Impact100 Sonoma changes grantmaking strategy for 2021

New $25k ’impetus grants’ to replace traditional $100k award.|

Impact100 Sonoma, the local women’s collective giving organization, announced a new grantmaking strategy at its two “State of our Union” meetings on Sept. 29 and 30.

Recognizing the challenges faced by nonprofits as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Impact100 Sonoma will use its entire grants pool for “Impetus Grants” of up to $25,000 in 2021, to provide funding related to strengthening nonprofit organizations’ core missions and support them on the road to long-term recovery and resilience.

In May, Impact100 Sonoma formed a 2021 Grants Task Force to assess the ongoing impacts of the pandemic on Valley residents and nonprofits. It sought input from a wide range of local nonprofits and explored approaches being taken by similar funding organizations, according to the giving circle’s leadership team.

The Task Force found that Valley nonprofits will need immediate relief and increased flexibility in order to stretch their funding through 2021, and determined that the Impetus Grants Model would provide the best response to current needs, spread funds for maximum effect, and allow for flexibility as conditions evolve.

According to a press release announcing the changes, applicants for the Impetus Grants will be required to address several key questions in their grant applications (with the understanding that plans may change):

  • Their response to the pandemic and how they have pivoted to fulfill their mission;
  • Their financial stability;
  • How they plan to use the grant funds to build long-term sustainability;
  • And their plan to demonstrate the impact of the grant funds.

The Impetus Grants will be awarded for 2021 only, and Impact100 Sonoma members will vote on and award the grants by March 31, 2021.

Impact100 Sonoma is a women’s collective giving organization that pools its funds to support nonprofits in Sonoma Valley, from Schellville to Kenwood. Since its founding in 2009, Impact100 Sonoma has granted almost $2.7 million to nonprofits serving Sonoma Valley, making it one of the Valley’s largest funders.

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