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Giving circles act as key tool for young female philanthropists

Posted by: Beth Thomas
Posted: December 8, 2016
Categories: Community Partners

It’s a fact, Millennials are giving time and money to causes that matter to them. A 2014 report from Jumpstart Labs, a philanthropic research group, indicates nearly 40 percent of all giving-circle donors are under 40 and that is exciting news for Impact 100 Greater Indianapolis.

impact-100-shared-membersThe mission of Impact 100 is to make extraordinary gifts, $100,000 at a time. As we prepare to enter our 12th year of collective giving, having young women with a fresh and unbiased perspective as part of our membership base adds an important voice to the decisions that are made when selecting nonprofits in Impact’s five focus area committees of arts, education, environment, family, health and wellness.

In addition to providing Millennials with the opportunity to foster connectivity and mentorship between women of different ages and backgrounds, Impact 100 provides a meaningful, intentional, and hands-on approach to charitable giving. As more young females seek to play an active role in central Indiana philanthropy, we are fortunate to be able to provide access points through our Shared Membership and Scholarship Program to those who will “raise the tide” of philanthropy in Indianapolis.  

Shared Membership

impact-100-scholarship-recipientsFor those who find a $1,000 membership donation out of their reach, Impact 100 offers a Shared Membership which can be made up of two ($500 each), three ($333 each), or four ($250 each) members. Shared members are full members, with the one exception that during the annual meeting in June they must agree on how to cast their singular vote. We encourage women to pull together friends, family or coworkers for a shared membership, but it isn’t required. We are happy to keep track of women who want to be assigned to a shared membership, and after December 31 we play “matchmaker” and make sure everyone who wants to be part of a shared membership is in one.

Scholarship Program

impact-100-winner-2015Impact 100 Scholarships are available to all women 36 and younger, with preference given to those involved in nonprofits or studying philanthropic issues in graduate school. We have been fortunate to provide this opportunity for 10 young women the past two years and look forward to doing so again in 2017. We realize that those working for nonprofits or studying philanthropy are often focused on the receiving end of a grant and it is invaluable for them to understand the work and deliberation that goes into awarding a $100,000 grant. We want to provide young women with the opportunity to see decisions from a grant-makers perspective, and in turn their involvement allows established members to see philanthropy from a whole new vantage point.

For young women contemplating this holiday season how to improve the quality of life and effect change in our diverse community throughout the coming year, we hope you will consider joining us on our journey and experience the power of women giving as one!


beth-thomas-president-of-impact-100-greater-indianpaolisBeth Thomas is the President of Impact 100 Greater Indianapolis, our city’s largest women’s giving circle and has awarded over $1.75 million since it began in 2006. Information regarding Shared Membership and the Scholarship Program can be found at www.impact100indy.org.

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