IMPACT 100 looking for members in Milton — and another million dollar year

An organization that has given millions to charities in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties is holding a membership recruitment event in Milton this evening – and is also looking for potential non-profits to help.

IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area is hosting the event at the Imogene Theatre from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in downtown Milton.

“We have quite a few members in Santa Rosa County, but we always want members from wherever we can get them,” said Cyndi Warren, president of IMPACT 100. “We also want Santa Rosa non-profits to apply. We will talk to people about becoming members and making sure the non-profits that they love, work with and are passionate about know about IMPACT.”

In 2013, the Imogene Theatre, owned by the Santa Rosa Historical Society, received a $104,500 grant to help restore the facility following the 2009 fire that nearly destroyed the historic building. SRHS President Vernon Compton will speak to prospective members at today’s event.

“The desire was to have the building be more useable by the community and by those using the theater for arts and cultural events,” Compton said. “By doing so we knew the theater would then have more of a positive impact on the revitalization of downtown Milton.”

Improvements that IMPACT 100 funded at the Imogene include additional seating for the theater, theatrical lighting and a movie screen and projection system.  Also, repairs and improvements were made to the Museum of Local History located in the building as well as the theater’s kitchen.

IMPACT 100, an all-woman effort, was founded in Pensacola in 2003, modeled after a similar organization in Cincinnati.  Each member donates $1,000 annually, and the group divides that money up in grants of at least $100,000 each.

The group accepts applications from organizations in both counties in five areas: arts/culture, education, environment/preservation/recreation, family and health/wellness.

Since 2004, IMPACT 100 has funded 57 grants totaling $6.15 million. The organization prides itself on using the entire $1,000 donation to fund the grants, not overhead or administration.

In 2014, IMPACT 100 boasted 1,025 members, giving out more than $1 million in grants. Ten organizations received $102,500 each.

Last year’s projects included purchasing diagnostic equipment for Our Lady of Angels St. Joseph Medical Clinic in Pensacola, infrastructure improvements for the tribal grounds of the Santa Rosa County Creek Indian Tribe and funding of a mentor recruiting program for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida, among others.

“We have grown pretty much every year since inception,” Warren said. “There was only one year our membership dipped, and that was during the recession.  Our goal is to at least maintain. We want to break the 1,000 mark again because that means we can fund 10 organizations again. That is a big deal for us.”

Compton said he hopes today’s meeting encourages Santa Rosa women to become a part of IMPACT 100.

“By being a part of IMPACT 100, women in Santa Rosa County can be a part of an organization that makes a difference with so many different non-profits each year,” he said. “Each individual contribution has a larger cumulative impact by being leveraged through the contributions of so many women from across Santa Rosa and Escambia counties.”

To donate online or for more information about the organization, go to