Since inception in the fall of 2011, the women members of Impact 100 PBC have worked diligently and with singular focus to make a tangible and noticeable difference in southern Palm Beach County. As we begin our 13th year of service to our community, we have funded over $6,000,000 in grants to local nonprofits and awarded 56 $100,000 grants and 43 merit grants. Our goal is to attract 1,000 women members so we can award $1,000,000 every year to worthy projects that nonprofits in our service area cannot fund on their own. We bring their dreams to reality!
The following is a script from opening remarks that the three women founders of Impact 100 PBC gave at our 10-Year Anniversary Celebration, held in March of 2022, at Neiman Marcus, one of our valued community partners. This fun and interesting exchange perfectly captures the essence of what Impact 100 PBC has accomplished over the years and why our members enjoy their experience serving together and being leaders in our community!
Zero to Hero!
Tandy Robinson, Lisa Mulhall, and Cindy Krebsbach
Impact 100 PBC Founders
Cindy - Thank you for coming to celebrate our 10-year anniversary and for your loyalty to philanthropy! Many thanks to Neiman Marcus for being our partner this evening and for their support over the past ten years.
Lisa - The theme for our remarks tonight is From Zero to Hero. You will hear the word hero throughout our talk. YOU all are the heroes who funded 41 grants, partnered with nonprofits to solve local problems, and grew our membership to over 600 women!
Tandy - It is fun to think back how we first learned about the concept – like most Impact 100 stories begin – I met a woman in Vero Beach who invited me to lunch and shared the Impact 100 Indian River story, she quickly became a friend, and I joined their organization.
I liked the concept because as a working Mom at that time I was short on time and loved the simplicity of collective giving and making a large impact. I loved the one woman, one meeting, one vote. I could give money but did not have time. I had a desire to meet more like-minded ladies/friends from outside my work.
Cindy - I agree! It is so hard to meet new friends outside of your neighborhood, and places you go to all the time. With Impact 100 Palm Beach County we get to make new friends from all over our area.
And also, we know that women are earning, inheriting, and investing more today than ever before so they are contributing to causes they care about. Women are quickly becoming transformational leaders in philanthropy. Collective giving is a fun way to be a part of this new world.
Tandy - The Indian River ladies were in their second year and graciously showed me the ropes – inviting me to their committee meetings, copying their by-laws, policies and procedures. And then it happened – their annual meeting – giving away $232,000 in one meeting to the local community – I was blown away and needless to say – hooked! It was still another year of mentoring under these Indian River heroes until I re-connected with Lisa through the Community Foundation and Cindy from running in to her at the movies that my wheels started turning about these two local heroes.
Cindy - Yes, I will never forget that you got pulled over for going above the speed limit on your way home from getting hooked on Impact! And we initially met in Leadership Boca and how much I liked your Queen Bea purse.
Tandy - I still have that purse.
Lisa - Our first meeting was to explore the concept. The three of us met at Poppies Bagels which led to many more bagel shop meetings in early 2011. Global Impact was not yet up and running but we spoke to Wendy Steele on the phone – and Indian River was so gracious and shared all of their documents. It all started with a little idea that brought so many heroes together.
Cindy - Boy do I remember those days! The 1st thing we thought to do was to test the waters with our local community grand dames. We graduated from bagels to salads at lunch with community leaders. We met with these women to see if they would support our new collective giving initiative.
Tandy - Remember that we had to convince them that we weren’t taking funds from the existing nonprofits? We were so certain that Impact 100 would bring MORE money to nonprofits and not siphon it away from existing donations.
Lisa - Yes! And that has been the case – Impact 100 has drawn new money for local nonprofits and became a new funding source for South Palm Beach County.
Those early meetings also led to the development of our Board of Directors. Wendy had given us advice that we should create a Board that was made up of women from all over our service area and had influence in different sectors. We didn’t know these women yet!!
Cindy - She also told us to start with a LARGE Board so we would be 1/3 of the way to 100 members. We knew that if each board member brought 2-3 others and we would get to the first $100,000.
It was a crazy exercise – coming up with names of women that we admired, but maybe didn’t really know, and encouraging them to serve on the Impact board.
It may seem now like we all have known each other forever – but it really started with our volunteerism for Impact.
Tandy - Boy, the women on our initial Board really stepped up to the challenge with us. It was a real roll-up your sleeves kind of commitment. Everyone chipped in to make it happen.
Lisa - The Board of Directors continues to be our backbone. Oh, and we had to define our service area. We gave great thought to this. Palm Beach County is the size of Rhode Island. Ultimately, we decided that there was great need in south county (Lake Worth Road to the Broward Line) that was big enough for us.
