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.
Meet Our Earliest Supporters:
These inspired believers fueled the launch of Impact100. Their investment established the launch pad for the empowerment of women everywhere.
We are forever grateful to these “Rocket Fuel” supporters.
Brad and Julie Benbow
Impact100 Palm Beach County
Amy Tattrie Loepp
Morgridge Family Foundation
Harry Walker II Charitable Fund
Nancy Wong/Wong Family Foundation
Special thanks to the Morgridge Family Foundation and Carrie Morgridge for their extraordinary belief in Impact100.
Impact100 unites women across the globe to fund solutions to the most pressing problems facing humanity.
We believe in the collaboration and empowerment of diverse women to ignite transformational change in their communities.
We actively support the work of Impact100 chapters around the globe as they build and sustain belonging-centered cultures that recognize, embrace, and support diverse identities and experiences within their organizations and communities.
We provide resources and opportunities for Impact100 chapters to deepen their understanding of personal and systemic biases and to incorporate the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of their work.
At Least 100 Women
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We provide non-profit organizations with grants in increments of at least $100,000 across five broad Focus Areas:
Arts & Culture
Health & Wellness
Environment, Preservation & Recreation
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.
Wendy H. 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.
Since the founding of Impact100 in 2001, Wendy has worked tirelessly to share her philanthropic expertise through speaking engagements, volunteer work, and her 2023 book Invitation to Impact, Lighting the Path to Community Transformation. A book about making an impact, the power of generosity, collective action, and so much more, Invitation to Impact details the design and growth of Impact100, as well as the mistakes and pitfalls Wendy overcame along the way. Through the experiences Wendy shares, Invitation to Impact is a book that makes clear the impact giving can make when we all accept the invitation.
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 that “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 2022, Impact100 will have collectively granted more than $123 million dollars during its first 20 years.
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.
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.