Women Transforming Sonoma County Through Collective Philanthropy - Feb/March 2017 

Enjoying the February Membership Meeting!   
President's Message 

The room hummed with excitement as more than 90 of our members and guests gathered on February 8. In addition to presentations from our Impact Grant and Community Grant awardees, the meeting featured an exercise to help improve our member experience.


We've been fortunate to receive outstanding organizational development (OD) advice from Sharon Keating, one of our members and an OD consultant. Sharon provided three prompts for discussion:

  1. How can we improve communication with members?
  2. How can we strengthen member engagement?
  3. How can we enhance membership enjoyment and satisfaction?

Preliminary feedback has been informative and thought-provoking. Here is a sample of the ideas the Leadership Team will be exploring:

  • Assign each new member a "buddy" to help answer questions and make her feel welcome
  • Help members arrange carpools to meetings, particularly for those who don't drive after dark
  • Enhance communications, for example, by directing members to new Website content
  • Introduce additional informal gatherings
  • Provide periodic reminders of upcoming important dates.

Our Leadership Team has reviewed your ideas and shared them with committee chairs. Watch for additional improvements as we respond to your suggestions!  


It's exciting to see our young organization continue to seek ways to become a stronger and more effective group. Be sure to mark your calendar for July 22, when we will host a Membership Strategic Planning Meeting. Our organization is blessed with smart, talented members, and we look forward to gathering more suggestions from you at that meeting.

Melissa Kelley
President and Co-Founder
Our treasurer, Suzy Marzalek, is pleased to report that as of December 31, 2016 we had $130K in our grant fund, so we are in good shape for funding both our next Impact Grant and some additional smaller Community Grants.  It's exciting that many of our members have renewed for year two!  We also have $9K in our operations or administrative fund, which pays for the maintenance of our website, the renting of our storage facility, fees to the Community Foundation, and various supplies and other expenses.   
In This Issue
 Upcoming Events
Coffee & Conversation 
Tues, Feb 28, 10-11:30 a.m. 
Brasserie Lounge at Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel 
170 Railroad Square, S.R.

Cocktails & Conversation 
Thurs. Mar 23, 5-7 p.m.  
Legends at Bennett Valley Golf Course  
3328 Yulupa Ave, S.R.
2nd Annual Impact Grant Membership Meeting:
 Sat., May 6, 1-4 p.m.
Scottish Rite Center, 600 Acacia Lane, Santa Rosa

Membership Strategic Planning Meeting
Sat, July 22, 9-12 a.m.
Scottish Rite Center, 600 Acacia Lane, Santa Rosa

RSVP to events by clicking here:  Email Impact100
Welcome to the newest members of our circle! 
Maureen Buehler
Judy Burness
Jody Edwards
Anne Gero
Gwen Neary
Kathryn Peyton
Peggy Price
Pamela Reeves
Raini Sugg
Impact100 RC Needs to be in the News! 
How many times have you heard one of our members say those words? Maybe you've said it yourself. There are many reasons why you haven't seen more publicity about us - we're barely over a year old, for one - but a key reason is that we need a capable woman to lead our Public Relations (PR) efforts!
Are you a strong writer? Do you want to "get the word out" about our good work? Marketing Committee Co-Chairs Jan Houts and Gayle Holste have PR experience and are very willing to provide training; we just don't have enough time after our other Impact responsibilities to give this task the attention it deserves.
Our inaugural year was spent creating our chapter's basic communications tools. These tools are maintained and updated by the marketing committee members as follows:
  • Website - Vicki Groninga
  • Communique E-Newsletter - Jan Houts
  • Facebook Page - MK Hicks
  • Brochure and Photo Library - Gayle Holste
  • Public Relations - TBD
If you'd like to hear more about this opportunity to help manage, protect and enhance the reputation of Impact00 RC, email janhouts@comcast.net or gayleholste@me.com . Or, attend our next
Marketing Committee meeting on Thurs, March 9th, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.  
We really need your support!
Co-Chairs, Jan Houts & Gayle Holste 
Community Grants Update 
The Community Grants Committee was thrilled to welcome and celebrate representatives of all five grantees at the February membership meeting. The five nonprofits --
Community Support Network, Free Bookmobile of Sonoma County, Paws as Loving Support (PALS), SRJC Foundation, UC Cooperative Extension -- briefly described how they are utilizing the $5,000 awards they received at the end of last year. All expressed sincere appreciation for the grant awards, and we are grateful to them for their valuable work in our community. Stay tuned for future details on our 2017 Community Grants program from new Committee Chair Helen Berg.

