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  • June 10, 2018 12:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    At its 9th Annual Awards Celebration, Impact100 Sonoma gave its $100,000 Impact Grant to La Luz Center to fund its program, Computer Literacy and Employment Services. Since the founding of Impact100 Sonoma in 2009 the organization has awarded $2,062,000 dollars to nonprofits serving Sonoma Valley, making it one of the community’s largest funders.

    La Luz Center receives the Impact100 Sonoma 2018 $100,000 Impact Grant award to fund its Computer Literacy and Employment Services program.  From left to right: Claudia Sims, Grants Oversight Chair, Judith Walsh, Co-President, Marcelo Defreitas, Board Chair of La Luz, Gera Vaz, Co-President, Juan Hernandez, La Luz Executive Director, Mary Jane Stolte, Impact Grant Chair, Lynne Lancaster, Co-President.

    Upon receiving the Impact Grant, Juan Hernandez, Executive Director of La Luz, expressed his gratitude to Impact100 Sonoma saying, “La Luz and Impact100 Sonoma are linked as partners in support of our community and I want to thank everyone for this great honor.”

    As finalists for the $100,000 Impact Grant, Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance and Sustainable Sonoma each received unrestricted grants of $10,000.

    Impact100 Sonoma awarded its $100,000 Impact Grant to La Luz Center and two $10,000 Impact Grant Finalist awards to Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance and Sustainable Sonoma. From left to right: Mary Jane Stolte, Impact Grant Chair, Lee Morgan Brown, Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance, Juan Hernandez, La Luz Center, Caitlin Cornwall, Sustainable Sonoma, Claudia Sims, Grants Oversight Chair.

    Co-President Lynne Lancaster opened the lively and well-attended event at Hanna Boys Center by welcoming members and their guests. She announced that in 2018 a record number of 305 women joined Impact100 Sonoma providing $305,000, plus an additional $1,000 given by a member in the aftermath of the 2017 fires, for a total of $306,000 in grant money that they would be awarding to nonprofits serving Sonoma Valley.

    Next year, in celebration of the tenth anniversary of Impact100 Sonoma, a special one-time unrestricted 10th Anniversary Grant of $50,000 will be awarded, in addition to the annual $100,000 Impact Grant and Community Grants of up to $20,000.

    To enthusiastic applause, ten Community Grants were awarded to the following nonprofit organizations:

    •     Becoming Independent - $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.

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

    •     Jack London Park Partners - $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.

    •     Kenwood Education Foundation - $20,000 to fund KID’s (Kenwood Investing in Dynamic Students) student enrichment programs for the 2018-19 school year after the fires prematurely ended the annual KIDS fundraising campaign and all existing funds were, instead, given to fire victims in the community.

    •     Redwood Empire Food Bank - $20,000 to provide more than 133,300 pounds of fresh produce to food insecure neighbors in Sonoma Valley.

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

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

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

    •     Sonoma Valley Education Foundation - $20,000 to support the expansion, from 50+ to 100 Kindergarten – 12th grade students, of ViVO, an after-school and summer professional music instruction and orchestra program that serves many at-risk socio-economically disadvantaged youth.

    •     Vintage House - $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.

    Recipients of Community Grants of up to $20,000 celebrate their awards. Back row left to right: Debra Garber, Sonoma Valley Education Foundation, Cindy Vrooman, Sonoma Overnight Support, Diana Rhoten, Sebastiani Theatre Foundation, Terri Miller, Cancer Support Sonoma, Bob Bales, Kenwood Education Foundation, Kristina Ellis, Jack London Park Partners. Front row left to right: John Gurney, Sonoma Community Center, Priscilla Essert, Vintage house, Josh Kraft, Becoming Independent.

    Over the past five months Claudia Sims (Grants Oversight), Mary Jane Stolte (Impact Grant), Margaret Grandy (Community Grants), and Lynne Lancaster (Grants Review Committees/Co-President) led the process of narrowing 23 original applications down to three finalists for the $100,000 Impact Grant and 14 finalists for Community Grants. The finalists were selected after careful review by more than 80 Impact100 Sonoma members who served on financial and grant review committees. The grant recipients were selected by a vote of the entire Impact100 Sonoma membership.

    Reflecting on the awards ceremony, Co-President Gera Vaz said, “With this grant season we have provided the nonprofits in our community over $2,000,000 in nine short years. We are so proud that we’re seeing the results of our efforts make a difference in our community. Impact100 Sonoma has tremendous momentum going into our tenth anniversary year.”

    The Annual Awards Celebration was sponsored by Union Bank with other financial and in-kind contributions from Hanna Boys Center.

    Impact100 Sonoma is a collective grant-making organization that brings together at least 100 women in a common purpose: to award an Impact Grant of $100,000 every year to a nonprofit organization serving Sonoma Valley. The organization’s mission is to empower women of Sonoma Valley to invest in a more sustainable nonprofit community through collective giving and responsible stewardship.

    Impact100 Sonoma welcomes all women to join the organization. Information about Impact100 Sonoma can be found at or by calling 707-939-5007.

