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Women With Impact

It began over a breakfast three years ago. Now, the 300 members of Impact 100 have raised nearly $500,000 to help others who are less fortunate.

Impact 100 founders Laura McDermott, Jennifer Malone, Sherry Brown and Susan Hopkins have seen what began as a grassroots philanthropic initiative grow like Topsy, both in the number of members and the amount of funds raised.

Impact 100 founders Laura McDermott, Jennifer Malone, Sherry Brown and Susan Hopkins have seen what began as a grassroots philanthropic initiative grow like Topsy, both in the number of members and the amount of funds raised.

When Laura McDermott, Ellie McCabe, Nancy Lynch, Susan Hopkins, Sherry Brown and Jennifer Malone met for breakfast on a December morning three years ago, the conversation around the table centered on a fundraising concept they had researched called Impact 100. Known for their volunteer efforts as well as philanthropic experience, the six friends drew on what Wendy Steele, a former banker, business owner and fundraiser, had begun in Cincinnati a few years earlier. By the time they sipped their last cup of coffee Impact 100 was born and on its way to becoming an extremely successful initiative for effective philanthropy in Indian River County.

“At the time we felt that if we could gather 100 women, each giving $1,000 toward a $100,000 grant that would be transformational and sustainable, we’d be in business,” says Laura McDermott, current Impact 100 president. “The first year it was really word of mouth, with friends asking friends. Today we have more than 300 members.”

Read the entire article in the March 2011 issue