April 6, 2017
Impact 100 Garden State, a philanthropic women’s organization incubated at the Community Foundation of New Jersey, has raised a record-breaking $282,000, which will be awarded to two nonprofit organizations in Morris, Passaic, Somerset, and Sussex counties in grants amounting to $141,000 each. Consisting of 282 volunteers who have donated $1,000 each, Impact 100 Garden State was the eleventh to join a nationwide network of 39 such groups throughout the United States. Now in its fifth year of collaborative giving, it will have funded more than one million dollars in transformative grants by year’s end.
In her presentation at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum before an audience of 200 members and nonprofit guests, President Merle Johnson recalled the words of Helen Keller by saying, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”
Her message resonated with everyone, especially Rosemary Gilmartin, Executive Director of the Interfaith Food Pantry whose organization received a $100,000 grant in 2016. Ms. Gilmartin was a recipient last year, but in a reversal of roles, she and three additional members of the Interfaith Food Pantry staff and board have become members of Impact. “This is bigger than us,” says Gilmartin. “We can talk to like-minded, intelligent women and use our skills help more people beyond the range of the Food Pantry.” Stuart Wiet, Wendy Potkay, and Chris MacDonald all look forward to serving on a grants committee. “We see the process from both sides; we’re ready to dive into the world of nonprofits.”
Tina Johnson, Morristown, another new member, was encouraged to join by Donna McNamara, also of Morristown and current Impact 100 Board member, whom she met on the ride home from the Women’s March in NYC in January. She hopes to serve on the Arts & Culture committee. Valerie Kent, now of Chester and a retired RN and EMT, was recruited by Kathy Teti, a former neighbor in Mendham, and is eager to offer her expertise to the Health and Wellness committee.
Representatives from the non-profits interacted with the membership throughout the evening.
The grant application and requirements are posted on the Impact 100 Garden State website www.impact100gardenstate.org. Grant finalists will present their programs to the Impact 100 Garden State membership at its Annual Awards Meeting on November 8 at the Olde Mill Inn in Basking Ridge. Members will then vote for the two grant recipients.
Impact 100 Garden State is a Special Project Fund of the Community Foundation of New Jersey. Established in 1979, the Community Foundation of New Jersey is an alliance of families, businesses and foundations that work together to create lasting differences in people’s lives and communities. Details about membership in Impact 100 Garden State are available on www.impact100gardenstate.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @impact100nj