FAC meetings go virtual, but remain as meaningful as ever

During the first week of May, Focus Area Committee (FAC) members gathered online to discuss applicant organizations and make their selections for FAC Finalists.

Our FAC meetings typically involve passionate discussions and debates about organizations that members have come to know and feel strongly about. To be honest, we weren't sure how things would go this year, since we had to move to a virtual setting. How would those conversations work on Zoom? How could we hear all opinions and have the lively back and forth that informs our discussions and yields excellent group decisions?

Happily, the feedback from members suggests that the meetings were as meaningful as ever. (For two personal accounts, see Why I'm A Member below.) Racing to get up to speed on both facilitating and managing technology for virtual meetings wasn't easy for our volunteer leaders. We had some bumps in the road, but we all learned lessons from one meeting to the next that improved the experience for participants. Looking at the remarkable finalist organizations selected by FAC members, we feel that the process was every bit as successful as in the past.

We are incredibly grateful to this year's Focus Area Committee Chairs and Team Leaders, who rode the wave of change, uncertainty and new procedures with grace and flexibility. We thank the more than 200 FAC volunteers who engaged with an intellectual seriousness, lively spirit, and sense of humor that infused this year's grants process with goodwill and camaraderie.

The upshot of all this? Each of us, as an individual donor, has been able to harness the time and effort of FAC volunteers to identify six outstanding organizations. Each of us, contributing $500 or $1,000 to the grants pool, can see our donation pooled into six high-impact grants that will truly make a difference and provide meaningful funding to our finalists.

We believe more than ever in the power and effectiveness of collective giving.
Six outstanding Grant Finalists for 2020

Last week it was our great pleasure to announce Impact100 Philadelphia's six grant finalists, selected by Focus Area Committees:

ACLAMO  -  addresses the needs of low-income Latino communities in Montgomery County through education, wellness, and social service programs

First Up  -  equips early childhood professionals, families, and other adults to positively impact educational and developmental outcomes for young children

Greener Partners  -  strengthens community health through food, farms, and education, and addresses barriers to fresh food in low-income communities

Mighty Writers  -  serves children in Philadelphia's most socioeconomically challenged and historically underserved communities through writing programs

Rock to the Future  -  provides transformative music programs for youth in Philadelphia's underserved neighborhoods at no cost to them or their families

Women's Center of Montgomery County  -  works to eliminate domestic violence so that individuals can live safer, more stable lives and thrive

Beginning today, members will read and review detailed information about finalists, and will cast votes at the end of the month to determine grant amounts for each. We are especially pleased, in a time of such great need, that our 451 members enable Impact100 Philadelphia to award three grants of $100,000, one of $50,000 and two of $37,000.

Under the highly capable and compassionate management of these six organizations, Impact100's grants will have a tremendous impact.
"Why I'm a member"
This month we're featuring two women who participated in 2020 Focus Area Committees.

Kate Welch joined Impact as a new member last November and almost immediately, before attending a single program, recruited a friend to join as well.

Anna Stormer is a Young Philanthropist, in her second year, who learned about Impact100 Philadelphia at 2018's "We The Women" conference and joined right away.
Why did you join Impact100?

Kate Welch : I had begun looking for opportunities to engage more in our community, especially opportunities that were not directly related to my children's activities. Impact had been on my radar screen awhile, but I never felt I had the time before now. I love how flexible the organization is. I figured, even if I couldn't actively participate in grant selection or the events, it would be a contribution to a good organization.

What's one of your favorite things about your Impact membership? 

Hands down the best part for me has been the opportunity to engage with such a smart, thoughtful and professional group of women. Being on one of the Focus Area groups, I learned so much about evaluating nonprofits - how to look beyond just the mission of the organization and take into account its financial viability, reach, and strategic plans. 

The way Impact was able to pivot in the face of the covid pandemic was particularly impressive to me. Meetings were reorganized and run more professionally than I thought possible, and I was impressed with the level of conversation and engagement through each step. 

If you would recommend Impact100 to others, what are the reasons? 

I highly recommend Impact. I feel lucky to have been able to participate in the grant selection process and to be able to meet and learn from other members. And even if someone did not have the time to be part of the grant selection process, I would recommend contributing. I was impressed with how thoughtfully the grants were given and I do really feel they will have more impact than my contribution would make on its own.
What's one of your favorite things about your membership?

Anna Stormer : I love hearing the diversity of perspectives from other members - private sector, retired, others in the nonprofit world, across age groups. In small groups, volunteer days, networking, I've had the opportunity to listen to strong, invested women across our community which has helped me grow personally and professionally. 

Is there something new you've learned through Impact100?

Never ever underestimate the power of committed women, with the goal of creating sustainable change. If women from Impact100 were running Congress, filibustering wouldn’t exist! Kidding aside, I love hearing why people are interested in philanthropy. Everyone has a unique lens around who they support and why they give, and I love learning about those motivations and interests.    

If you would recommend Impact100 to others, what are the reasons?

I recommend joining Impact all the time! Unlike a lot of other organizations, you’re able to adjust your involvement as your schedule allows. If you’re busier during a certain time or have a lot going on, you’re able to step back and engage later when you have more time. We’re also just a fun, committed group of women. There are ways for anyone to get involved. 

Grantee update

Checking in on a 2019 Operating Grantee: Prevention Point
In June 2019, Impact100 members awarded an operating grant of $41,250 to Prevention Point Philadelphia, whose mission is to promote health, empowerment and safety for communities affected by drug use and poverty. Prevention Point impressed our members in 2019 as an especially dedicated and effective organization, and it continues to do so today.

From the time the COVID-19 crisis hit our region and throughout the weeks that have followed, Prevention Point has been a leader in addressing the needs of some of the region's most vulnerable people. Prevention Point has somehow managed to simultaneously provide creative leadership, react to urgent needs, and find ways to collaborate with other partners.

We thank Prevention Point's staff and volunteers for their service to the region during this extremely challenging time.

Read more on Prevention Point's website about its COVID-19 service changes and involvement in the Step Up To The Plate initiative.

Impact100's website has summary information about all grantees from 2009 to 2019.
Upcoming dates & events
Watch our Events page for details about future programs.
Monday, June 1 , 7pm, on Zoom
Annual Meeting

Members, please watch for a reminder invitation this morning. Registration is booming and we're excited to gather online to celebrate Impact100's 2020 grantees.

If you are not yet a member of Impact100 but are interested in joining, we'd love to have you join us on June 1. Please reply to this email and we'll send an invitation!

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.