OVER A DECADE
Impact 100 Sonoma has announced a new partnership with Epoch Education to provide members with diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) training. Believing that it is not enough to simply “not be racist,” DEI programming teaches participants how to be “actively anti-racist.”
The Impact 100 board of directors unanimously approved a statement at its June meeting proclaiming organizational commitment to anti-racism, and pledged to undergo training in the principals of DEI. The adopted plan includes opportunities for the board, the membership, and ultimately the greater Sonoma Valley nonprofit community to confront and address institutional bias over the next year.
The training will attempt to help participants recognize their role in racist systems, develop common understandings, definitions and agreements, and equip participants with the tools needed to stop perpetuating inequity while simultaneously working to repair harm and change systems.
In a press release, the organization pledged to “lead by example” and acknowledged that systemic change is challenging. “This is hard and necessary work, and Impact 100 is committed to leveraging its collective impact to create a thriving and equitable Sonoma Valley,” the statement said.
Epoch Education founder Dr. Nancy Dome maintains a home base in Sonoma. On Dec. 8, Dome kicked off Impact 100’s year-long engagement with Epoch in a virtual keynote presentation titled “Equity by Design.”
“If we want to shift climate and culture to become more welcoming to people as they are, then we have to broaden our own perspectives, make room for differing ideas and learn how to lean into discomfort,” Dome said.
A special collaboration with non-profits in the valley has inspired the creation of the Winter Wonderland Sonoma Style holiday events calendar.
Winter Wonderland Sonoma Style is a heartfelt holiday campaign to bring holiday cheer to the Sonoma Valley. It is an outpouring of holiday love throughout the Valley with various ways to stay connected every day in December. Months of living with the COVID-19 pandemic has created anxiety, depression, and separation. Use our calendar to find COVID-19 safe holiday events to the valley to celebrate safely and with joy.
Spread holiday joy, giving and love to our Valley!
You can find the calendar link here
In October, Impact100 Sonoma will kick off its 2021 Membership Drive with a series of casual online new member recruitment events to introduce prospective new members to its vision of a thriving Sonoma Valley.
Impact100 Sonoma is a women’s collective grant-making organization. Since its founding in 2009, Impact100 Sonoma has granted almost $2.7 million to nonprofits serving Sonoma Valley, making it one of the Valley’s largest funders. The concept of Impact100 Sonoma is simple: one woman + $1,000 = one vote. Shared memberships are available, as well as scholarship programs. One hundred percent of every membership donation is used to fund grants each year.
Impact100 Sonoma, a women’s collective giving organization, held two “State of our Union” meetings for members and guests to announce its new grantmaking strategy for 2021 on September 29 and 30. Recognizing the challenges faced by nonprofits as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Impact100 Sonoma will award “Impetus Grants” of up to $25,000 in 2021, to provide funding related to strengthening nonprofit organizations’ core missions and support them on the road to long-term recovery and resilience.
In May, Impact100 Sonoma formed a 2021 Grants Task Force to assess the ongoing impacts of the pandemic on Valley residents and nonprofits. It sought input from a wide range of local nonprofits and explored approaches being taken by similar funding organizations. The Task Force found that Valley nonprofits will need immediate relief and increased flexibility in order to stretch their funding through 2021, and determined that the Impetus Grants Model would provide the best response to current needs, spread funds for maximum effect, and allow for flexibility as conditions evolve.
Applicants for the Impetus Grants will be required to explain their response to the pandemic and how they have pivoted to fulfill their mission, show financial stability, use the grant funds to build long-term sustainability, and have a plan to demonstrate the impact of the grant funds. Impact100 Sonoma is committed to reducing the burden on applicants, allowing grantees to adjust their objectives as conditions change, and continuing to trust the Valley’s nonprofits to decide what they need and how to best serve the community in this unprecedented time. The Impetus Grants will be awarded for 2021 only, and Impact100 Sonoma members will vote on and award the grants by March 31, 2021.
On September 29 and 30, Impact100 Sonoma hosted our “State of Our Union” virtual meetings to announce our 2021 grants strategy. In our Spring 2020 Member Survey, members prioritized long-term nonprofit organization sustainability and a willingness to evolve grant-making to meet changing needs. The timing was certainly right. Over the summer, our Grants Task Force assessed the impacts of the ongoing pandemic, and considered our community, similar funders and nonprofit organizations in developing our strategy for grant-making in the time of Covid-19. The Task Force determined that Sonoma Valley nonprofits need timely and flexible relief to stretch their funding through 2021.
If you missed one of our Virtual Meetings, you can find a copy of the presentation HERE
On August 25, Karin Demarest, Vice President for Community Impact for the Community Foundation Sonoma County, presented an update on the state of nonprofits in Sonoma County for Impact members, guests, and local nonprofit leaders. Since the October 2017 wildfires, Karin has devoted her time to the Sonoma County Resilience Fund, which CFSC launched to support the community’s long-term disaster recovery and resilience. Karin began her discussion with a general overview of the shifting and rising needs of the community and the declining resources of its nonprofits during the COVID-19 pandemic. The needs include not only basics such as food and shelter, but also support for mental health, childcare, environmental issues, racial and ethnic equity, and the “digital divide” impacting many students’ ability to participate in distance learning. Impact members also learned from Karin and the participating nonprofit leaders ways we can help nonprofits and the community to recover and build resilience in the face of disaster. One of her key takeaways was the need for unrestricted funding that allows nonprofits to pivot rapidly as situations evolve.
