strategy committee this spring to dig deeper into these and other ideas. Watch for more information over the coming months.

"Why I'm a member"
Founders Fellow Chelsea Hicks interviewed and wrote this about her conversation with long-time member Toni Seidl:
Toni Seidl is an extraordinary woman whose experiences reflect that life is not linear but rather quite an adventure. Prior to joining Impact100, she held various roles in her life including but not limited to being a practicing nurse, working mother, Masters in Social Work graduate, the Coordinator of the Child Abuse program at CHOP, and now a proud grandmother (who regrettably had to miss a couple of Annual Meetings to attend graduations!).

Toni has an invigorating personality and her appreciation for Impact100 is infectious. As a first year Founders Fellow, I enjoyed hearing from a member who over the last nine years has discovered, as we both described it, the “magic” of Impact100 and why it is a group that all should consider being a part of. 

According to Toni there are two aspects of Impact100 in particular which make it so special: 

The culture. "Impact100 is a women-led organization that has created a space where there is appreciation and respect for all members. Everyone listens to one another. There is never criticism in a personal or value-driven way. It’s unlike any other organization I've been part of.” 

The Focus Area Committee process.  "The FAC process is very special. It is highly collaborative and there is always the opportunity to provide feedback. The process is done in a conscious and conscientious manner, and is very impressive in terms of the due diligence. Every FAC member takes great responsibility and makes it her duty to serve in the best interest of the organization.” 
Hearing from our members is always fascinating. We turned the tables on Chelsea and asked her to weigh in too.
Chelsea Hicks is a first year Founders Fellow and offered these thoughts on her Impact experience.

Has anything surprised you? " The community! It's always difficult to ascertain how welcoming a group will be to new members, but I've been blown away. I have met such incredible women over a short period of time and every person I've engaged with has been open, friendly, and welcoming. ” 

The Founders Fellows program.  "I feel I already have a strong relationship with each woman in the program. We're familiar with one another's trials and triumphs. It's heartwarming to be in a group where each member is invested in your growth and well-being.” 

What will stay with you from this experience? "I've learned how vast the nonprofit landscape is in the Philadelphia area, and how many of us working in the nonprofit sector have similar experiences of burn-out, lack of pay equity, etc. It's led me to think more critically about the experiences of women in the sector and how I can be a part of making change."
Grantee update
Checking in on a 2018 Operating Grantee:
Philadelphia Orchard Project
 In a March 10 update, Impact100 Philadelphia's 2018 operating grantee Philadelphia Orchard Project cited highlights from last fall:

- 3 new community orchards
- 102 orchard events with 4,647 participants
- 66 fruit trees distributed to city residents through a partnership with TreePhilly

POP is a very small nonprofit in terms of its budget, but has a mighty array of partnerships and programs, including community orchards, school orchards, and many educational programs. POP's educational programs run the gamut from seasonal care to nutritional information to medicinal properties of tree fruits. POP has partnered with the City of Philadelphia to translate orchard care documents into Spanish and Mandarin.

We are both humbled and proud to have been a supporter of this highly-effective organization. POP truly fits Impact100 Philadelphia's goal of funding high impact grants that support lesser known organizations, reach under-served populations and highlight unmet needs. We celebrate POP's growth and success in recent years, and look forward to following its progress in the future.
Read more about Philadelphia Orchard Project and view its recent blog posts .

Impact100's website has summary information about all grantees from 2009 to 2019.
Upcoming dates & events
Our programs are open to members and all women interested in learning about Impact100 Philadelphia. Watch our Events page for details.
Tuesday, March 31
Deadline for Nominations to Impact's Board of Directors

Members: March 31 is the deadline for nominations for our Board of Directors. Please see your March 3 email for details, and feel free to reply to this note with any questions.

Monday, April 27 , 6:30-8:30pm
Spring Education Program

Due to the coronavirus, we will not host an event, but we hope to produce a live stream of an educational program on April 27 starting at 6:30pm.

Please save the date and watch for more information in
early April .

Monday, June 1 , 6-9pm
Annual Meeting , Center City

Save the date for the culmination of Impact's grant year, when we'll hear presentations from six finalists and members will cast their votes to determine the 2020 grantees.

Stay tuned for details, which will be determined based on public health recommendations.
Would you like to join us or tell others about Impact100?
Impact100 Philly's growth is due to our members' enthusiasm for collective giving.
If you'd like to tell others about our organization , please feel free to forward
this newsletter - and we thank you for spreading the word.
If you or a friend or colleague would like to join Impact100 , we'd love to have you!

Women age 36 and over join for $1,150; of that total, $1,000 is added to the grants pool for 2021. Women 35 and under join as Young Philanthropists at half that rate, $575.

Members who join or renew now are much-appreciated supporters for the June 2021 grants. Your early support is tremendously helpful for future planning, and we welcome you to attend events throughout 2020, follow our email updates, and learn about Impact100 during the year ahead.