Make an Impact: Grant available for Philly environmental nonprofits

For nonprofits, funding can be critical to beingsuccessful. And as the economy continues to struggle, finding these necessary funds can be even more challenging. But Impact100 Philadelphia can help. A women’s philanthropic group touted as a “collective giving organization,” Impact100 funds lesser known organizations with projects that reach under-served populations. And they’re looking for a environmental nonprofit to give to!

This year, Impact100 has $242,000 to award: two high-impact grants of $100,000, and three general operating grants that total $42,000. The grants will be given to qualifying 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations in Impact100’s five focus areas: Arts and Culture, Education, Family, Health and Wellness, and Environment.

Impact100 Philadelphia is a nonprofit organization in which its members—women from local communities—donate a minimum of $1,000, and then collectively choose who to give their grants. “By pooling each member’s individual $1,000 gift,” explains Ellan Bernstein, Impact100’s co-president, in a recent press release, “we’re able to make larger and more meaningful grants together than we could alone.” The 2012 award of $242,000 comes from 242 women and is a 50 percent growth in Impact100’s funding. Since its founding in 2008, Impact100 Philadelphia has given $414,000 in grant money to local nonprofits. “In the face of the daunting economic and community challenges facing our region,” says Charlotte Schutzman, co-president, “individuals are eager to find ways to increase the power of their charitable dollars.”

Last year’s environmental grant went to West Philadelphia’s Urban Tree Connection, which works with children and adults in disadvantaged communities to beautify their neighborhoods, providing safe, green spaces through urban greening. The year before, in 2010, Impact100 gave to the New Jersey Tree Foundation for their Urban Airshed Reforestation Program. To be considered, environmental organizations must “foster the connection between people and the environment, including stewardship and enhancement of physical or natural surroundings.”

The 2012 grant process begins with a January 9 deadline for initial Letters of Inquiry. Any interested nonprofits are encouraged to visit Impact100’s Applicant page to review the eligibility requirements and download application materials. The grant recipients will be selected in June 2012. If you're interested in reading about a past Impact100 recipent check out our September 2011 article (p. 30) on the West Philadelphia Alliance for Children.