As Impact100 Sonoma members gathered at their January 12 Annual Education Forum, there was an audible gasp when president B.J. Bischoff announced, “This year, 226 women have joined Impact100 Sonoma, which means that on June 22, 2013, our organization will be able to award $226,000 in grants to nonprofits in the Sonoma Valley.” This membership number represents an 81% retention rate, includes 67 new members, and in June will bring the total amount of grants awarded to Sonoma Valley nonprofits by Impact100 Sonoma to $688,000.
[** Please note that this number has now increased to 228 and thus we will be awarding $228,000 in grants this year for a total of $690,000.]
The announcement set a high tone of energy for the rest of the meeting during which members listened to an inspirational presentation by invited guest, Lynne Twist, author of the award-winning book, The Soul of Money. Lynne, who donated her time to speak with us, shared her personal perspectives on philanthropy and a compelling story of her early years as a fund-raiser, during which she learned that anyone can be a philanthropist, regardless of their financial status, and that $50 given from the heart can have far greater value than a dispassionate donation of a higher amount.
At this Education Forum, Impact100 Sonoma also welcomed Union Bank as a partner and major underwriter. As all of the $1,000 donated by each Impact100 member goes directly to grants, support from Union Bank will help to defray the minimal administrative costs of Impact100 Sonoma.