Impact100 ups its kickoff giving goal

Will make two $100,000 grants to area nonprofits

Coins stacked

Impact100 Greater Milwaukee, a new nonprofit that focuses on collective giving by a group of women, has increased its initial giving promise to two $100,000 nonprofit grants.


The organization, founded in October, is a local chapter of a national nonprofit in which 100 members each donate $1,100 to earn a vote in which nonprofit receives the total pool of funds. $1,000 of each donation goes toward the grant, and the other $100 helps support the operations of the nonprofit.

The Milwaukee chapter, led by co-presidents Anne Trunzo and Cynthia Harris, originally planned to give one $100,000 grant to a local nonprofit through a competitive application process. But it has surpassed its initial membership goal, and now has more than 200 members. It will give a $100,000 grant to two nonprofits, with small merit grants going to three other finalists.

“Our goal for the first year, since this was a new organization, was to have 115 members,” said Lynn Sheka, a board member for Impact100 Greater Milwaukee. “We hosted a variety of member recruiting events throughout October and November and December. We just got a really overwhelming response.”

Impact100 is now accepting grant applications from greater Milwaukee nonprofits, which are due Friday. The board of directors will narrow the applications to five finalists in five areas: arts and culture; education; environment; family; and health and wellness. At a meeting in June, members will vote on the winning organizations.

“It’s amazing to me that a lot of the members are interested in volunteering to be part of the grant review process,” Sheka said. “A lot of members are interested in getting to know these nonprofits and getting to know the organizations their funds are going to.”

Following its 2016 grant process, Impact100 will begin recruiting again in the fall. It hopes to achieve a similar level of membership for 2017, Sheka said.

“We felt that this is a good time for people to make a one-time donation and then to really have their impact be larger than it would if it was just each of us making a $1,000 donation on our own,” she said. “The overwhelmingly positive response we got shows that this is something people are really interested in.”

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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