By Joanne Colella
This has undoubtedly been a challenging year in countless ways. But for proud members of the philanthropic women’s volunteer organization Impact 100 Jersey Coast, 2020 also brought with it a welcome bright spot on November 17th and a remarkable opportunity for several nonprofits in Monmouth County, NJ.
At the Impact Jersey Coast Annual Meeting, sponsored by The Center for Women and Wealth at Brown Brothers Harriman, New Jersey Natural Gas, Grunin Foundation, Stillwell-Hansen, and Bayshore Recycling, Impact 100 members gathered virtually for their opportunity to vote on the recipients of this year’s transformative grants.
And thanks to a record-breaking total of 456 Impact 100 members who each contributed $1,000 towards the 2020 grant fund, four inspiring and high-impact projects were awarded $114,000 each. The grant recipients include:
Arts & Culture – Monmouth Museum is an independent, non-profit organization established in 1963 that presents changing art, history, and science exhibitions to educate and entertain while providing a destination for creative expression and lifelong learning to the diverse community it serves.
Children & Families – HABcore is an organization that provides permanent housing and individualized support and helps homeless families, veterans, and individuals with special needs move through crisis to stability, giving them the opportunity to improve their lives.
Education – Aslan Youth Ministries’ mission is to effect permanent change in the hearts and minds of at-risk youth residing in Red Bank, Long Branch, Asbury Park, and Neptune, New Jersey. By participating in afterschool and summer programs that incorporate supportive relationships and positive expectations for achievement and are targeted towards specific needs, students see improvement in their social skills, emotional development, and academics.
Health & Wellness – Fulfill of Monmouth & Ocean Counties is an organization dedicated to alleviating hunger and building food security in Monmouth and Ocean Counties. Its vision is a food secure community where all people always have access to enough food to lead active and healthy lives.
As the runner-up finalist, American Littoral Society was also awarded $2,500 from OceanFirst Foundation, who was inspired by the impact of the night.
The group gathered via Zoom this year due to COVID, but even though the setting was virtual, the excitement was palpable among all who participated. The event is the eagerly-awaited culmination of Impact 100’s months of efforts to direct substantial support to local non-profit organizations. From a total of 61 grant applicants, five finalists representing the categories of Arts & Culture, Children & Families, Education, Environment, Parks, & Recreation, and Health & Wellness were selected in October after comprehensive evaluations by more than 100 grant review committee members. Finalist information packets were sent to the entire Impact 100 membership in advance of the Annual Meeting to allow members to prepare, and absentee ballots were included in the final vote count on the night following pre-recorded presentations by the finalists.
“Although we see an uncertain future, we know that as a collective we are stronger together. This evening encapsulates what can happen when women unite together to pool our individual donations to help our community. We are truly Impact Strong!” commented Deirdre Spiropoulos, Impact 100 Jersey Coast President and co-founder.
Impact 100’s mission is to award membership-funded transformational grants to local nonprofit organizations, enabling them to strengthen or expand their services, while empowering women to improve lives through philanthropy. Since its founding in 2015, the organization has awarded more than $1.6 million to 14 Monmouth County nonprofits to help them address unmet needs and reach underserved populations. Updates are given throughout the year about the progress of the recipients’ programs made possible through the grant funding.
Impact 100 Jersey Coast membership for the 2021 Class is open now and upcoming recruitment events can be found online. Members pledge $1,100 each, with funds pooled to award significant annual grants. Women throughout the area who would like to make an important and memorable impact in their community are invited to join this amazing organization. Together we are Impact Strong and we are only just beginning, but we need you! For more information, please click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org.