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Having lived in the city most of her life, Kate Houstoun was drawn to Impact100 Philadelphia when she moved to the suburbs and hoped to meet women who shared her commitment to fighting poverty in the region.

The Wyndmoor resident loves the “messiness” that comes with collective giving. “Collective giving is beautiful,” said Kate, “but it can be messy.” She’s referring, of course, to the wonderful tumult that naturally comes along with a group of passionate women lobbying for a cause.

Kate has worked in philanthropy as a professional and as a volunteer for many years. When she joined Impact100 Philadelphia three years ago, she was a program officer for The Barra Foundation, and recently joined the senior leadership team at United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.

But collective giving — and lending — may be closest to Kate’s heart. She helped start the Circle of Aunts and Uncles, a “multi-generational project to provide low-interest loans and social capital to under-resourced entrepreneurs in order to co-create a more equitable, compassionate, sustainable, and vibrant local economy in the Greater Philadelphia region.” Kate sees Impact100 Philadelphia and groups like it as “a way for individuals to make a bigger impact,” not only financially, but also with time, resources, and connections.

When Kate joined Impact100 Philadelphia in November 2015, she was immediately impressed with how well-organized the group is. She has more recently been inspired by the progressive shift in strategic plan—from a personal and professional viewpoint. As someone who works in the philanthropic sector, Kate sees Impact100 Philadelphia as being ahead of the curve when it comes to grant-making practices—in particular, providing unrestricted core mission funding.

This year, Kate is serving as a Chestnut Hill Focus Area Committee team leader. As Impact100 Philadelphia moves into our second decade of giving, she plans to work to continue to diversify membership and getting members more involved with each other on a social level.

Kate, her husband, their three-year-old son, and rescue pups enjoy spending time outdoors, especially in Wissahickon Valley Park. And Kate has a great suggestion for an Impact100 Philadelphia group activity once the weather breaks—a trail clearing project in the park. Who’s in?

Special thanks to Impact100 Philadelphia member Eileen O’Donnell for her contribution.

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