Impact100 Sonoma Membership Continues to Rise

The numbers are in and once again, Impact100 Sonoma membership has passed the 250 mark! The organization is now 276 members strong – another record membership level. More importantly, this means that in May, the organization will award $276,000 to nonprofits serving Sonoma Valley. This will bring the total amount of grants awarded since the organization’s inception in 2009 to $1,468,000.

This was just one of several announcements made at the members’ Annual Meeting held at Vintage House on January 23rd at which members enjoyed a presentation by Carol Gray, Executive Director of the Center for Venture Philanthropy, and then were given a closer look at the “state of Impact100 Sonoma.”

CarolCarol provided an excellent snapshot of the current state of “charity giving” in the U.S. and the “resource squeeze” as governments contribute less, the gap between the rich and poor grows, and even greater demands are placed on the nonprofits. She focused on the critical need for  investment in capacity building – strengthening the way the nonprofit does business – and the importance of measuring the impact of programs provided. She described Impact100 Sonoma as a committed group of caring citizens who know the community and who can provide both funds and supportive relationships to the nonprofits. (To access her PowerPoint presentation, click HERE.)

CeliaFollowing a showing of the video, The Impact of Giving: A look at Impact100 Sonoma, Celia Canfield, Co-President, provided information about giving circles and their impacts, as well as a brief history of our organization. In describing Impact100 Sonoma as a women’s giving circle, she emphasized that we not only pool our money, we create awareness, become engaged in the process of giving, and ultimately become engaged in the nonprofits we support.

She provided information from a recent membership survey that indicates that our members have increased participation in local philanthropy:

  • In addition to Impact100, 94% of members give to other nonprofits in Sonoma Valley
  • More than half of members “often” volunteer with one or more nonprofit organizations and another ~30% do so “sometimes”
  • Nearly 70% of members have served on a nonprofit board

(To access her PowerPoint presentation, click HERE.)
BoardAs Impact100 Sonoma is a volunteer organization with a very active board, Celia asked that all board members come forward, introduce themselves, and tell the membership a little about what they do.

WendyWendy Hoffman, Co-President, then shared information about our budget and what it actually takes financially to run a giving circle. She also reminded members of the various ways that they can help to support Impact100 Sonoma.


Gera Vaz, Membership Chair, was smiling broadly when she announced the big number – 276! – in particular because it includes 59 new members who are helping to support the efforts of the nonprofit community.

DianaDiana Sanson, Community Grants Chair, described the adjustments to voting procedures for 2016 and the format of the Awards Ceremony that will take place on May 21 at Hanna Boys Center. The grant-making process is proceeding on schedule as the Letters of Inquiry for the $100,000 Impact Grant and proposals for the Community Grants have been received. Now it is up to those members who volunteer their time to review the grant materials, visit the nonprofit applicants, and determine a list of finalists to present to the voting membership. More than 80 members participate in this vetting process.

As the meeting closed, smiles continued. Another great year for Impact100 Sonoma is underway.

Photos provided by Impact100 Sonoma member, Bari Williams