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archived press releases

  • June 08, 2019 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    Impact100 Sonoma awards its $100,000 Impact Grant to Sonoma Valley Community Health Center, plus $50,000 10th Anniversary Grant to Vintage House, as well as $154,000 in Community Grants to 8 other nonprofits

    Sonoma, CA--June 8, 2019--At its 10thAnnual Awards Celebration, Impact100 Sonoma gave its $100,000 Impact Grant to Sonoma Valley Community Health Center to fund its Sonoma Valley Vision Clinic. In honor of the organization’s 10th Anniversary, Impact100 awarded a grant of $50,000 to Vintage House to expand their program offerings. Since the founding of Impact100 Sonoma in 2009 the organization has awarded $2,386,000 dollars to nonprofits serving Sonoma Valley, making it one of the community’s largest funders.

    Impact100 Sonoma Receives 2018 Nonprofit Leadership Award

    Sonoma, CA —September 27, 2018—The North Bay Business Journal is awarding its 2018 Nonprofit Leadership Award to Impact100 Sonoma. Each year the Journal selects individual leaders as well as a nonprofit organization to receive the honor. The award presentation and a luncheon will be held Thursday, October 25, at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Rosa.

    Impact100 Sonoma is a women’s collective grant-making organization. Since its founding in 2009, Impact100 has granted $2,062,000 to nonprofits serving Sonoma Valley, making it one of the valley’s largest funders. The concept of Impact100 is simple: one woman + $1,000 = one vote. One hundred percent of every membership donation is used to fund grants each year. Membership scholarship programs are available for interested women with financial need.

    In June of each year, Impact100 awards one $100,000 Impact Grant along with $10,000 Impact Finalist Grants; and approximately eight Community Grants from $5,000 – $20,000. In 2019 a one-time 10th Anniversary Grant of $50,000 will be awarded to celebrate the organization’s milestone.

    The diversity of grants Impact100 Sonoma has awarded over ten years touches every age and aspect of life. Service grants have supported those who are experiencing homelessness; disabilities; bullying, abuse and harassment; grief; financial, food and housing crises; lack of job and language skills; pre-school to college financial and education needs; family and personal issues. Program grants have supported projects as diverse as gang prevention; health and environmental issues; wildlife and land protection; animal companions, adoptions and neutering; arts, science and literacy education; and end of life care.

  • May 16, 2019 9:29 AM | Anonymous member

    Members’ anticipation was high for the opportunity to tour The Lyon Ranch on May 9 – and every expectation was met and exceeded. Rob and Robin Lyon, our hosts and the founders of The Lyon Ranch, along with their daughter Linette, wove fascinating stories about the evolution of the 12-acre property and the lives of the 65 animals and birds who live there.

    The Lyon Ranch is a nonprofit that rescues abandoned, ill or abused animals, including Asian camels, ocelots, servals, emus, donkeys, horses and miniature horses, African fox, bush babies (heard of that one?), alligators, dogs, cats, and many exotic birds. Ten of the animals have been trained for Animal Assisted Therapy (including the camels!) and the Lyons trailer them to hospitals, nursing homes and hospices, as well as to schools and corporations.

    After touring the barn and various corals to meet some of the larger animals, members were guided to a large deck outside the Lyon’s home to enjoy wine and appetizers while Linette carried out various animals and birds for a meet and greet. How amazing to share a table with a 40-pound serval!

    Many thanks for the wonderful afternoon go to the Lyon family for their generous welcome, and to members Tia Pierce, Hope Nisson and Member Engagement Chair Sandee Crisp for all their hard work.

  • May 13, 2019 3:01 PM | Anonymous member

    Part of the mission of Impact100 Sonoma is to empower our members to be responsible stewards and donors, and thankfully we have among our membership women like Diana Sanson to help us understand exactly how to do that! On Thursday May 8, Diana presented on the topic “Understanding Nonprofits to Create Better Philanthropy” to a room of about 50 Impact100 members and their guests at the Sonoma Springs Community Hall. The lively conversation started with wine, snacks and mingling, but soon settled into a serious discussion of the important differences between nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses, and how understanding those differences can help us be better philanthropists.

    Among the topics that Diana covered were: the ways that nonprofit income is often restricted by donor intent and grant specifications, and the difficulties those restrictions can create in accounting; the sources of income that nonprofits most frequently pursue, including grants, individual donors, earned income and event proceeds; and different models of grantmaking, including core mission, capacity-building and infrastructure grants. Diana also highlighted the ways that the concept of “overhead” and its negative connotations can unintentionally limit the growth potential of a nonprofit.

