It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since I sat down with Tandy Robinson at her house in Delray for the first time to talk to her about a novel approach to fundraising she introduced to Palm Beach County, called Impact 100. Founded by Cincinnati resident Wendy Steele in 2001, the model basically said you draft at least 100 different women to pony up $1,000 each and you give the combined amount to charities selected by the group—for specific programs and purposes.
It seemed so simple, I thought. And even better, it was direct and efficient. No bloated overhead related to big formal events, no committee meetings or luncheons or any of the radio noise that most big fundraisers entail.
Robinson teamed up with local civic activists Lisa Mulhall and Cindy Krebsbach, founding Impact 100 in 2011. The three women formed a board and made the first $100,000 grant from Impact 100 PBC in April 2012 with 143 members. “We were inspired by the simple concept of one woman, one donation, one vote to grant millions of dollars to the southern Palm Beach County community,” said Robinson.
Today, after 10 years, this Palm Beach County chapter is the second largest Impact 100 chapter in the world, showing once again that no one does philanthropy better than Boca—and this way of doing things just makes sense. Especially now.
Since its inception, Impact 100 PBC has awarded more than $3.8 million in grants to 68 local nonprofits. For the 2020 grant year, the organization had 565 members and was able to grant $565,000 to local nonprofits between Boca Raton and Lake Worth.
That’s a long way to come in 10 years, but the momentum of Impact 100 is not stopping anytime soon, and a big congratulations is in order to its founders—and the women who have followed them.
To celebrate its 10-year anniversary, Impact 100 PBC will host its annual “An Evening of Impact” event at Neiman Marcus on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 to honor the nonprofit organizations that have received grant funding as well as the three founders. The organization is also kicking off the Dream Big campaign, an endowment to provide financial security and generate a small stream of income for administrative costs and volunteer support.
For more information about Impact 100 Palm Beach County or to join this chapter, please visit www.impact100pbc.org or call 561/336-4623.