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As we turn the final page of the 2018 calendar, Impact100 Philadelphia is proud that we are truly an organization for all seasons. Our members have cooked, sorted, observed, collected, analyzed, engaged, served, contributed, visited, learned, planted, and supported people and local nonprofits throughout the entire year. Here are some of our favorite highlights:

Last January, we gathered at Kismet Cowork in Chestnut Hill to kick off our new grant analysis process. In response to membership surveys, we divided into smaller teams of women, which allowed Impact100 Philadelphia to review more letters of inquiry and grant proposals than ever in our history.

In February, as our focus area committees and financial review panel swung into action. Members chopped, diced, stirred, and baked hundreds of servings of beef stew, cookies, pudding, and noodles for Aid for Friends, a nonprofit headquartered in Northeast Philadelphia. Impact100 Philadelphia is firm in our commitment to engage in hands-on activities with local organizations. We also partnered with Awbury Arboretum, Cradles to Crayons, Broad Street Ministries, Philabundance, and Project Home throughout 2018. We’re eager to forge close relationships with local nonprofits. If there is a service project where Impact100 Philadelphia can help, please click HERE to let us know.

In March and April our members visited a record  37 nonprofit organizations throughout the Philadelphia area and Camden County as part of our rigorous grant review process. Our new team concept facilitated a “deep dive” into more nonprofits, and we were able to meet and learn about more organizations than ever in our history.

We continued our efforts to learn more about local philanthropy and current trends in giving at our Spring Education event. Laura Otten, Director of LaSalle University’s Nonprofit Center, explained how we can use measurement techniques to evaluate ourselves and in grantmaking to become more effective philanthropists.

In June, we were thrilled to celebrate “A Decade of Giving” at Impact100 Philadelphia’s Annual Meeting and Engagement Fair. We caught up with over 30 organizations we have funded over the past ten years, and were delighted to learn that funding from Impact100 Philadelphia has been instrumental in our partners’ growth and success. Of course, the highlight of the evening was awarding three $100,000 core mission grants to Nationalities Service Center, Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (CARIE), and Hopeworks, and two $43,500 operating grants to Taller Puertorriqueño and Philadelphia Orchard Project. For more information about our 2018 grant recipients, please click HERE.

This summer we visited the newly opened Philadelphia Rail Park and learned about urban horticulture programs from Matt Rader, President of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. Click HERE to learn about our visit. In July, Impact100 Philadelphia was excited to formally launch our Young Philanthropist program, which facilitates membership in our organization for women under age 36. Our kickoff meeting was clearly the start of something big. We are proud that 39 women have joined as the first class of Young Philanthropists, and look forward to their energy, time, and talents as we work together to expand our resources.

As the Eagles kicked off their Super Bowl defense, we welcomed Julie Hirshey, Director of the Eagles Charitable Trust, at our membership kickoff meeting. We noted that Impact100 Philadelphia’s focus on core mission grants mirrors the Eagles charitable playbook. Our emphasis on organizational funding, instead of project funding, aligns directly with the Eagles philosophy. To hear from Julie Hirshey directly, click HERE.

Throughout the fall, our members were busier than ever. Veteran leadership joined new colleagues in welcoming women from throughout the world in October, when Impact100 Philadelphia hosted the Women’s Collective Grantmaking Giving Network conference. Rebranded as Catalist, this group of women generated a series of new ideas and enthusiasm for the hundreds of women who attended. The conference was not just about collective giving: it was a terrific example of collective learning. In October and November, as our membership committee planned and hosted meet ups and information sessions throughout the area, Impact100 Philadelphia continued to serve the community with volunteer stints at the Hub of Hope and Philabundance. Each opportunity to participate in volunteer events reminded us that we are part of a network of hundreds of people hoping to make a difference in our world. It truly is service with a smile: organizations welcome our involvement and our members report great personal satisfaction as a result of direct engagement.

The Tuesday after Thanksgiving is designated as “Day of Giving.” Impact100 Philadelphia gathered at U-Bahn to celebrate the “Pillar of Society” award from past grant recipient Community Volunteers in Medicine in recognition of our support. We were interested to learn about the organization’s new initiatives from Development Director Denise Maher and are proud of our continued association with them. We also heard from Michal Smith, Executive Director of Cradles to Crayons Philadelphia. Members and guests thought about clothing and school supplies and the correlation to school attendance in a whole new way. Throughout 2018, we volunteered with our local C2C chapter and look forward to working with them again. Click HERE to read more about Giving Tuesday.

Finally, in December, Impact100 Philadelphia members gathered at Not Your Average Joe’s in Ardmore for the big membership reveal at our annual Funding Celebration. We are so proud to be an organization of 397 philanthropists, committed to making our world a better place. Each woman has a unique point of view and reflects a broad spectrum of life experiences, and each is committed to collective giving and collective decision-making.

As we move into our second decade of giving, Impact100 Philadelphia is thriving. We have awarded more than $2,700,000 to dozens of worthy local nonprofits who are our “boots on the ground” making our community stronger, safer, and better. We still have plenty of work to do in 2019, and commit to redoubling our efforts to make Impact100 Philadelphia a robust, vibrant volunteer organization every day of the year.