IMPACT 100 – Where our donations keep on giving

It never ceases to amaze me how many diverse non-profit organizations exist in our community to provide social services to Santa Rosa and Escambia County, many run by volunteers . Recently, Impact 100 hosted a membership meeting at the Good Samaritan Clinic.

Good Samaritan Clinic received a grant from Impact 100 of $116,500 in 2004 to facilitate the opening of a medical clinic in South Santa Rosa County to serve the working poor. Santa Rosa County residents without health insurance can get free medical and dental care provided by a host of volunteer physicians, nurses and lay people. Local hospitals and labs provide free services as well.

The clinic is part of Interfaith Ministries – a coalition of area churches. Fred Cornett, a retired Navy officer and his wife Shirley started the clinic in 2005 and continue to provide volunteer leadership and administration for the clinic. Good Samaritan is the only free clinic in Santa Rosa County and it provides medical care, limited dental care and pharmaceuticals.

What impressed me most in Fred’s presentation was his statement that the money donated by Impact in 2004 – almost seven years ago – is still working for this clinic.

Impact 100 Pensacola is a local women’s philanthropic group that pools annual $1000 donations of more than 500 local Pensacola women to give grants to local non-profit organizations. Membership is open to all women and this year’s membership drive ends on March 1st.

Members are welcome to get involved in the evaluation of grant requests during the summer. There are five focus areas and 1 or 2 grants of at least $100,000 are awarded in each category each year. Categories include Arts & Culture, Recreation & Preservation, Education, Family, and Health & Wellness.

100% of membership donations go towards the grants. 0% is used for overhead and administrative costs. All of the printing, administrative and membership event costs are covered by donations from local businesses.

I have been a member of Impact Pensacola for four years. Each year I am surprised at the number and diversity of non-profits doing good things in our community and the impact this women’s organization has on the success of these groups. Many of the grants go to projects with long term impacts in the community rather than funding ongoing operations costs.  Here is a small sample from the 26 grants awarded since 2004.

•Appetite for Life expanded their catering business which generates revenue for meals for Aids patients.
•Century Library furnished a children’s room with 2900 books and 4 computers. Patronage has since doubled in this low income community.
•Bravo for Kids purchased 139 musical instruments to donate to middle schools and are expected to last for 35 years.
•Habitat for Humanity opened Habitat Restore which has generated profits to build  25 Habitat homes.
•PACE Center for Girls purchased computer software, hardware and teacher training so that at-risk young women can complete their high school education in a self paced environment.

To learn more about this powerful organization visit the Impact website at Or attend the next membership social at Jackson’s on Feb 17th at 4:30pm.

If you are looking for a place where your donations truly make an ongoing difference in your local community, consider Impact 100.

Submitted by Maria Weisnicht, member