May 2015
In This Issue
2015 Grant Finalists
Impact's Employment Opportunty
Impact's Budget
Kat Rosqueta's Talk
Annual Meeting Countdown
FAC Decision-Making
Save the Date

Monday, June 1, 2015

Details regarding deadlines and absentee voting below

Friends Welcome!



Moving beyond one million, giving as one 



Impact100 Philadelphia Congratulates the Five 2015 Grant Finalists

Last week, concluding a process that began in January with the review of 178 Letters of Inquiry, Impact100 Focus Area Committees selected five Finalists to present at our Annual Meeting on June 1st.


For the second consecutive year the members of Impact100 - now 377 women strong! -- will award three project grants of $100,000 dollars each. We will also provide two grantees with unrestricted operating grants of $25,000 each. The remaining $27,000 will be divided in thirds and awarded to each of the project grant winners as an additional $9,000 in operating funds, bringing their total grant awards to $109,000. 


The Finalists are:


Arts and Culture: 

The Philadelphia Youth Orchestra



Community Learning Center



Awbury Arboretum



The Center for Grieving Children


Health and Wellness: 

Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance (MANNA)


We look forward to welcoming members and their friends at the Annual Meeting on June 1st, when finalists will present to the membership and the 2015 project grantees will be selected. More information on the 2015 Grant Finalists is available at the link below.




Impact is Looking for a Part-Time Paid Administrator


During the past seven years, Impact100 Philadelphia has grown from a membership of 111 to 377 women. The board has worked hard to preserve the essence of our entrepreneurial spirit, the intimacy and quality of the membership experience and the opportunities for leadership participation and advancement, including maintaining Impact100 as an all-volunteer organization. Today, the day-to-day activities of the organization continue to be directed and administered by a working board and committee members, but our continued membership growth; the level of professionalism we want to offer members, applicants and grantees; and the increased need for technology to manage both grants and membership led us in 2014 to enlist a consultant to establish a system for additional administrative support.


With that work completed, Impact100 is ready to engage ongoing administrative help for the coming year to support the growing demands that face Impact's board of directors.  The link to a description for the part-time paid Administrator position, beginning early this summer, can be found here.  


If you are interested in applying for this position, please contact us
by June 2, 2015 at



Impact100 is very grateful to members who add an additional contribution to their $1,000 membership fee in order to make a donation to our  Operating Budget

Innovations like Slideroom , used to manage grant applicant submissions and share information with Focus Area Committee members, and electronic voting at the Annual Meeting improve the Impact100 membership experience and make life easier for our grantees. By adding on an extra donation, you help Impact run smoothly and maintain its excellent reputation.


Rescheduled Winter Education Program

Katherina Rosqueta speaks on 
Impactful Giving


The Impact100 Winter Education Program, "Giving with Impact," took place the evening of April 22 at Reed Smith LLP, having been rescheduled from a snowy date in February. A good crowd turned out to learn from Katherina Rosqueta, Founding Executive Director of the Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania.


Rosqueta first clarified that high impact giving is NOT necessarily about high input: It's about how to translate whatever funds are available into the biggest difference you can make.  She says, "It starts and, if successful, ends with social impact - what is the good in the world we're trying to do?"  This clarification is important because people have many motivations for giving, such as to honor a loved one, or to express concern.


High-impact giving takes a more analytical approach and is informed by the best available evidence (research, academic studies, field experience).  The metrics that matter in high impact giving are costs and results.  Often, donors are concerned with measures like overhead ratios and cost per beneficiary, but, Rosqueta points out, these have no connection to results and tell you nothing about cost-effectiveness. Instead it's important to concentrate on the cost per impact, remembering that the goal is effective and meaningful intervention.


Rosqueta compared $10 given to a canned food drive, a very popular type of event, to $10 given to the Waste Not Want Not model, of which Philabundance is a local example.  Because Philabundance absorbs donations throughout the food distribution chain, the second $10 generates significantly greater opportunities to feed the hungry than the first.


Rosqueta made several points especially relevant to the Impact100 grant-making process:

  • "You need a real understanding of the people you're trying to help, and of their perceptions of the helpers."  Do our potential recipients have that understanding?
  • "You always have to start where the client is.  If you're successful, they will be a different person on the other end, and perhaps then you can do more.  But if you don't, you'll never get to the place you're trying to go."  
  • "Even though you may not achieve your original goal, you may still be creating important and positive change."  

