Impact100 Sonoma, a local grant-making women’s collective, has suspended its traditional grant review process and instead is opting to divide its pool of $303,000 equally among all 2020 grant semi-finalists.
The move, made in light of the coronavirus crisis, is intended to directly benefit the local Sonoma Valley nonprofit community, according to group officials.
In all, 23 organizations will each receive $13,170 in funds, which may be used as the organizations see fit, not necessarily for the program or project for which they originally applied.
Impact100 grants team member Dana Simpson-Stokes said the decision is in keeping with the group’s focus on “trust-based philanthropy,” which recognizes that nonprofits themselves are best-positioned to make decisions about what they need. “In Sonoma Valley, we are uniquely poised to apply this concept because we are a small community and our local nonprofits are well-known to us,” Simpson-Stokes said.
Impact100 co-president Lynne Lancaster said the decision was made without the input of the group’s full membership, a move uncharacteristic for the nonprofit.
“We wanted the money to be available very quickly, and it would have been nearly impossible to vote on proposals that were written before this pandemic,” said Lancaster. “Ultimately our dedicated board came to this decision.” She expects members will understand, given the challenging times.
“This situation is without precedent,” added co-president Claudia Sims. “But our team thought of everything and we’re grateful to them and to the 23 organizations we’ve entrusted with our funds.”