    Photographs by Bari Williams

  • February 06, 2018 3:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Vera C Hendry Foundation has awarded $10,000 as a restricted grant to lmpactl00 Sonoma to commemorate their organization’s 10th anniversary year. This grant is to be used exclusively, during the next three years, to promote community philanthropy among young, professional women as participants in the NextGen Program.

    Specifically, the grant will pay 50% of twelve NextGen participants’ annual donation for up to three years. The remaining 50% of their membership fee is to be donated by Impact100 members and/or other donors. According to the Foundation, “The NextGen Program is a wonderful contribution to Sonoma Valley and we are pleased to help ensure a strong foundation so that it may continue, not just for the next three years, but for years to come.”

    Our 2017 first cohort of NextGen members, and progeny, welcome the 2018 class at Murphy’s

    The NextGen Program is primarily made possible by individual donations from our members. If you would like to help sponsor the program, we are beginning to raise matching funds for the 2019 cohort. A contribution of any amount is welcome. Checks can be mailed to Impact100 Sonoma, P.O. Box 1958, Sonoma, CA 95476, with “NextGen” noted in the Memo Line. Contributions may also be made here. Please contact Mary Marcussen, Diversity & Sponsorship Chair, for more information at:

  • January 27, 2018 3:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Impact100 Sonoma Annual Meeting is the place to hear all the news – and on January 27, literally reflecting the meeting’s theme of Growing Together, extra chairs had to be brought in to accommodate the room full of members who attended. All were eager to hear an update about our organization and community, welcome new members and greet long-time friends and colleagues.

    After a brunch feast, not only organized but prepared by Tracy Reynes, Assistant Membership Chair (and former professional chef), Co-President Gera Vaz announced our 2018 member count and Grants Chair Claudia Sims “did the math”:

    2018 Membership = 304 Members
    304 x $1,000 = $304,000 to fund grants in June 2018

    Providing grant funds to benefit Sonoma Valley is our purpose and our honor.

    More math from Claudia:

    Grants funded 2010 – 2017
    82 Impact and Community Grants
    32 Organizations
    $1.75 million

    1.75 million thanks go out to every Impact100 member! This is your accomplishment. The 2018 grants that will be announced in June to nonprofits serving Sonoma Valley will be the result of your caring and your stepping up to make a real and positive impact with your philanthropy dollars. Congratulations!

    Co-President Judith Walsh introduced keynote speaker Beth Brown, President and CEO of Community Foundation Sonoma County. Beth shared insights she has gained during and since the October 2017 fires and described her staff’s efforts to create an effective and inspired recovery effort.

    One of the big lessons she learned is, “Recovery is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes communities five to ten years to fully recover from a disaster. Long term operational funding for community recovery requires attentive grant-making, and both large and small grants can have a huge impact.”

    Beth commended our organization saying, “The Impact100 model is evidence of inspired giving being contagious. You are role models to your peers and to your daughters and sons, colleagues and community leaders.”

    After enthusiastic applause for Beth’s presentation, Assistant Communications Chair Angela Ryan spoke about the recent expansion of our organization’s outreach using social media. The goals and benefits? Increased awareness and visibility of Impact100 in Sonoma Valley and beyond; Effective member recruitment tools, particularly for younger audiences; Engage members and the community in our mission of supporting nonprofits that serve the valley.

    Here’s how to connect and share our work with your friends, family and colleagues:


    Angela was joined at the mike by Chelsie Runnings; both are members of the first cohort of the NextGen Program now enjoying their second year as Impact100 members. They announced and led the entire membership in saluting and welcoming:

    • Our new 2018 NextGenners: Sarah Carroll, Casey Chavez, Anya Everett and Nicole Moktan to Impact100.
    • Betzy Chavez, Susana Garcia and Veronica Vences, partial-membership grant recipients of the Morgridge Family Foundation.
    • A new $10,000 matching grant from the Vera C Hendry Foundation to fund 50% of 12 NextGen member’s annual donation for up to 3 years

    Learn how you can support our NextGen and Sponsorship programs.

    Next Meghan Marsh King, Marketing & Business Development Chair, piqued everyone’s curiosity by telling the crowd that plans are in the works to celebrate our organization’s  “10 Years of Impact” in 2019. Stay tuned!

    Meghan’s other big job is expanding Business Sponsorships to help defray the costs of running our active and growing organization. If you are a business person, or know someone who is, here’s how you can help:

    • Sponsor an Employee as an Impact100 member
    • Sponsor or Underwrite an event
    • Become a 10th Anniversary Sponsor – a once in a lifetime opportunity!

    Treasurer Helen Bohl keeps us on track financially with experienced and vigilant oversight – and with humor and spirit as well. Along with an overview of 2017 operations expenses and income, Helen highlighted a big need of our own organization – which is also a nonprofit! If possible, she asked, please become a Member Plus. Help to defray the necessary expenses of running our organization. Any amount is greatly appreciated. Learn more here.

    In closing the 2018 Annual Meeting, Co-President Lynne Lancaster quoted a trusted mentor from her early years: “Don’t give until it hurts. Give until it feels good.”

    Special thanks to Union Bank which underwrote the event.

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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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