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Impact 100 Greater Indianapolis
Member Newsletter

October 2014

In This Issue
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The Importance of Membership

By Impact 100 Vice President and Membership Chair Beth Thomas

Beth Thomas

Each year Impact 100 spends the first six months of the year reading grant proposals and winnowing the nonprofits vying for $100,000. The last six months of each year we work to find members who will fund the next year's grants. We are currently in that last six months--the membership recruiting phase.


Because 2015 is the 10th anniversary of Impact 100 giving grants, we are now working hard to gather as many members as possible. Most years we wait until December to finalize our count, but this year we have been asking members to commit earlier. We are also asking our members to help by bringing other women to events with the simple adage of Each One Bring One. Another recruiting option is asking you to set up opportunities for me as membership chair to meet with potential members over coffee, lunch or drinks. 


Do you know the number one reason women don't join Impact 100?  It's because they are not asked. It's the simple truth that although we advocate for Impact 100 and brag about our grantees,  we don't think to ask or are reluctant to ask another woman to join our giving circle. It is a big commitment and we are afraid to ask too much of our friends.


The truth is that friends, family and associates of our members are the best prospects for Impact 100 membership. We need our members to bring guests to our events and hear our incredible story. As you talk to others about Impact 100, it is helpful to reflect on the primary reason you joined. Your story is the one they want to hear. As you share your passion in Impact 100, it becomes easier to generate interest among prospective members.


No one expects you to push a friend to become an Impact 100 member, and I won't either. But I am prepared to answer all questions and allow another woman to make her personal decision.


If you are a current member, thank you so much for your continued support and for helping us find new members. It is also helpful to encourage a previous member to return. It is my pleasure to answer all questions about Impact 100. Please send me an email as I would love to talk to you about the great work we are doing!


Don't Miss Our Trends in Women's Philanthropy Session Co-Hosted by Impact 100! 


Impact 100 will join Wells Fargo and the American Red Cross-Indianapolis as co-hosts for a morning session on trends in women's philanthropy presented by the Women's Philanthropy Institute (WPI) of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy-Indiana University. The session is on Thursday, October 9, 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. at Woodstock Country Club. The latest research will be shared by WPI at the breakfast and informational sessions. Ginger Merkel of the American Red Cross and Donna Oklak, co-founder of Impact 100, will speak about the power of collective giving as part of a panel. Invitations were sent recently. Please contact us at [email protected] if you haven't received one and would like to attend.

Follow the Impact Party at Outreach on October 15


Join Impact 100 at a Follow the Impact party at Outreach. Follow the Impact events give members and their guests the opportunity to learn what a grant recipient has done with the money they received and how the grant impacted the organization.
Outreach serves at-risk youth between the ages of 14 and 24 who are homeless and struggling with basic needs. With the $100,000 grant they received from Impact 100 in 2009 they were able to expand their job-skill training, mentoring, and post-secondary education programs. For an example of the people Outreach serves, and one of their most recent success stories,
watch this WRTV story on one local young woman who credits Outreach with saving her.
There will be light refreshments throughout the evening and a short presentation by Eric Howard, Executive Director of Outreach, at 6:30 p.m on October 15.
We encourage each person attending to bring along a guest they can introduce to Impact 100. "Follow the Impact" events are a great way to introduce your friends and family to Impact 100 because they can see firsthand the extraordinary impact ordinary women can have when they are part of a giving circle.


Parking will be on the south side of East New York across the street from the Outreach building in the St. Matthew Lutheran Church. There should be a police officer on the street to slow traffic and ensure a safe crossing to our building. If you drive past the parking area you will need to circle the block as East New York is one way. Outreach requested that guests not park on the street that time of day to avoid taking a neighbor's parking spot in front of their home.  

Questions? Contact Beth at 
[email protected].

Impact 100 Offers New Badge for $100,000 Grantees



To honor the accomplishments of eleven nonprofits that have received $100,000 from Impact 100, we created a new badge that could be called a "stamp of approval" by the women who collectively selected these recipients. We hope the eleven nonprofits will proudly display this new Impact 100 grant recipient badge on websites and their collateral marketing material.


Nonprofits receiving an Impact 100 grant have successfully navigated the challenging four-step selection process. Nonprofits start by self-selecting a category to be considered in arts and culture, education, environment, family, or health and wellness. The second step is for the nonprofit to be invited by the committee to submit a full application and financial data. Thirdly, nonprofits are invited for a site visit by the committee. The final step is for the nonprofit again to be invited to tell their story at the lectern and compete for a $100,000 grant or a residual grant.


