Community Foundation Hosts Impact 100 Summit at Bell Works

May 17, 2018

Charitably minded women who participate in the Impact100 model of collective grantmaking are changing the face of philanthropy in New Jersey, and they are enthusiastic about what they are accomplishing in their respective communities and statewide.

That was one of the key takeaways at the first Impact100 New Jersey Summit, hosted by the Community Foundation of New Jersey at the historic Bell Works in Holmdel on April 30th. More than two dozen women representing the state’s four Impact100 groups – Impact 100 Garden State (Morris, Sussex, Passaic and Somerset), Impact100 Jersey Coast (Monmouth and Ocean), Impact 100 Essex, and Impact 100 South Jersey – gathered for in-depth breakout sessions on grantmaking, membership engagement, and creating a statewide alliance of Impact100s to share learnings. Women from the more established groups shared best practices with the newer ones, and all brainstormed about effective ways to be excellent grantmakers; to gain in-depth knowledge about the high-performing nonprofits in their communities; and to identify, engage and energize the growing number of women across the state who are now members of Impact100 groups (now nearly 800 and counting).

Conversation was lively. The women who participated expressed enthusiasm about the Impact100 model of giving – the way it connects them to women who are interested in giving but also enthusiastic about the collective decision making, and shared grantmaking. All present agreed that they gain a much more in-depth knowledge of the environment for the nonprofit community in their respective communities because of their Impact100 involvement. And the group concurred that working together – across the state – would improve and ultimately increase their overall impact.

In the afternoon, the group focused on the relationship between “impact” and “risk” and what successful grantmaking really looks like. From various perspectives, women shared what Impact really means to their members and drilled down into thinking about how much risk their Impact100 can take on as they continually search for new and better ways to make a tangible difference in their communities.

In convening the summit, the Community Foundation of New Jersey – which is the fiscal agent for each of the state’s four Impact100 groups – sought to share learnings among the women and identify opportunities for greater and even longer-lasting impact.