Viewpoint: IMPACT 100 has made a difference (PNJ)

We are in the middle of membership season for the IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area; the largest IMPACT 100 group IN THE WORLD! As we do in Pensacola, sometimes we are too quiet about our victories or “pockets of wonderful” as Andrea Krieger recently wrote. If I could shout it from the rooftops, I would — IMPACT 100 has made an immeasurable difference for numerous not-for-profits in the area and for its own membership.

As a past recipient and a member for the last four years, I have experienced firsthand, the impact of IMPACT. Gulf Coast Kid’s House (GCKH) tried for nine years to win an IMPACT 100 grant — we were finally successful in 2013. What our many unsuccessful attempts taught us was that we needed to be more strategic with our ask. GCKH knew that we needed to expand, but we weren’t sure of the best use of the new space. We took our lessons learned from IMPACT 100 and began surveying our partners, board members, volunteers, and clients about the shortcomings of our existing building. We learned through this valuable process that the areas that needed the most help were our medical exam room and our family resource closet. With IMPACT 100, it was as if “when the student was ready the teacher appeared.”

The “Impact of IMPACT” though was multifaceted — for every year that we applied for a grant and didn’t win — we met ladies of IMPACT who were passionate about helping GCKH and gained new friends and supporters. When we did win IMPACT 100, that funding served as a catalyst for our board of directors — our $104,500 IMPACT 100 gift spawned a $1 million expansion campaign of the Allen R. Levin Family Advocacy and Education Wing. GCKH is eternally grateful for the opportunities that IMPACT 100 has provided us.

I too, am personally grateful to IMPACT 100 for the opportunities it has provided me. I have met some of the smartest and most passionate women of my career through IMPACT 100. As a member, I’ve gotten to learn from the women of IMPACT and the not-for-profits who apply for funding every year. Our IMPACT 100 is unique in that every applicant receives a site visit — it is a great opportunity to learn about the agencies serving the community. This membership season, I urge any woman who is not currently an IMPACT100 member to attend one of the membership events. You will leave inspired and if you are able to join, you will not regret it.

For more information onto how to join IMPACT 100 or to apply for a non-profit grant award, please visit www.impact100pensacola.org

Stacey Kostevicki is executive director of Gulf Coast Kid’s House.