Impact 100 Redwood Circle was created in Melissa Kelley’s living room in November 2014, when a dozen women came together to explore the possibility of creating a Women’s Giving Circle. Melissa had been inspired by the Sonoma Valley Impact 100 group and wondered if a similar group could be formed in Sonoma County.
Within 24 hours, founding members Carol Orme and Vicki Groninga had arranged for meetings in women’s homes to explain the concept of Impact 100 Redwood Circle and gather interest and membership.
The momentum has continued. As of December 31, 2020, our membership reached 249 members and continues to grow. Through the same time period, our collective giving power has enabled us to award over $765,000 to local nonprofits in Sonoma County. In just a few short years, we have awarded five $100,000 Impact Grants and 28 Community Grants.
To date the Impact Grantees have been Voices, Food for Thought, Catholic Charities, Forget Me Not Farm Children’s Services and 4Cs Sonoma County. Through our Liaison Committee, a connection is established with each grantee during the award period and to track the impact of the grant. Over time we are able to offer more than dollars to our Grantees in the way of continued networking, support, and promotion of their organizations to our membership and in the community.
Impact 100 Redwood Circle is fortunate to have the Community Foundation Sonoma County [a 501(c)(3) charitable organization] as our fiscal sponsor, enabling us to minimize our administrative expenses while making it possible for our members to receive charitable giving tax benefits.
We have made an undeniable impact as a women’s collective giving circle. We are a passionate group of strong and dedicated women with strategic, organized, and well-directed goals – and we are just getting started.