Karin’s PPT deck can be found HERE. Feel free to share it.
Lynne Lancaster, Co-President of Impact100 Sonoma joins Sonoma Brain Trust on Youtube to talk about the Needs of the Non Profits in Sonoma Valley and how their needs have changed during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
The Board of Directors of Impact100 Sonoma shares in the grief and anger that has erupted in the aftermath of the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and too many other Black people and people of color in our country. We join with the chorus of people and organizations proclaiming that Black Lives Matter, now and always.
We believe that injustice, inequality and structural racism exist everywhere, including in Sonoma Valley. We believe, though, that these social problems are solvable if we invest in solutions and equip ourselves to dismantle the systems and structures that allow them to thrive.
It is not enough to not be racist, we must be actively anti-racist.
The first step to becoming anti-racist is to be educated in the history and persistence of racism and our complicity in the perpetuation of injustice. To that end, the Board of Directors of Impact100 Sonoma will undergo training this summer in implicit bias and diversity, equity and inclusion. We will make this training available to all of our members at a future date. And our hope is to find a way to make training available to nonprofit boards of directors within Sonoma Valley. These are steps that affirm our commitment as an organization to being part of the solution.
As members of Impact100 Sonoma, we join together to leverage our collective impact against racism because we believe that alone we can do good, but together we can do better. Let’s do better.
Impact100 Sonoma is a member of the national women’s collective giving network Philanos, which has assembled a variety of resources for members to learn more about anti-racism. Click here to access those resources.
The Board of Directors of Impact100 Sonoma
Mary Jane Stolte
In light of the current coronavirus crisis, Impact100 Sonoma has suspended its traditional grant review process and instead opted to divide the pool of $303,000 equally among all grant semi-finalists. The move is intended to directly benefit the local Sonoma Valley nonprofit community, many of whom are serving frontline roles in providing immediate relief and basic necessities to the hard-hit community. In all, 23 organizations will each receive $13,170 in unrestricted funds, which may be used as the organizations see fit, not necessarily for the program or project for which they originally applied (full list included below).
While this is an unprecedented move for the 11-year-old organization, Grants team member Dana Simpson-Stokes believes it is very much in keeping with Impact100’s focus on “trust-based philanthropy,” which recognizes that nonprofits themselves are best-positioned to make decisions about what they need, and will do so wisely. Simpson-Stokes said, “In Sonoma Valley, we are uniquely poised to apply this concept because we are a small community and our local nonprofits are well-known to us.”
For an organization that prides itself on the simplicity of its “one woman, one vote” concept, the decision to distribute the funds without a vote of the full membership on a slate of finalists was not taken lightly. As Co-President Lynne Lancaster remarked, “We gave this long and thoughtful consideration. We truly believe in the democratic philosophy of our giving group; however, we wanted the money to be available very quickly, and it would have been nearly impossible to vote on proposals that were written before this pandemic. Ultimately our dedicated board came to this decision, and we hope our members will be proud of the impact their funds will have by making these exceptional trust-based gifts during this challenging time.”
With one out of every three of its 303 members serving on a Grant Review Committee, Impact100 traditionally engages in a thorough vetting process of paper screening, financial review, site visits, committee nomination, and finally a vote by the full membership on a slate of finalists. Early last month, the Grant Review Committees had reached the third stage, with candidates identified for site visits. However, it quickly became apparent that this process would not be able continue given the widespread disruption and the shelter-in-place order. While reviewing all available options for proceeding with the distribution of $303,000, the Grants team made the final recommendation to divide the funds among the candidates identified for site visits. Co-President Claudia Sims praised the careful deliberation of the Grants team, saying “this situation is without precedent, but our team thought of everything and we’re grateful to them and to the 23 organizations we’ve entrusted with our funds.”
Those 23 organizations are:
· 10,000 Degrees
· Audubon Canyon Ranch
· Becoming Independent
· Friends in Sonoma Helping (FISH)
· Jack London Park Partners
· Kid Scoop News
· La Luz
· North Bay Children’s Center
· On the Move
· Pets LifeLine
· Social Advocates for Youth
· Sonoma Ecology Center
· Sonoma Land Trust
· Soroptimists International Sonoma
· Sonoma Overnight Support (SOS)
· Square Peg
· Sonoma Valley Education Foundation
· Sonoma Valley Mentoring
· Sweetwater Spectrum
· Teen Services Sonoma
· Transcendence Theatre Company
· Valley Vibes Orchestra
· Vintage House
Members of Impact100 were sent a detailed FAQ with more information about the process, and they were invited to attend Q & A sessions with the Grants Oversight Chair and Co-Presidents to answer any lingering questions that remain.
There are two new initiatives happening in Sonoma Valley that we want our members to know about as we face the current coronavirus crisis together:
We hope everyone is safe and healthy as we practice social distancing and get through this together.
OUR VISIONA Thriving Sonoma Valley
Empowering women of Sonoma Valley to invest in a more sustainable nonprofit community through collective giving and responsible stewardship
Impact100 Sonoma is a member of Philanos
Impact100 SonomaP.O. Box 1958
Sonoma, CA 95476
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