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Impact100 Sonoma focuses on pandemic recovery for nonprofits

Impact100 Sonoma’s 2021 grant season is underway, using a new grants strategy to respond to the economic fallout and other effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For this year only, the organization will award Impetus Grants of up to $25,000 under an expedited review process to get funds to nonprofits as quickly as possible. The organization’s Grants Oversight Chair, Dana Simpson-Stokes, explained the Impetus Grants can be used to strengthen a nonprofit organization’s core mission and boost nonprofits “on the road to long-term recovery” from the pandemic’s effects. While Impact100 Sonoma’s typical grant cycle extends into early June, this year’s cycle will wrap up with a virtual awards ceremony on March 31, 2021.

The philanthropic organization, composed of at least 100 women giving $1,000 annually, distributes contributed funds in their entirety to local nonprofits serving Sonoma Valley. Shared memberships and sponsored memberships are also available.

At its annual meeting on Jan. 23, Impact100 Sonoma kicked off its 12th year of service. In its first 11 years, Impact100 awarded $2,689,000 in grant funds, including $303,000 in 2020, according to its leadership. In 2021 the organization brought in 32 new members, bringing its 2021 membership count to 261. In addition to $261,000 in membership contributions, Impact100 received $31,429 in direct donations to its grant fund for 2021 and made a one-time contribution from its reserves, bringing its total 2021 grants pool to $300,000. The organization is also focused on addressing social justice. At its January meeting, Lisa Carreño, president and CEO of United Way of the Wine Country, discussed how philanthropy can alter the underlying conditions that produce many entrenched problems in society, and emphasized the importance of investing in “systems change” to address urgent and overlapping crises, such as the COVID- 19 pandemic, climate change, wildfires, economic turmoil, racial injustice, and cultural divisions.

Impact100 Sonoma has also embarked on a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) training initiative. Phase 1 of the initiative encompassed an intensive DEI course for Impact100’s board and Grant Review Committee members. Phase 2 will offer ongoing training to the entire membership, and Phase 3, beginning in April 2021, will provide training opportunities to eligible nonprofit organizations serving Sonoma Valley.