Impact Giving, OC women’s collective giving group, handed out eight checks to non-profit grant recipients


Checks ranging from $10,000 to $30,000 were distributed to selected nonprofits by Impact Giving, an Orange County women’s giving collective, at a dinner held June 10 at the Center Club in Costa Mesa. Eight grants totaling $125,000 were presented at its sixth annual “Making the Impact” Awards Ceremony. Recipients included six local and two international nonprofits.

Impact Giving founding partner and grant chair Susan Marx pointed out that 61 grant proposals were initially submitted, with 17 applicants making it to semi-final status before the final eight recipients were selected by the organization’s grant committees. 

The 2015 Impact Giving grant recipients are: 

• Give A Child Life – $12,000
 for 500 solar lights plus installation training to a slum area in Kenya inhabited by 600 adults and 2,500 children. 

• The Wooden Floor, Santa Ana – $25,000 to provide 375 at-risk youth in Orange County with academic tools and mentoring to make college a reality.

• Giving Children Hope – $30,000 to cover 1,200 backpacks filled with nutritious food each weekend, helping 4,350 families in Orange County so no child goes hungry when not in school. 

• The Alzheimer’s Association of Orange County – $10,000 to help caregivers connect with other caregivers, bringing community and a sense of normalcy to families affected by Alzheimer’s.

• Concern America – $15,000 to provide advanced training for 20 village healthcare workers serving 4,500 people without access to healthcare in Central America.

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Photo by Mert Turkoglu

Impact Giving partners from Laguna Beach: Sheri Fetrow (left), Maya Dunne - who sponsored a winning grant to bring health care to hundreds of Central American through a nonprofit called Concern America - and Kristin Thomas

• Hart Community Homes’ Monkey Business Café, Fullerton – $13,000 to support employment, job training and life skills for foster youth in Orange County to help them avoid future homelessness and incarceration.

• Family Promise of Orange County – $10,000 to fund an outdoor care management area for 190 homeless families, providing both play therapy and parenting skills.

• Voices for Children – $10,000 for 500 hours of training for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) who will mentor teens ready to emancipate from foster care.

Ann Duncan Levy, Impact Giving board chair and co-founder, noted, “Now in our sixth year of grant making, Impact Giving has awarded a total of $731,000 in grant money to deserving nonprofits working to solve problems locally and internationally. We prove that by pooling our charitable dollars, we can make a major impact.” 

Impact Giving partner Karen Rager-Takeda is the founder and president of Rager Resources Group, an Irvine executive recruitment firm. An Impact Giving partner for three years, Rager-Takeda said, “I joined this organization because I was impressed with the dynamic people involved. It has also given me an in-depth understanding of what makes a nonprofit sustainable and successful.” 

Founded in 2009, Impact Giving aims to multiply the impact of individual women’s charitable giving by pooling their philanthropic dollars. Based in Orange County, California, each Impact Giving partner gives $1,150 annually to the philanthropic pool. Partners take active roles in the grantee selection process and vote to determine the awards.

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