    The presentation culminated with a role-playing exercise in which pairs of attendees took on the roles of “Executive Director” and “Major Donor” of Kids Inc., a fictional nonprofit. The exercise dramatized the ways in which nonprofits must delicately balance the generosity of donors and the strings that are often attached to large gifts. Diana wrapped up the presentation with this clip of Dan Pallotta, a nationally-recognized expert on the subject of philanthropy who recently spoke at the Sonoma Speaker Series.

    The engagement, questions and discussion that the presentation prompted demonstrated the desire for events like this, and fortunately we have several more planned for 2019 on occasion of our 10th Anniversary--stay tuned!

  • April 21, 2019 10:45 AM | Anonymous member

    The garden and tasting rooms of Three Sticks Wines overflowed with Impact100 members and their guests on April 18, the most lovely of evenings. Enjoying appetizers and complimentary tastings of Rosé, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, everyone let the busy-week-day stresses ease away and settled in to enjoy the beautiful setting.

    Informal gatherings such as this offer an opportunity for members, new and long-time, to learn about each other beyond the scope of our shared commitment to Impact100. It’s a chance to form and deepen friendships, catch up, and invite women to learn about our organization and to join us in our important service to Sonoma Valley.

    Many thanks go to Three Sticks Wines for welcoming us and serving their magnificent wines, and to Sandee Crisp, Member Engagement Chair, for the tasty appetizers and for organizing the wonderful opportunity to visit the landmark historic adobe.

  • March 27, 2019 9:59 AM | Anonymous member

    2018 Grant Recipient Update -- Nonprofits Benefit Sonoma Valley

    Rest assured that your membership dollars are being used wisely and well! Just ask anyone who attended the 2018 Grant Recipient Update meeting on March 16 -- all were moved to joy, laughter and tears hearing stories and successes shared by the nonprofit presenters.

    Below are summaries of the presentations.

    Becoming Independent (BI)

    Angela Sanville

    $20,000 to increase their per-client dollar amount to $150/day and to help fund/expand client-selected activities such as field trips, classes, supplies and activities.

    We all like to personally select which classes and activities we attend and how we spend our day. BI clients do too and, thanks to the grant, some have chosen to take yoga classes, volunteer at Pets Lifeline, join the Community Kitchen, and attend horseback therapy. They are able to engage with the community in meaningful ways, learn stress relief and relaxation techniques, and feel the freedom of making choices in their own lives.

    Cancer Support of Sonoma

    Teri Adolfo

    $20,000 for the Patient Assistance Fund to help clients dealing with cancer receive low-fee complementary therapies that are rarely covered by insurance.

    It wasn't long ago that this nonprofit didn't even have a home. No longer. In their new facility, thanks largely to the grant, they have provided over 600 therapies to community members including 150+ acupuncture and 100 Jin Shin Jyutsu sessions, 250 Lymph massages, 30 Naturopathic and Nutrition consultations, and 14 Support Group sessions. No one is turned away for lack of funds in this oasis of compassion, treatment and care, to quote a client.

    Jack London Park Partners

    Kristina Ellis

    $15,970 to expand the successful pilot program that offers an in-depth investigation of ecosystem dynamics and bio-diversity to all Sonoma Valley 7th graders in Fall 2018. 

    The grant allowed the program to expand to two more schools: Sonoma Charter School and Altimira Middle School, including six science teachers. Using professional tools, the student ecologists collect data and information, identify diversity levels in various ecosystems, analyze and process the data. The goal is to train students, and the community, to be wise stewards of our local ecosystems that are increasingly challenged by climate change.

    Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB)

    Allison Goodwin

    $20,000 to provide more than 13,300 pounds of fresh produce to food-insecure neighbors in Sonoma Valley

    After the fires of 2017, REFB recognized changing needs in Sonoma Valley and adjusted their strategy to broaden their reach to people in need. Healthy fresh produce is now distributed every other week on Craig Ave., two evenings per month at both St. Patrick's in Kenwood and First Congregational Church, and two more distributions per month at Jack London Village.

    Sebastiani Theatre Foundation

    Diana Rhoten

    $20,000 to fund 83 scholarships for Latino youth of low-income families to attend Sebastiani's after-school and summer performing arts camps.

    A full 80% of camp teachers are "graduates" of these beloved programs, a testimony to their impact on children's lives. Formerly entirely fee-based, the grant money is allowing kids to attend who were previously unable to, including 30 full summer scholarships - with 12 more this year - and 20 for the after-school program. Scholarships were offered in groups so each recipient knew at least one person attending -- and all want to return this year.