Cindy - Remember how we started with tea and coffee in women’s homes. We would have 5-15 women and we would explain the concept. It was very grassroots and still is. One by one we achieved 148 members in the first year.
Tandy - (Laughing) And now we have graduated to cocktails as the preferred time for gatherings!
Lisa - But we are jumping ahead. In those bagel shops we tried to set up a structure for Impact 100 that would work for our service area. One big issue that we had to determine up front was which model would serve us best. We had two models to choose from. We went with the Indian River model where we ask the nonprofits to apply at the same time that we are gathering members. This model allowed us to hold the Grand Awards meeting in April before seasonal members leave for the summer.
Cindy - That first year 78 nonprofits submitted Letters of Intent and we were just starting to grow our membership. THAT was a leap of faith. The nonprofits were certainly heroes to believe that we could grow large enough to fund one grant that first year.
Tandy - Once we established the model, we divided up the work. I worked on grants, and Lisa and Cindy did membership.
This is when I moved on from bagels to chocolate chip cookies in the afternoons at the Delray Beach Club as a group of us sat around and figured out the LOI and grant application process. There were so many details in preparing to give away $100,000. Even today our grants committee deals with issues that come up.
Cindy - And all the other components -- it was a magical process. It takes a team to make it work. Man, women stepped up to handle essential components like:
- Database, Social Media, Website, Membership
- and, of course, Grants and Grant Compliance
Lisa - One of my favorite stories is about a member who read about a committee meeting in Coastal Star and she showed up not knowing anyone in the room. She became chair of that committee, a dedicated Impact 100 member and a great friend!
Cindy - We teamed up with Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin County (CFPBMC) as our back office and grant platform. We learned so much about grants from them. After our first Board meeting in September 2011, things started happening.
Tandy - Since the Community Foundation was our 501c3, I always used to joke that we were a loose group of women. Glad we tightened things up and became our own 501c3 in 2018.
Cindy - We set up 5 grant categories and proceeded as though we would be giving away at least one grant. Now it seems so scheduled and easier but 10 years ago we had to think up everything for the VERY first time.
Lisa - Then there was voting at the Grand Awards! We asked a member with a perfect SAT score (and her children have perfect scores too) to figure out our voting! It is more complicated than you think to be transparent and accurate.
Cindy - Trying to create the logo! Remember the different versions that were created? It was a huge responsibility to select the logo that best captured the organization.
Tandy - Our first grant - it was amazing! It was the Parent-Child Center in Riviera Beach. It was a grant to protect children removed from their homes in the dead of night for abuse, abandonment or neglect and provided a social worker as an advocate for them. A social worker was assigned to be there, to help them pack more than a stuffed animal, to be there the next morning in court and to help make the state system bearable to the youngest victims. The state really liked that program and funded it with $600,000 to go statewide.
Lisa - And then Goose, the horse -The veterans and children who learned their balance and regained their sense of self from equine therapy.
-The elderly in west Boynton that waited for meals to be delivered.
Tandy - The foster children who were driven to go further in their education, but who needed the support of adults who believed in them.
Cindy - The children who had never seen the ocean despite living within miles of the ever-present Atlantic Ocean.
Lisa - The Dads who wanted to be better, to be more present, for their children.
Tandy - The children who learned about good touch/bad touch and how to speak with adults about their experiences.
Cindy - Teaching 430 children to read at grade level by the 3rd grade.
Cindy - These individuals living in our communities who received the services are heroes. They just needed a needed a boost to change their path in life.
Lisa - We have been asked "What is the most challenging part of operating Impact 100?" For me, it’s that the morning after the Grand Awards we start at zero again – zero members and zero dollars. But boy – that shows the ZERO TO HERO!!! You all step up each year and help us grow even larger!
Cindy - What is the most rewarding part?
Lisa - Aside from the fact that we give away the hundreds of thousands of dollars at Grand Awards?
Cindy - The friendships and the leadership that has followed us. The women that support each other to help us grow to a much higher level. We were co-presidents for the first three years and then so many heroes have led the way to where we are today. Please take a minute and thank our Past Presidents! If you could all please stand! Thank you, Past Presidents! Cheers to YOU!
Tandy - From zero to hero. We couldn’t do this without YOU. Each year we start with zero members. As we grow larger, that means that we have to grow from zero to 500, 600 or 700 members in 12 months! YOU, the members that renew, the members that join us, are the heroes!! Thank you so much for being our heroes year in and year out.
ZERO TO HERO! CHEERS! Be A Hero, Join Today!