- The 2020/2021 Grant Cycle will award one Impact Grant of $100,000 and two Merit Grants of $7,500 each.
- Thirteen nonprofits have been moved to full grant status with full applications due Feb 19th.
- GRCs will be reviewing the full grant applications from Feb 22 to Mar 10.
Happy New Year, a little belated. I wanted to take a moment and THANK YOU for renewing your Impact100 Chicago membership for the current grant year. To be sure, 2020 was the most unusual year in my recent memory. More than ever, the non-for-profits need our help as they struggle through daily challenges to continue to serve their communities. It means so much to know you are there to help support them.
Over the summer, the Impact100 Council reached out to us about updating our website. It was a package deal at a cost much less than what we could do individually. At first, we were resistant since we did not want to lose our “uniqueness” and individuality. However, the new website is up and we are quite pleased with the results.
The new site is user friendly and allows us the ability to add and change content ourselves. For example, you will see a new “news” section where we are including a brief recap of each board meeting to share information with our members. If there is anything we should add, do let us know.
At this point, all of our prior year full Impact Grant recipients have received all of their grant funds, except for Shelter, Inc. Shelter, a 2018 recipient, was significantly impacted by COVID and the inability to reach their communities. Part of their project was to work with hospitals on an outreach program – they obviously were blocked due to all the restrictions. Unfortunately, they were not able to complete their project within our two-year time frame, and lost the opportunity to receive their last $25,000 installment. In accordance with our mission under the Impact100 giving model and our 501(c)3 nonprofit status, 100% of the remaining $25,000 Shelter, Inc. installment is restricted grant money and will be awarded to other organizations through Impact or Merit awards at a future time.
We had a very successful grant application period. The applicants this year are some of the most interesting and needy in past years, and their projects and needs are palatable. We had 43 reviewed by our grant committees, with most of them in the “health and wellness” category. Of these, 13 were invited to present a full grant application. These are due 19 February.
This year forced us to look at things differently. All of our board meetings are held on Zoom. The grant review committees are meeting on Zoom or some other platform. We held 4 membership events on Zoom in September, October, November and December. Social medias postings increased – with a very clever 7 days of Impact campaign which ran the first 7 days of January. We continue to explore our options on how to stay connected with our members virtually. Any and all suggestions are welcome!
There were a group of generous anonymous donors (which we call “GAD”) who created a membership challenge during the month of November which matched 20% of member renewals. I’m happy to say this raised over $8,600 to be used towards our merit grants for this year.
Despite our efforts, our membership tally as of our last Board meeting last week was 66, short of our goal. We typically have several members who forget to renew by December, but normally, we are much closer to our 100 member goal at this point. Mindy Winkel, our outreach director, emailed all past members this month in an attempt to catch those needing a gentle nudge. We are happy these efforts urged another 14 people to join. To date, our membership stands at 80.
We will be cutting off our membership drive shortly, as we feel it is important to tell the NFP what funds are available before they complete their full grant applications.
Should you know of someone who needs a nudge to renew, please urge them to join this week.
Last, our FRC could use a few members – the meetings will be virtual like the GRCs. Please let us know if you are interested.
Once again, thank you for being a member of Impact 100 Chicago.
Regards, Deb Gammon, Impact100 Chicago Board President