    Sonoma Community Center

    John Gurney

    $20,000 to upgrade aged and outdated safety features, and increase accessibility in the historic 102-year-old building.

    This much-used community resource is safer for everyone now that all fire/smoke alarms have been replaced and linked directly to the Fire Department; the stairways have been resurfaced and non-skid treads attached; and entrance doors have been fitted with automatic door openers so can the building can be easily accessed, and exited, by all.

    Sonoma Overnight Support (SOS)

    Kathy King

    $20,000 to expand its free Day Services program to meet increased demand and prevent it from having to cut back its hours.

    Due in large part to receiving the grant, SOS is open daily 9:00am -- 1:00pm serving approximately 30 people per day, a 17% increase. Here are some numbers: 2,038 showers last year; 478 washer/dryer uses that includes clean clothes to wear during the washing; 12,000 meals for day clients; 900+ bus/taxi passes. Eighty-five percent of SOS clients come from Sonoma or the Valley.

    Sonoma Valley Education Foundation (for Valley Vibes Orchestra, ViVO)

    Klara Crean

    $20,000 for the expansion, from 50+ to 100 K-12 students, of ViVO, an after-school and summer professional music instruction and orchestra program that serves many at-risk socio-economically disadvantaged youth.

    A melody is worth a thousand words. Fourth grader Sarai Martinez, a viola student who only joined ViVO last June, played Beethoven's "Ode to Joy". Enough said. Receiving the grant allowed ViVO to add a new beginners string class. In addition to learning music skills, students in this full-scholarship, no-fees program gain leadership skills, learn emotional control, and build safe and healthy relationships with other youth as well as our entire community.

    Vintage House (VH)

    Prescilla Essert

    $20,000 to fund an external study of the Sonoma Valley senior population to determine their current and future needs in order to inform Vintage House's future programs and services.

    In receiving the Impact100 Community Grant, Vintage House was able to attract additional funding for their project. After a thorough pre-funding process, a survey went out in February 2019 to members of VH, residents who are engaged with VH, and others who are not affiliated. Five hundred responses were received, more than anticipated. VH is currently crunching the data -- stay tuned to hear specific results and their plans for the future.

    $100,000 Impact Grant Recipient La Luz Center

    Marcello Defreitas

    $100,000 for La Luz's Computer Literacy and Employment Services

    Impact100 financed $100,000 of this program that is budgeted to cost $215,000 and now employs a Program Navigator, Job Specialist and two Advocates. Increasingly, local employers require skills-certificates, which is tough for those who lack English language proficiency, formal education, and the technical/computer skills to even take a certification test let alone tackle a job application. Due to these challenges La Luz has expanded the program from one to three years. So far so good: Between December and June 2018, fifty people graduated from ESL classes; 18 have gained employment; others have increased their wages and/or received a job promotion. Currently, 34 people are enrolled in the January -- March 2019 program.

    Kenwood Education Foundation did not present. They received a partial Community Grant of $10,030 to fund KIDS (Kenwood Investing in Dynamic Students) enrichment programs for the 2018-19 school year after the 2017 fires prematurely ended their annual KIDS fundraising campaign.

    Impact Grant Finalists Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance and Sustainable Sonoma received $10,000 in unrestricted funds. They did not present.

  • March 13, 2019 9:15 AM | Anonymous member

    We've all heard the term "Blast From the Past" which perfectly describes Million Dollar Quartet!  Twenty Impact100 members and friends attended this sold-out show on March 9th at the 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa.  The performances exceeded everyone's expectations as we heard hit songs from Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and the King himself - Elvis Presley.  The story goes that, for one magical night, these musical stars came together in the recording studio, playing their iconic music.  By the end of the show the audience was on their feet hopping and bopping to the beat.  Thanks to member Kay Heigel for finding this terrific musical and securing the advance purchase of tickets.

  • February 27, 2019 7:30 AM | Deleted user

    Sonoma Mayor Amy Harrington offered a Proclamation honoring ten years of service.

    With her are Co-Presidents Gera Vaz, Judith Walsh and Lynne Lancaster.

    2019 marks the 10th anniversary of Impact100 Sonoma and the energy during the all-members Annual Meeting on January 26 was as effusive and celebratory as a fireworks show. Congratulations to all our members. This is your success. This is your legacy to Sonoma Valley.

