Philanthropic group seeking members, organizations interested in grants  


By Mark Ambrogi

Impact 100 is having a growing influence in the philanthropic community.



“Impact 100 is a women’s giving circle awarding high impact grants to nonprofits in our community,” said Beth Thomas, in her second one-year term as the group’s president. “The basic model is simple: Each woman, or a group of two to four women, contributes $1,000 for a membership each year. One hundred percent of membership donations are granted to nonprofits each year, with a $100,000 grant given for each 100 memberships. Most women are not in the position to make a large enough donation to truly make a difference to a nonprofit. But 100 women giving $1,000 into a $100,000 grant can make an impact on a local nonprofit, thus making an impact on our community.”

Impact 100, which has many members from Hamilton County and Zionsville, has two key upcoming events.

The Do-It-Yourself Holiday Party membership recruitment event is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at Outside the Box, 3940 E. 56th St., Indianapolis.

“We have had holiday parties the past few years as both a membership party and a recruiting event for interested women,” said Thomas, an Indianapolis resident. “Since women love to learn something new, we thought it would be fun to have a few members with special skills share them. Cathy Simmons is a florist who will teach us how to create holiday centerpieces, and Andi Cohen is a caterer teaching us how to create holiday appetizers.”

The Dec. 8 informational meeting, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Glendale Library, 6101 N. Keystone Ave., Indianapolis, is designed for Central Indiana nonprofits interested in competing for the 2017 high impact $100,000 grant. Those who wish to attend must RSVP to

“Applying for a grant is a labor-intensive process, and most nonprofits do not have grant writers on staff and have to pay someone to write their application,” Thomas said. “It is important for nonprofits to understand our process and our grant criteria before making this investment, and this meeting is a great opportunity to learn as much in advance as possible.”

Grant applications are solicited in each of five focus areas: arts and culture, education, environment, family and health and wellness. Members work in committees to review the applications in that area, perform site visits and select a finalist for their area. At the June annual meeting the finalists present their projects, the members vote, and the $100,000 grants are announced. The other finalists share the rest of the grant pool equally.

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