Community Grant Recipients Are Celebrated at Feb. Membership Meeting
Events & Education
Feb. 8th Kickoff - Love was in the Air!
The E&E committee put their hearts into creating a special membership experience for the 2017 kick-off meeting. There was a lot of emotion in the room as representatives from VOICES and the 5 Community Grant awardees shared how their grants are having an impact in their organizations. Our team was also honored to put its best foot forward in anticipation of receiving Wendy Hoffman, President for the Sonoma Valley Impact chapter.  
Member Sharon Keating led a great table exercise where members and guests brainstormed on ways to improve the member experience for all.  Sharon deserves huge kudos for kicking this section of the meeting into overdrive and much was accomplished as we raced the clock to conclude the meeting on time.  
The E&E committee "high-fived" one another in setting three new records:  1) the room was set in record time, thus allowing us to receive many members and guests who arrived early in anticipation of the meeting; 2) the tear down occurred in record time thanks to member participation; and 3) we received a record number of meeting evaluation forms providing critical guidance as we head deep into planning for the May 6 Impact Grant Award meeting.
We extend heartfelt thanks to committee members Ellen Wear, Debra Marzak, Janie Herring, Judy Hyman, Karen DeGroot, MK Hicks, Mary Radu, Shirley Anderson, Sudha Schlesinger and volunteers Judy Farrell, Lynnie Rabinowitsh and Rene Lummer.  We also welcome new committee member, Maureen Buehler who joined the E&E Committee, effective Wednesday night.
Co-Chairs Liz Bortolotto & Gayle Holste     
Membership Renewals are due March 31
All memberships must be renewed by March 31, 2017, in order to qualify for voting at the Impact Grant Award meeting scheduled for May 6, 2017.

If you joined or renewed after April 1, 2016, you will not need to renew until after April 1, 2017

Members, who have not yet renewed, are being sent emails reminding them when they last paid their fees. These emails include attachments of the new registration forms for this year. There is a separate form for cash and credit card. There are also separate forms for individuals and dyads.

Our growing member tree 
All you need to do is print, fill out, sign, include either your check or credit card number, and mail to Community Foundation Sonoma County, 120 Stony Point Circle, Suite 220, Santa Rosa, CA 95401. We ask that you fill them out again so we are assured we have your most up-to-date information.

Be sure to note if you are eligible for any matching gifts!

Feel free to contact Cindy Schmidt at cindys24@hotmail.com with any questions or concerns.

Co-Chairs Cindy Schmidt & Toni Wilkerson
Impact Grant Update
The Grant Committee reviewed sixteen Letters of Intent (LOI) submitted by outstanding organizations in our community.
Eight semi-finalists were selected and were invited to complete the Final Proposal Application (FPA). The final applications are due on March 6th. The committee will review all the applications and decide which organizations will continue the grant process.
The Grant Committee continues to do their due diligence with their tenet of integrity, transparency, trust, fairness, responsible stewardship and inclusiveness to bring to the membership the top three projects.
The final three organizations will be presenting their projects to the membership on May 6, 2017, at which time YOU will vote for the 2017 Impact Grant winner.

Co-Chairs Karen Thompson, Laurie Parish and Carol Lynn Wood