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Inspiring Impact: Your Bimonthly Newsletter
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Newsletter Volume 3 ::  April 2017

A Little Wisdom from Wendy

It’s Spring!

Spring has always been a favorite time of year for me. There is something inspiring and downright magical about the early days of spring, when the cold and barren landscape turns to lush greens and vibrant kaleidoscopic blooming flowers. Spring is a busy time of planting, tending, nurturing and watering. The days get longer and warmer and we seem to have a palpable “spring in our step” as we go about our daily routines. Spring is all about rebirth, growth, hope and joy; and I love every aspect.
 
Here at the Impact 100 Global Advisory Council, we are feeling quite inspired this season. Tolstoy said it beautifully in Anna Karenina, “Spring is the time of plans and projects.” There are many exciting plans and projects in the works through Impact 100s around the globe. We’re working with Impact 100 groups “springing up” and encouraging long-standing Impact 100 chapters to thrive in this time of member recruitment and “rebirth” for the current grant year.
 
These are exciting days for Impact 100 leaders, and they can also be exhausting. As you cultivate new members, encourage your existing members and plant seeds with prospective members, remember why we are so busy this time of the year. We bring women into our chapters in the spring to empower and encourage them so that together we will transform our communities through our significant grants every fall. And then we begin again.
 
Thank you for your plans and projects this spring. We are growing together.
 


Growing Impact
Impact 100 Traverse City is currently launching. They have done a wonderful job garnering press coverage that tells the story and invites women to join them. This article is a great example of effective messaging with the media. Congrats to Impact 100 Traverse City!
 
Transformational Grants
 
We often get questions about whether giving smaller, “consolation prize,” grants to Finalists who are not selected as our grant recipients at our Annual Meeting is a good practice. The Impact 100 Model is pretty clear in specifying the minimum grant size for Impact 100 chapters is $100,000. Here is why we would caution you on giving away small “consolation prize” grants:
  • Your members were recruited believing that their donation would be part of a “transformational grant” to a local nonprofit. If you give away one grant for $100,000 and 4 grants of $5,000 each, how does the member know where her money was spent? Are we misleading our members in our recruitment process?
  • There are typically other funders in your community who give away smaller grants with plenty of pride and due diligence. Impact 100 runs the very real risk of alienating these grant-makers by giving away small grants that are typically not stewarded after the fact. Partnering with these other funders is a much better solution, in the long run.
  • Our best recruiting event of the year is the Annual Meeting. When one (or more) grant recipient(s) gets a significant grant and other(s) walk away empty handed, we create a much stronger call to action for recruiting more members and for fulfilling the nonprofit wish lists. Having every Finalist walk away a “winner” removes the urgency in the hearts and minds of your members.
 
These “Best Practices” are specifically aimed at smaller, consolation prize grants that are made in addition to a large grant. In some Impact 100 communities, the “significant grant” will be smaller than $100,000. In start up years, some Impact 100 chapters do not gather 100 women. These circumstances are different than what we are discussing here.

We share these as Best Practices in hopes of providing guidance and helpful information. Your experience my differ from these tips.
  
 Grant Application Beta Testing New Process.
 
Current Process:
Impact 100 Traverse City will begin beta testing a new variation to the Impact 100 grant application process this year. Under the current model, we require our nonprofit grant applicants to specify one of our five Focus Areas, as the area that best fits their work.
 
Most nonprofits could fit in multiple Focus Areas and have difficulty selecting only one. In addition, many Impact 100 chapters have had the experience of one or two Focus Areas with far fewer applicants than the remaining categories. We do not recommend moving nonprofits from one Focus Area to another in these cases, as the nonprofits may feel our “interference” hurt their chances of being selected as a Finalist.

 
New Process:
Rather than asking our nonprofit grant applicants to select only one Focus Area, we will be asking them to rank all five Focus Areas from most relevant (1) to least relevant (5). We will commit to place each applicant in one of their top three choices. Applicants will know which Focus Area they are in when they hear from the Focus Area Chair at the start of the grant review process.
 
We believe (based on conversations with several nonprofits) that this change in procedure will be a benefit to the applicants. We also believe this new process will allow the Impact 100 chapter leadership to make slight adjustments, keeping within the nonprofit’s top three choices, if absolutely necessary. Although this process would allow shuffling applicants from their first choice to their second or third choices, we intend to use this power very sparingly. We still want the nonprofit to influence the Focus Area themselves.
 
Please let us know your thoughts on this plan. If you would like to test this process, please let us know. We welcome additional beta testers. Impact 100 Traverse City is in it’s inaugural year. We recognize that it may be easier to implement a change like this early in your history.
 
Stay tuned! We will share the results and feedback from our test sites by the end of this year. 
 
In this season of rebirth, growth and hope, we ask you to take a look at our list of Impact 100 chapters in development. We've got Impact 100 chapters launching in many cities around the country and the globe. Our wish would be for you to refer friends to these start up chapters:

Impact 100 Nashville, Tennessee
Impact 100 Annapolis, Maryland
Impact 100 Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Impact 100 Crawford County, MO
Impact 100 Kansas City, Missouri
Impact 100 Montgomery, Alabama
Impact 100 Minneapolis, Minnesota
Impact 100 Louisville, Kentucky
Impact 100 Naples, Florida
Impact 100 Hobart, Australia
Impact 100 Perry County, MO
Impact 100 Dorado, Puerto Rico
Impact 100 Essex County, New Jersey
Impact 100 Houston, Texas

Impact 100 Sarasota, Florida
Impact 100 Macomb County, Michigan
Impact 100 Escanaba, Michigan
Impact 100 Petoskey, Michigan

Any missing? Do you have friends interested in launching in other cities?  If so, let us know!
Copyright © 2017 Impact 100 Council, All rights reserved.


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