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Our Mission

Impact100 is a collective force for good; uniting and empowering women to give together, creating transformational impact, locally and globally.

Our Story

Impact100 was founded by Wendy Steele in 2001 in response to feeling as though women’s roles in philanthropy needed a new way to be expanded and encouraged. Wendy launched the organization with the goal of empowering women to see themselves as activists through utilizing large grants to make an impact within their communities.

By 2002, Impact100 received nonprofit status and donated its first grant of $123,000. In 2003, People Magazine published a story about Impact100, and Wendy’s idea quickly began to spread.

Today, her model has been replicated in cities all over the world and only continues to grow.

Vision Statement

Impact100 unites women across the globe to fund solutions to the most pressing problems facing humanity.

Value Statement

We believe in the collaboration and empowerment of diverse women to lead transformational change in their communities.

Our Model

At Least 100 Women
Come Together

Each Woman
Donates $1,000

$100,000
is donated to a
Local Charity

We provide non-profit organizations with grants in increments of at least $100,000 across five broad Focus Areas:

Arts & Culture

Education

Family

Health & Wellness

Environment, Preservation & Recreation

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Since its inception, Impact100 has donated more than $90 million to worthy causes and has mentored dozens of chapters from start-up through maturity.

Our Impact

By coming together collectively and collaboratively, women can definitively transform the communities in which they live. With enough women working together in enough communities, there is no limit to the impact that we can achieve. We can, indeed, change the world.

With a solid history, a well-developed organization and an inspired vision for the future, Impact100 offers women a unique opportunity to come together to do the work that they know is most critical in their communities. We offer support and assistance where needed, but firmly believe that the women who establish, join and run the local Impact100 chapters are our best asset and brightest hope.

Impact100 is dedicated to offering these dedicated women a framework to help take their philanthropic work to the next level, making a transformational difference in their communities. This is a place for women who care deeply, who dream wildly, and who believe that, together, they are an unstoppable force for good. Join us and see just how big the impact of Impact100 can be.

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“This is a place for women who care deeply, who dream wildly, and who believe that, together, they are an unstoppable force for good.”

Wendy Steele, Founder and CEO

Wendy Steele is the founder and CEO of Impact100 Global, as well as the creator of the Impact100 model. During her dynamic, multi-decade career in the banking industry, Wendy honed her inclusive leadership style and her skill for marrying the practical with the aspirational to create meaningful change. She understood the value of sound guidance and practical tools in helping her multi-generational clients succeed in reaching personal and professional goals.

Whether serving clients, her community, or Impact100 chapters, she has always led with a unique combination of knowledge and wholehearted generosity.

Wendy was drawn to the banking industry by observing how her grandfather’s banking career helped countless members of his community. The importance of giving back with the intent to leave the world a little better than she found it was instilled in her from a young age, leading her to see that all of us have something important to give. Wendy believes that, in giving to others, we gain in incalculable ways, and we can encourage others to do the same.

Wendy’s favorite aspect of Impact100 is visiting the chapters and sharing in their triumphs. She is inspired to see the ways people all over the world are owning the model and to witness Impact100 women changing so many lives. She believes there are two kinds of people in the world: those who see needs and realize they can be part of the solution, and those who still need to be invited to the party.

In July of 2021, in recognition of her work with Impact100, Wendy was selected by Forbes for the 50 over 50 Impact list recognizing women changing communities through social entrepreneurship, law, advocacy, and education. In 2020, Wendy was named a Distinguished Honoree of the Jones Prize in Philanthropy from the Institute of Private Investors; an award which “honors someone who demonstrates the willingness to volunteer time, resources, and talents to improve the human condition, beyond themselves.”  She was awarded the 2014 Jefferson Award for Public Service for her work with Impact100. She has been featured in several books, including The Transformative Power of Women’s Philanthropy; Women, Wealth and Giving; Women’s Giving Circles; and The Right Sisters – Modern Women Inventors.  Impact100 chapters are vibrantly invested in more than 60 cities and four countries. By the end of 2021, Impact100 will have collectively granted more than $100 million dollars during its first 20 years.

 

Violeta Huesman, Chief Operating Officer

As part of the Impact100 Global management team, Violeta is a critical partner to the Founder | CEO in supporting Impact100 with its goals and overall operational plans. She joined Impact100 Global in January 2020. Violeta comes with over 30 years of professional experience in sales, marketing, and business development. In addition, she is no stranger to Impact100, as she was a founding member of the original Impact100 in Cincinnati and a current member of Impact100 SRQ.

Violeta was born and raised in Bitola, Macedonia (former Yugoslavia), to a Greek mother and a Macedonian father. She moved to the United States with her parents in 1977. Her parents sacrificed everything moving across the globe to provide opportunities and a brighter future for their children. Growing up in a new country, a new culture, a new language, she never forgot the kindness of her teachers, who helped her along the way to learn English and prosper in the new country. In 1983 she became a proud USA Citizen, a day she will never forget. She made a promise to herself that one day she would find a way to pay it forward.

Violeta also brings extensive community involvement to her new role in philanthropy. She has served on numerous nonprofits boards in her community, such as Tidewell Hospice, Lakewood Ranch Community Fund, founder and host for the LunchwithLeaders Group, Vice-Chair with the American Cancer Society –Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, Sarasota Chamber, and a board member of the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance.

Violeta is married to her amazing husband, Mark, and together they have three grown children.

Erin Anderson Whiting, Chief Philanthropy Officer

Erin Anderson Whiting is the Chief Philanthropy Officer of Impact100 and a key member of the organization’s leadership team. Erin joined Impact100 Global in March 2021 to help the organization continue to flourish by creating and nurturing philanthropic relationships based on trust and mutual respect. A career nonprofit professional, for nearly two decades Erin has enjoyed the privilege of helping for-purpose organizations thrive by connecting generous people with the missions and projects that reflect their deepest values. She has been engaged as a member of Impact100 Traverse City and experienced Impact100 as a grant finalist while serving as the Executive Director of Parallel 45 Theatre.

Erin was introduced to the world of philanthropy at the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy. Inspired by the region’s giving spirit, Erin held both annual giving and major gift roles during the Conservancy’s nationally-significant capital campaign. Several years later, she accepted a position as Major Gifts Officer at the internationally-renowned Interlochen Center for the Arts. In 2014, Erin became Executive Director of Parallel 45 Theatre—a professional arts organization she co-founded in 2010—directing philanthropy to the company and managing its general operations. For seven years, she took the rewarding journey of leading the organization’s growth from a start-up endeavor to an established and financially stable cornerstone of the region’s arts and cultural landscape.

Erin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College and a diploma from the Interlochen Arts Academy. She proudly serves on the board of Crosshatch Center for Art & Ecology and lives in Traverse City, Michigan with her husband, Ben Whiting.

Nick Cianci, Volunteer Fellow

Nick assists Impact100 with philanthropic research and strategy. He feels honored to support what he believes is one of the most powerful movements in global philanthropy.

As the development officer of Hamot Health Foundation (Erie, PA), Nick advances the strategic priorities of UPMC Hamot hospital, including critical care medicine, women’s health research, and community health initiatives. His background includes fundraising to support community development, K-12 education, and higher education.

Nick holds dual bachelor’s degrees from Mercyhurst University (Erie, PA) and a master’s degree in education from Edinboro University (Edinboro, PA).  He resides in Erie with his wife Hannah, their son Nicholas, and their Labrador Retriever, Cash.