    Wreathed in a mayoral sash, Sonoma Mayor Amy Harrington honored the anniversary milestone by presenting a City Proclamation congratulating our organization for ten years of exemplary stewardship and support of nonprofit organizations that serve the people, resources and environment of Sonoma Valley, and for empowering women of all ages and backgrounds to become leaders of the community and beyond.

    Gera Vaz and Sarah Carroll got right to the numbers:


    319 Members (including shared memberships)

    means we have

    $314,000 to fund grants in June 2019!

    That will make

    $2,376,000 Grant Dollars Awarded since 2009


    The meeting’s keynote speaker, Colleen Willoughby, has dedicated the last decades of her life to educating and empowering women to work collectively to change the world. Organizations Colleen either founded or co-founded include the Seattle CityClub, the Washington Women’s Foundation and the Women’s Collective Giving Grantmakers Network (WCGN, now Catalist).

    After her keynote address. Colleen Willoughby, left, was interviewed by member Wendy Hoffman. 

    Colleen explained, “Collective giving gives women, or anyone, the opportunity to be a philanthropist for transformative results because of the leveraged activity of many donors pooling their funds. Women together will build on opportunities to make things better, stronger and more beautiful for the futures of our children, our God daughters and those yet unborn. God gave us a world to be loved. We must grasp the golden ring and bring that promise back to life. Women’s collective giving funds will be a player.”

    After her talk, Colleen was interviewed by Wendy Hoffman and took questions from members. Asked how collective giving transforms women grant-givers, Colleen quoted Seattle philanthropist Sam Stroum’s definition of philanthropy: “Philanthropy is a connection between the head and the heart. It has little to do with the pocketbook.”

    Colleen Willoughby made a $500 donation to the NextGen Program. Left to right: Betzy Chavez, Colleen, Lynne Lancaster and Viannette Contreras.

    In gratitude for her traveling to Sonoma and sharing her words of wisdom and experience, Impact100 gave Colleen a $500 honorarium. That gesture was immediately returned when she donated it to the NextGen Program which provides 2-year scholarships for young women to join Impact100. Clearly Colleen walks her talk. As women in philanthropy, we are indebted to her in ways we can’t even know.

    Members Suzy Tung, Patti Hutchins, Marcia Charles-Mo, Lynne Lancaster, Mirja Muncy and Mary Lee Rybar

    Touching on the 10th Anniversary theme of “Where We’ve Been, Where We Are, and Where We’re Going”, founding member Ann Reder recounted some of the milestones of the past ten years:

    • 2009 Founding of Impact100
    • 2010 1st Impact Grant
    • 2011 1st Community Grants
    • 2014 Over $1 Million in grants
    • 2015 1st July 4th Parade
    • 2016 Found NextGen Program
    • 2016 Receive the Sonoma Co. Community Champion Award 
    • 2017 Receive a Spotlight Award from WCGN
    • 2018 Over $2 Million in grants
    • 2018 New Impact100 Branding 
    • 2018 Membership nearly triples
    • 2019 Onward and Upward – Congratulations one and All!

    These are just a few highlights of our evolving organization. Members who were able to attend the Annual Meeting received a Milestone hand-out that includes in more detail the growth of Impact100. Click HERE to view the Timeline.

    Admin. Asst. Chelsea Gregory and Sarah Carroll, Membership, selling Impact100 t-shirts and visors.

    Treasurer Helen Bohl shared Where We are Now, financially speaking. Thanks to an unexpected $10,000 donation from the Erickson Foundation, our entrepreneurial membership team that organized raffles and Impact100 visor and t-shirt sales, and the angels of Members Plus who contributed beyond their basic membership donation to help fund our organization’s operating expenses, we ended 2018 with a small surplus. Currently, fewer than half of our members contribute to Members Plus. If you can financially, please take a moment now to support the running of our organization so we can continue our good work to benefit the community. It’s easy. Just click HERE. 

    Members Harriet Derwingson, Mabeth Sanderson, Piper Abodeely, Allyson Wiley-Weekes, Kim Schuh and Lucy Weiger

    In the Co-Presidents Letter, above, Lynne Lancaster explains Where We are Now as an organization as a whole. So that leaves the question, Where are We Going? Stay tuned to hear details about a 5-Year Visioning Meeting during which we will dream and dare and guide Impact100 to further success in the years to come.

    Members Hope Nisson, Ellen Murphy, Marilyn Albright, Pat Grillos, Susan Staggs and Debbe Noto

    Thanks to all our members  – those who only provide those vital grant dollars through their membership donations (we are proud to be a no-guilt organization!!!), those who contribute more to help run the organization, and those who become involved in making it all work – Impact100 Sonoma has matured from an upstart start-up to a community powerhouse of women leaders creating a thriving Sonoma Valley. Onward!


