Impact Giving will give away $125,000 at June 10 celebration

By BARBARA McMURRAY

Since 2010, a group of 135 Orange County women have literally been making the world a better place. On Wednesday, June 10 at 6 p.m. at the Center Club in Costa Mesa, the organization will be at it again, giving out checks for $10,000 to $40,000 in its sixth year of grantmaking at Making THE Impact 6th Annual Grant Awards Evening.

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Photo by Rusty P. Tash

Many of the founding partners of Impact Giving are Laguna Beach residents. From the 2013 grant awards evening (the wearing of orange was purely coincidental!) - from left: front row, Sam Dawson, Carey Shyres, Susan Marx, Karen Wilson and Ann Owen. Back row: Janet Kane and Ann Duncan Levy. 

Impact Giving has awarded 33 grants totaling $606,000 to a wide range of nonprofit organizations in the past five years, making significant changes in hundreds of lives. Its founders formed a giving collective in 2009 with the ideal of women pooling their charity dollars to significantly impact and improve the lives of Southern Californians as well as global residents. 

Among the dozens of worthy projects that Impact Giving has funded:

 • an after-school learning center and a safe alternative to gang life for 72 children in Santa Ana (KidWorks Community Development Corporation);

• purchase and maintenance of a van to support family rescue, food delivery, and school transportation for 120 at-risk families in Orange County (Family Promise of Orange County, Inc.);

• bicycles for 544 at-risk girls in Cambodia, providing them safety and an opportunity to continue their education (Lotus Outreach);

• urgently needed surgical procedures for 87 uninsured OC patients, giving them lives free of pain, allowing them to return to work, and improving their quality of life (Access OC);

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• reliable solar electricity (above) to power lights and computers for schoolwork for 23 Nepalese orphans and their 400 schoolmates (Chhahari, Inc.).

Board chair Ann Duncan Levy described the selection process: “We received more than 50 grant requests, which were vetted by the Impact Giving partners who sat on grant committees. The committees selected 17 organizations as finalists, then the entire partnership voted. June 10is our ‘Oscar night’ – we reveal which organizations will receive grants. During the heartfelt acceptance remarks, there always seems to be at least one sweet moment that elicits tears from virtually everyone in the house.”

Every “partner” joins Impact Giving by contributing an annual $1,150, with $1,000 going directly to the nonprofit organizations. Many partners are women who own their own businesses or work in upper- and mid-level corporate positions. Others new to the region, climbing the corporate ladder, retired, or travel frequently. All partners share a desire to be connected with this simple, bite-size way to contribute charitably while networking with some of Orange County’s best and brightest women. 

New partners are welcome to join Impact Giving at any time and can learn more at www.impactgivingnow.org

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