The eleven winners are:  Eskenazi Hospital's Pecar Health Center, Craine House, Indy Reads, Horizon House, Herron High School, Outreach, Rock Steady Boxing, Outside the Box, Jameson Camp, Tindley Collegiate Academy and Social Health Association. Impact 100 will be contacting these recipients in the next few weeks.


For more information contact Donna Oklak at [email protected].


Donna Oklak Honored by IBJ for Women of Influence


In honor of the 10th anniversary of Impact 100, a handful of prior presidents of the women's collective giving circle have nominated co-founder Donna Oklak for an Indianapolis Business Journal's Women of Influence honor. Donna will receive the community award at a breakfast on Oct. 31 at the Indiana Roof.


Donna credits co-founder Kelli Norwalk for sharing the workload in the beginning days as they talked to everyone about their idea. Donna noted that credit must also be given to the over 500 women who have been a part of Impact 100, allowing Impact to distribute over $1.4 million dollars in our community.


Donna Oklak

Roberta Knickerbocker Jaggers and Caity Withers of the Indianapolis Public Library compiled the information for the IBJ application. Last year the library was a runner up in the education committee's deliberation process as they selected the Impact 100's eventual winner, Tindley Collegiate Academy, as their finalist. Many of the members of the education committee felt so strongly in the merits of the library project at Providence Cristo Rey that they individually supported the project and it was ultimately funded as well.


"I would call this another example of a ripple story for Impact 100 with more than one happy ending," says Donna.

Impact 100 Members Featured in Documentary  
Several years ago, Donna Oklak, Barbara Fleming, Stephanie Goodrid Lawson and Karen Holly participated in an interview for a documentary asking "What is Philanthropy?"  The documentary, filmed by Salvatore Alaimo, PhD, will be shown on Sunday, October 12th, 2:30 p.m. in the Lilly Auditorium, on the IUPUI campus.  The event is free and part of the annual Robert Payton Symposium. There will be a discussion and a reception that takes place from 5 -7 p.m.  For more information about the documentary go to


Highlights from the Catacombs Tour
The women of Impact 100 explore the catacombs under the Indianapolis City Market. (Photo courtesy of Terry Mumford.)


Colleen Fanning of Grey Market Wines arranged the wine tasting, and made it more fun by covering the labels and giving each guest a scorecard to be used to guess the grape and its origin for each of them. Just tasting the wines was a lot of fun, and all of them were delightful (Grey Market Wines specializes in small, boutique wineries as the source for most of their wines). To make it more fun, Colleen was going to give prizes to the person who guessed the most grapes/origins correctly and to the person who guessed the least correctly. When it was time to announce the winners, Colleen told us there was a tie for both the most and least guessed correctly. The four winners were Sarah Baumann, Marsha Langdon, Kellie Earl-Leeper, and Beth Thomas. They were each invited to visit Grey Market Wines to select a gift. We're not going to tell which of the ladies tied for best and which tied for wouldn't be sporting.
The Catacombs tour was led by Stevi Stoesz, the Executive Director of the City Market. She led the guests from the modern City Market down the stairs into the Roman-looking expanse of brick arches that lie beneath the outdoor plaza of the City Market. These arches and the great hall and smaller rooms lead to what remains of Tomlinson Hall, an imposing building with a main hall that could seat up to 3800 people. Tomlinson Hall burned to the ground in 1958, but the vast basement of brick arches was not impacted. After the fire, the city closed access to the basement and left it as it was. The City Market was on the same corner, and after it was remodeled, the entrance to the Catacombs was opened. There are rumors that the Catacombs are haunted, and more than one of the women who took pictures that night have reported that they have some unexplained smoky images in some of their pictures!
We've had several requests to repeat this event next year. Do you agree? Send us an email to
[email protected]  to tell us what you think. 
Upcoming Impact 100 Events 

October 9 - Trends in Women's Philanthropy at Woodstock Country Club, 8:30 a.m. 

October 12 - Documentary: What Is Philanthrophy? At the Lilly Auditorium, 2:30 p.m. 

October 15 - Follow the Impact Social at Outreach Inc., 5:30 p.m.

November 13 - Follow the Impact Social at Craine House, 5:30 p.m.

December 11 - Holiday Party Hosted by Kitchens by Design, 5:30 p.m.