Impact100 Sonoma kicks off second decade of impact

Posted on February 18, 2020 by Sonoma Valley Sun


Amber Gonzales-Vargas, keynote speaker at the Impact100 Sonoma annual Members Meeting

Welcoming a record 68 new members for 2020, the nonprofit group Impact100 Sonoma announced a membership count of 303 as it kicked off their second decade of giving in Sonoma Valley. The grant season is underway, and in June will culminate with $303,000 awarded to nonprofits serving Sonoma Valley.

The donations will bring the total amount of grants dollars awarded from 2010 through the 2020 grant cycle to $2,689,000. 

More than 150 members attended the Impact100 Sonoma Annual Members Meeting to learn about the organization’s “2020 Vision” and to hear from Amber Gonzales-Vargas, Senior Program Manager for the San Francisco-based Latino Community Foundation (LCW).

Gonzales-Vargas executes and manages the Latino Giving Circle Network and the Latino Non-Profit Accelerator. In her keynote address, she shared her story of growing up Peruvian American and the support she received along her journey. She told how, at LCF, they are maximizing and unleashing the power of Latinx communities across California.

Also announced at the 2020 Annual Meeting were exciting changes to the Next Gen Program, which is designed to bring diversity and fresh perspectives by providing scholarships to women under 40. The program will now be called “Next Gen Leaders” and allow members to make significant contributions to the organization through board or committee service in exchange for up to six years of full scholarship support. The change was accompanied by a generous grant of $10,000 from an Impact100 member to provide Next Gen Leaders’ scholarships.

Reflecting on the organization’s first decade of impact, and looking ahead to the second, Co-President and founding member Lynne Lancaster said, “When we started out with 108 members, it didn’t occur to me that just ten years later we could have collectively given over $2 million.  That’s the genius of collective giving; we can pool our money so together we can make a much bigger impact than we could do individually. Not only are we empowering women philanthropists, but we are connecting them more deeply with the needs and the nonprofits in our community.”

The concept of Impact100 Sonoma is, a giving circle of at least 100 women who each contribute $1000 annually – every penny of which is directly distributed to local nonprofits serving Sonoma Valley. 

 Sonoma Valley nonprofit organizations are submitting applications for the 2020 $100,000 Impact Grant and Community Grants ranging from $5,000 to $20,000. Grant Review committee members will review the grant proposals, visit the nonprofit applicants, and determine a list of finalists to present to the voting membership. In May, members will then vote on who will receive grants for 2020. 

“People love this process because it is a democracy,” Lancaster said. “And because you can be directly engaged, hands-on, in getting to know our Valley nonprofits and helping them achieve their goals.” 


Sonoma Sun | Sonoma, CA