There are no shortage of people in Chicago who make helping others their guiding purpose in life. All over the city, there are organizations who just need help in order for them continue or expand upon the important work they are already doing. Enter Impact 100 Chicago.
Georgy Ann Peluchiwski, Impact 100 Chicago City Chapter Co-Founder and President
Composed exclusively of women, Impact 100 Chicago is a charitable organization that awards grants to local nonprofits. Women become members by making a $1,000 tax-deductible donation. The donations are pooled to create the $100,000 grants that are awarded after a vetting process by a volunteer committee of members. Co-founder and President Georgy Ann Peluchiwski has found that she sees the issues facing the Chicago area in a different light due to her work with Impact 100 Chicago.
"I feel more hopeful when reading the newspaper," says Peluchiwski. "I now know there are very smart, capable leaders in our community who do know how to address challenging issues like education, violence homelessness, and mental health."
There are two ways members can choose to engage with Impact 100 Chicago. They can elect to simply donate $1,000, knowing that their donation will make a difference. Or they can complement their required donation by choosing to be actively involved in the process of selecting the nonprofits to which the grants will be awarded. The grant review involves reviewing the proposals submitted by organizations and assessing their financial strength.
After the vetting process—which involves several meetings with the volunteer committee and site visits—finalists are chosen to present their proposals to members during ceremonies at both the city and suburban chapters. At each Grant Award Ceremony, members vote and award the grants to the winning organizations. Albany Park Theater Project, Free Spirit Media, The North Lawndale Employment Network and Turning Point Behavioral Healthcare Center were each among the $100,000 grant winners for 2015. Seven other nonprofits, including Growing Home, were each awarded Merit Grants, ranging from $6,000-13,000.
David Feiner and student of Albany Park Theater Project at Impact 100 Chicago Suburban Chapter Awards Celebration Dinner, June 2, 2015.
Brenda Palms Barber and Dr. Michael McAfee at Impact 100 Chicago City Chapter Grant Awards Ceremony on May 19, 2015.
Ann Fisher Raney and Tina Cortez of Turning Point Behavioral Healthcare Center at Imapct 100 Chicago City Chapter Grant Awards Ceremony on May 19, 2015.
Kimberly Foxx and J'mme Love of Free Spirit Media at the Impact 100 Chicago CIty Chapter Grant Award Ceremony on May 19, 2015.
Peluchiwski values Impact 100 Chicago as a way to connect other philanthropic women with nonprofits that are doing important work in the community.
"Particularly rewarding is when leaders of the nonprofits decide to join Impact 100 Chicago themselves to continue to give back," she says.
Impact 100 Chicago currently is accepting new members until December 31. For more information about becoming a member, click here.