    Members Liz Tunney Williams, Joanne Warren, Sandee Crisp, Kay Heigel, Jan Erickson and Diana Sanson

  • February 26, 2019 1:07 PM | Anonymous member

    Over six years ago, when member Zanne Clark dreamed up the idea of organizing a members-only evening of good food and focused conversation, little did she know that the gathering would become a favorite annual affair that sells out in a matter of days.

    The evening’s format is a winner. Members are assigned a table comprising both new and long-time members. Friendships are made and deepened over the evening’s feast designed by member and Suite D owner Sandra Bernstein. Before the dessert course, three designated women at each table move on to a neighboring one, assuring another chance for members to meet.

    Once appetites are satisfied, Zanne and a community member she has invited, who is making a big and beneficial impact on Sonoma Valley, hop onto stools for “the interview”. Stories both personal and professional are shared, often with much laughter, and Zanne invites members to pose questions as well.

    This year Zanne interviewed Karen Collins who was recently named the City of Sonoma’s 2019 Alcadessa, or Honorary Mayor. Karen has taken a leadership role in supporting the environment, outdoor recreation, and women’s healthcare.In 2018, she was recognized as a “Woman of the Year” in the third senate district by State Senator Dodd. To name only a few of the areas she has supported, Karen helped establish Sonoma’s Overlook Trail, chaired the Sonoma County Regional Parks and Recreation Commission, served on Sonoma’s Environmental Advisory Commission and the Sonoma Valley Citizens Advisory Commission.

    Every year members leave Suite D filled with inspiration as well as newly forged friendships, and full stomachs. Many thanks go to Zanne Clark, Sandra Bernstein, who also made a generous donation of $500 to Impact100, Member Engagement Chair Sandee Crist, and Co-President Gera Vaz.

  • January 25, 2019 11:48 AM | Anonymous

    19 Impact100 members made their way north to the Santa Rosa headquarters of the Redwood Empire Food Bank on December 19 to volunteer in the organization’s vast, organized and efficient warehouse headquarters.

    After the Impact100 crew took a tour of the busy facility - in which a steady stream of 8,000 volunteers do work that would take 45 full-time staff to accomplish, they were put to work.

    Given the appropriate tools, equipment and supplies, the team quickly fell into place and developed a rhythm like the best of any production line.

    So, what did the members accomplish? Like the dedicated, organized women leaders they are, and while smiling all the way, they taped together and labeled over 500 boxes, filled each of them with 11 pounds of canned food staples, sealed the boxes up, and loaded them onto pallets - enough to provide over 12,000 meals for food-deprived seniors to enjoy during the holidays.

    Now that’s a good day’s work! Thanks to all the volunteers, including Sandee Crisp who organized the outing.

  • December 18, 2018 10:15 AM | Anonymous member

    Everyone raised a glass in celebration of the season and another successful year of supporting our community.

    Impact100 members and guests filled the large hall at Vintage House on December 6 to share the holiday spirit, catch up with old friends and welcome new ones. Every year it seems, the vision and commitment to a thriving Sonoma Valley that members share deepens everyone’s gratitude for our community and for our neighbors.

    Valley Vibes Youth Orchestra played as members and guests arrived, then offered a special musical arrangement dedicated to Impact100 Sonoma.

    One of the highlights of the event was a musical performance by 2018 Community Grant recipient Valley Vibes Youth Orchestra (ViVO), a nonprofit K – 12 program that offers intensive ensemble-based music lessons, fosters leadership and social-emotional skills, and community involvement. The $20,000 grant was made through the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation to support the expansion from 50+ to 100 students of the summer and after-school program that serves many at-risk socio-economically disadvantaged youth in Sonoma Valley.

    ViVO Managing Director Klara Crean accepted appreciation and applause on behalf of the orchestra members.

    At the close of 2018 there is much to be grateful for, including the nonprofit organizations that serve the inhabitants, environment and resources of Sonoma Valley. We also extend a big thank you to the volunteer bar tenders, super-chef Tracy Reynes, and all of the other members who worked so hard to make the annual Holiday Gathering such a  joy to attend.


A just and thriving Sonoma Valley


Empowering women of Sonoma Valley to invest in a more sustainable nonprofit community through collective giving and responsible stewardship

Impact100 Sonoma is a member of Philanos

Impact100 Sonoma ©2024. All rights reserved

Impact100 Sonoma
P.O. Box 1958
Sonoma, CA 95476
(707) 939-5007

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