A Closer Look at the Women’s Philanthropy Collective, Impact100

Picture this: 377 women from all backgrounds and walks of life pool their money to give money to lesser-known charitable causes in and around a single city. That’s exactly what Impact100 Philadelphia is doing, while promoting women’s philanthropy and bringing diversity to the local giving scene.

Impact100 Philadelphia just announced that it has $377,000 up for grabs for nonprofits in the Philadelphia area, and that this money will be handed out in June 2015. Founded in 2008, this is the organization’s seventh grant cycle, which will include three high-impact program grants of $100,000 and two unrestricted operating grants of $25,000.

The women’s collective membership reached an all-time high, 377 members this year, which has resulted in a 15 percent increase in funding. This is quite significant, given Philadelphia’s decline in overall giving and its national reputation for lagging behind with charitable donations.

Related: What’s Up with All These Philanthropy Studies in Philadelphia?

"We are extremely proud to be increasing our funding at a time when many traditional funding sources are shrinking," Co-President Jacquie Stern said in a press release.

Perhaps flexible and open-minded collective giving groups like this one are the answer to the shortcomings and restrictions associated with private family foundations, corporate foundations, and community foundations. When asked what sets Impact100’s grantmaking apart from the crowd, Stern replied:

“Our grant-making process is different from a professional foundation because each one of our members comes from a different background with different experiences, interests and ideas. Our process is collective from start to finish, with members reviewing proposals, going on site visits, reviewing financial statements and, ultimately, voting on the grant awards.”

It should be noted that 100 percent of member donations goes toward grants. Interest fees and other operations-specific donations pick up the administrative costs. After this upcoming grant money is distributed, Impact100 will have awarded over $1.64 million to local nonprofits.

Local nonprofits operating in the Pennsylvania counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery or Philadelphia, or in Camden County, New Jersey, are encouraged to apply. Initial Letters of Inquiry are due January 5 and may be submitted for the following focus areas: Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, Family and Health & Wellness.

Head over to the Grant Applicants section to get started or send an email to info@impact100philly.org with general questions. Keep in mind that oganizations that target underserved populations and with annual budgets between $300,000 and $5 million are given preference. This is a really accessible and approachable funding group that all under-the-radar charitable causes in Philadelphia should get familiar with.

Related: IP’s Profile of Impact100 Philadelphia