Impact_photo_April_4_2016Press release from Impact 100 Jersey Coast (Photo by Cady Metzger)

The bar was set high. The final numbers are in. The goal: 100 local women each give $1,000. The result: 145 women step up to provide a $145,000 transformational grant to one Monmouth County nonprofit.

“Never underestimate the power of women,” said Deidre O’Brien Spiropoulos, President and Cofounder of Impact 100 Jersey Coast. “Not only did we meet our goal of 100 women by March 31st, but we exceeded it with 145 women each contributing $1,000.” One hundred percent of membership funds go directly to the grant which will benefit a local nonprofit.

Impact 100 Jersey Coast was founded by Spiropoulos of Fair Haven and Heather Burke of Middletown. Together they reached out to other local women who made up the founding member team: Kate McMahon of Ocean Township, Bonnie Torcivia of Fair Haven, Rowena Crawford-Phillips of Navesink, Maggie LaRocca of Rumson, Aimee Remey of Locust, Paige Metzger of Little Silver, Paulette Roberts of Little Silver, Bridget Riepl of Oakhurst and Jenny Turner Clarke of Rumson.

Just five months ago the group began reaching out to other women throughout Monmouth County. “From Middletown to Spring Lake, Manasquan to Holmdel and every town in between, women began stepping up eager to be part of something big,” said Jenny Turner Clarke, Co-Chair of the Membership Committee, for the chapter that follows in the footsteps of its successful sister organizations throughout the U.S. and the world.

“The first Impact 100 was started in 2001 by Wendy Steele of Cincinnati, Ohio,” added Burke. “She felt that philanthropy should be more accessible for women, and that their collective impact could be enormous to local nonprofits.

“Thus began the concept of Impact 100 and since its inception, more than 6,000 women have given more than $30 million to hundreds of local nonprofits throughout the U.S. and internationally. That’s Impact.”

Now Impact’s grant process begins. “Eligible nonprofits must be registered 501c (3) organizations, serve residents of Monmouth County and have been in operation for 36 months,” said Maggie LaRocca, Co- Chair of the Grants Committee. “Beyond that, we are looking for projects that target under-served populations, highlight unmet needs in our community and make a high impact on the beneficiaries.”

Project proposals must fall in one of five focus areas: Arts and Culture; Children and Families; Education; Environment, Parks, and Recreation; and Health and Wellness. Applications must be submitted online by June 1, 2016. LaRocca continued, “We encourage interested nonprofit organizations to visit our website to learn about our complete eligibility requirements and possibly RSVP to attend a public information session later this month. Those who cannot attend can download an informational presentation to help further explain the application process.”

Focus Area Committees (FACs), comprised of volunteer Impact 100 Jersey Coast Members, will review grant applications in each category. After a thorough evaluation and financial review process, three to five finalists will be invited to make a brief presentation at the group’s Annual Membership Meeting the week of November 14, 2016. Each member is entitled to one vote and the organization with the majority votes will receive the $145,000 grant. “We are targeting communication channels that will reach nonprofits and ask for the community’s support in spreading the word,” added LaRocca.

Contact grants@impact100jerseycoast.org with inquiries related to grants. For membership inquiries, email membership@impact100jerseycoast.org.