Impact 100 Jersey Coast Awards $246,000 in Grants

November 28, 2017

In just two years, the philanthropic women behind Impact 100 Jersey Coast, a volunteer-driven organization, have awarded grants totaling $391,000 to nonprofits serving Monmouth County. At its 2017 Annual Meeting held on November 15th, nearly 250 women gathered to hear presentations from five nonprofit finalists where they voted to award Covenant House New Jersey and The Mental Health Association of Monmouth County as Impact’s 2017 recipients, each receiving grants of $123,000.  After hearing such deserving presentations, OceanFirst Foundation awarded the three runner-up finalists, American Littoral Society, The Community YMCA, and New Jersey Repertory Company, grants of $1,500 each.

Founded by Deirdre O’Brien Spiropoulos and Heather Burke, along with nine other founding members, the group surpassed all expectations in 2017 with membership of 246 women who each donated $1,000 to make an impact within their community. 100% of each donation goes towards the grants. In 2016, the group’s inaugural year, 180 Turning Lives was awarded a grant of $145,000 for the Family Justice Center in Freehold to support victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, child abuse and human trafficking. Anna Diaz-White, Executive Director of 180, gave a very emotional update at the Meeting, making members feel connected to the community and proud of their participation.

Started in Cincinnati in 2001 by Wendy Steele, Impact 100 was created with the idea of promoting philanthropy among women – if 100 women each donated $1,000, a grant of $100,000 could be awarded to a local nonprofit community organization.  Since its inception, Impact 100 has expanded to numerous chapters throughout the USA as well as internationally.

Jim White, Executive Director of Covenant House New Jersey (CHNJ), said “The Impact 100 grant is a significant gift for Covenant House, in fact, a game changer. We can now move forward with our plans to complete the important work we are doing in Asbury Park. We were moved by all the presentations and salute Impact 100 for their commitment to the local community.”

CHNJ aims to help young people in Monmouth County struggling with homelessness by providing them with a safe and clean place to live in Asbury Park, where they can develop the skills and attitudes necessary to transition to a positive living environment.

Mental Health Association of Monmouth County (MHAMC) plans to use these funds to continue its suicide prevention efforts in schools throughout Monmouth County through the Lifelines program. MHAMC can comprehensively train the faculty and administrations of these schools to teach students to reach out to a trusted adult for help for themselves and their friends. In doing so, they are able to change the school culture.

Susan Tellone, Vice President of Programs and Community Education at the MHAMC, said, “The Impact 100 grant truly benefits our community. Personally, suicide prevention is my passion. It is my life’s work and it is the mission of MHAMC to remove the stigma that prevents so many from seeking help early, especially our youth.”

“The women of Impact 100 are truly making a difference in the lives of so many in Monmouth County. Their annual meeting was truly amazing and inspirational. The grant process was thorough and although challenging at times, culminated in a wonderful learning experience for our organization,” said Wendy DePedro, Executive Director of MHAMC.

“The generosity of the community has been overwhelming,” said Spiropoulos. “Together we are truly making an impact to meet the needs of local nonprofits right in our own neighborhoods.” A total of 52 local nonprofits applied for the 2017 Impact 100 grant. “Our collective goal for 2018 is a membership base of 300 women or more so we can award three grants of $100,000 each,” added Spiropoulos.  Membership, which is renewed annually, is open from now until March 15, 2018.  For more information about Impact 100 Jersey Coast, visit

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About Impact 100 Jersey Coast:

Impact 100 Jersey Coast unites women to make a lasting impact by collectively funding transformative grants in the Jersey Coast region. Combining not only the charitable dollars but the experience and energy of a diverse group of local women, Impact 100 Jersey Coast is a unique coalition and a powerful force for change in our community.  Please visit us at