At Impact 100 Jersey Coast, we pride ourselves on our hyper local focus. Awarding grants solely to local non-profits, we bring local women together to foster a culture of giving and create transformational changes close to home.
We Are Part of a Worldwide Movement
How easy it can be then to overlook that we are a critical part of a worldwide movement, a movement reaching far beyond our own back yards. Equally important is how much we can learn from and share with our counterparts elsewhere. This point became crystal clear in October when seven women from Jersey Coast traveled to Pensacola, Florida for the annual Impact 100 Global Conference, “Sharing to Succeed.”
The objective was to connect members from all over the country and abroad to share ideas and “explore aspects of our unique philanthropy model.” About 150 women converged at the Pensacola Beach Hilton for the three-day event.
Deirdre Spiropoulos, president and co-founder of Jersey Coast, describes the conference as a complete eye-opener. Having attended for the first time three years earlier, she was struck by how much our group has since grown, She compared it to the feeling one has when entering college as a nervous freshman versus returning as a confident senior.
“We felt very validated!” she said. “We followed the model, we grew very fast, and now we’re not just asking the questions but also answering them and imparting OUR knowledge — we’re active participants.”
Look Out for Impact 100 Global’s Fresh Rebrand
Perhaps the most important news to emerge from the conference was the rebranding of the organization on a global scale. If you go to Impact 100 Council you will notice a fresh design. Gone is the green and blue logo, replaced by a bold purple design. This design is one small aspect of a larger mission to create uniformity and ultimately elevate the Impact 100 Global brand.
“Having the Impact 100 brand uniting us all to bring about national recognition — it’s a great thing!” said Michelle Peoples, a Jersey Coast member since the group’s inception. What struck her most from the conference, however, involved the expanding role of technology, whether it’s communicating with members, marketing, or managing financial and administrative operations. “Technology is the key to our success,” she said.
For Denise Liotta, an Advisory Group and inaugural member currently serving as sponsorship chair, the most important takeaway was how much “further ahead” our group is than many others.
“I came away inspired by our own leadership,” she said adding that it was also useful to learn how other groups handle a variety of issues.
“This has been extremely helpful in our first four years and will continue to give us perspective as we grow,” she said. “And, as one of the most successful Impacts, (as measured by membership relative to time in existence), it’s important to share what we have learned.”
Impact 100 Jersey Coast is a Youthful Chapter!
In addition, Liotta noted that Jersey Coast has one of the younger demographics, which is not the case overall. “A number of other Impacts have trouble attracting younger women and feel at a disadvantage because of it.”
Karen Waltz, Operations Chair for Jersey Coast, is a case in point for this idea.
“As the youngest person there, women seemed interested in speaking to me about my personal interest in Impact and the ‘millennial’ perspective,” she said, adding that she met an impressive variety of women at the conference — from different age groups, regions and backgrounds.
However, her most inspiring takeaway goes back to what we’re all about in the first place.
“It was overwhelming to hear about the total funds we have contributed to non-profits over the years and how much change we women have made in our local communities!” she said. “It really showed me how one woman, one donation, one vote really makes a difference.”
To learn more about the global Council, you can subscribe to their newsletter here.
Fast Facts about Global Impact
- Since its inception in 2001, Impact 100 has donated more than $45 million to worthy causes and nurtured dozens of chapters from start-up through maturity.
- There are more than 50 Impact 100 chapters across the U.S. and Australia, and one in the U.K.
- In the USA, Florida has the most chapters – eight!