In the Q & A, an Impact member asked: How do you choose between breadth (how many are being helped) and depth of impact (how meaningful is the intervention)? Rosqueta provided some essential questions to consider as a guide:

  • Is there something strategically important about the type of impact the program is going for, or about the population they're working with?
  • Is the applicant serving its population well? Whatever the target audience, is the program meeting their needs?
  • Is the proposal focused on a key leverage point? In other words, is the programming directed at the problem at a point in time when the solution and effect could be magnified? Kat gave the example of programs for women during their first pregnancy; outcomes data show that such early interventions actually reduce juvenile delinquency years later, when the children are teenagers.
  • Does helping this population have a ripple effect for society? In the example above, outcomes data show a positive impact not only on the first-born children, but also on their parents and siblings in terms of greater employment, less criminal involvement, and other measures.

Rosqueta was an engaging speaker with a wealth of examples to share.  She's also a "proud native Philadelphian," and I'm so glad to know we have this amazing organization right here in our region.

~~  Submitted by Impact100 member Stephanie McCullough
Annual Meeting Countdown


May 1


Annual Meeting invitation is emailed to members.


May 18


Proposals and executive summaries are shared with members, along with absentee ballots and voting information for those who cannot attend the Annual Meeting.


May 25  


Deadline to register for the Annual Meeting.


May 29   


Deadline for absentee ballots.


June 1


Annual Meeting at the Crystal Tea Room, 100 E. Penn Square, Philadelphia, PA 19107, 6 to 9 pm. 
The 2015 grant recipients are determined by a vote of the membership, and are announced to the broader community. 



Decision Time:

How a Focus Area Committee Selects Its Finalist


Over the past seven years, more often than not, Impact's 3rd-round FAC meetings have involved the challenging decision to narrow the field of candidates from five site visit organizations to only one finalist. Impact project proposals for the $100,000 grant tend to vary widely in scope and focus, but the organizations that make it through to the site visit stage are all compelling and very worthy of funding.


FAC members always discuss how well a proposed project fits within Impact's funding priorities, and how far-reaching the project might be - not only for the population it will serve, but in strengthening the organization and also perhaps advancing the field. Nevertheless, faced with choosing only one finalist, FAC members often ask the question, "How can we possibly compare them?" How can one assess, for example, a program that will be life-changing over time for a few dozen participants versus one that makes a difference in the short-term for several thousand people? How can one say that a program that prepares children for the future is any more or less worthy than one that helps the elderly during the last years of their lives?


Impact100's discussion and review process tends to yield excellent decisions, but we are always on the hunt for additional tools to help FAC members wrangle with these very challenging comparisons. This year, we got some help, thanks to an illuminating Impact program in April that featured Katherina Rosqueta from the Center for High Impact Philanthropy (as highlighted in the previous article).


In several 3rd-round FAC meetings last week, Kat's suggestions helped frame the conversation and deepen the discussion, as people tried to assess not only the outputs and outcomes of each project, but also the potential ripple effects down the line. In one FAC meeting, members wrestled with deciding between two very strong, very worthy organizations. After fully debating and cataloguing their merits, the FAC was evenly divided between them. First-year member Ellen Berkowitz said, "I changed my mind during the meeting, and Kat Rosqueta's talk definitely influenced my thinking... In the end, the idea of 'impact' is what helped me make up my mind."          


Second-year member Debby Swirsky-Sacchetti also changed her mind during the review process, and described her experience: "Through our FAC discussion, I realized that a grant to this organization would be making a profound impact on the lives of underserved individuals, which would go hand in hand with transformative organizational impact, and potential widespread impact in the larger field -- which added up to a winning paradigm. In addition to all that, my 'gut' response to the site visit contributed significantly to my decision."


Lisa Goldstein added, "I was passionate about one organization and as the discussion progressed, I realized that if I were to write my $1,000 check right then, I would definitely write it to the organization I had fallen in love with. But when I thought about Impact's $100,000 grant, I realized that $100,000 could be 'transformational' for the other group, and it might change that field." Lisa shared that view with the FAC, and after further discussion, a vote showed there was nearly unanimous agreement about the final choice.


These final-round meetings are always bittersweet. One organization gets the welcome news that it is one of five applicants that will present at the Annual Meeting in June. The other site visit organizations do not move on, despite the fact that they are highly effective in their work.  Each year, a number of Impact members are so moved by site visits that they become personally connected as donors or volunteers to those organizations. We expect and hope that trend will continue this year because, as always, the impressive work we have learned about deserves widespread support.


~~ Submitted by Impact100 member Mary Broach

Quick Links
Impact100 Philadelphia Leadership 2014-15
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