Women-Led Philanthropic Group to Award Four $103,750 Grants

Cincinnati, OH – 6/23/2021 – For 20 years, Impact 100 has awarded transformational grants to local nonprofit organizations in Southeastern Indiana, Northern Kentucky, and Greater Cincinnati totaling more than $5.5 million.  Impact 100 grants serve to support local nonprofit organizations and their commitment to improving and transforming their communities.

Impact 100 was founded in Cincinnati in 2001 as a meaningful way for women to respond to the needs of local communities through a collective giving concept: women can pool their resources together to make a greater change than often one can do alone.  Every year, Impact 100 members contribute to make these impactful grants in our Greater Cincinnati community.

Impact 100 will award $415,000 in 2021 to four breakthrough nonprofits.  Four of the following six grant finalists will receive a $103,750 grant this September 8th during the Impact 100 Annual Awards Celebration.  All six finalists will present their proposals to the Impact 100 membership, and, after member votes are counted, four will each receive an Impact 100 grant to implement their projects.

Candidates submit applications for funding in one of five key IMPACT areas:

  1. Culture
  2. Education
  3. Environment, Preservation & Recreation
  4. Family
  5. Health & Wellness

The 2021 grant finalists are:

Kennedy Heights Arts Center

Youth Jazz Cincinnati project

The Youth Jazz Cincinnati program offers students the opportunity to study and experience jazz music – inspiring them to develop creative abilities and enabling interactions with professional musicians. Kennedy Heights Arts Center is proposing to expand their Youth Jazz Cincinnati program to serve 175 students from 19 Cincinnati Public Schools.  They will provide a daily after-school intensive program of free music education with an emphasis on jazz for students in grades 4-12. This program, in partnership with Cincinnati Public Schools, also provides performance opportunities for students. The program includes student transportation, snacks and time for study. Funds will be used to hire an additional staff member, pay professional fees for instructors, fund supplies and facility rental, and support travel expenses to regional and national performances.


Community Navigator program

RefugeeConnect helps refugees overcome barriers and connects them to community resources – including academic, social, economic and health-related resources.  RefugeeConnect’s mission is to empower people who were forced to leave their country to escape war, persecution or natural disaster so that they can thrive in America.  They currently serve families from 14 countries who speak 12 languages. RefugeeConnect is requesting funds to expand their Community Navigator program to serve an additional 100 families. Their grant request covers staffing, support for the Family Stability Fund and an Interpreter Fund to support language needs.

Green Umbrella

Common Orchard project

The Common Orchard Project turns vacant, unused urban lots into sources of fresh food, community connection and pockets of green space.   The simple idea of planting orchards on vacant lots in food insecure neighborhoods is one of the building blocks for a more resilient, sustainable community.  They are seeking funding to create 30 new orchards on vacant lots.  When expansion is complete, their orchards will produce ~600,000 pounds of fresh fruit in the next 10 years and help transform neighborhoods. The Common Orchard Project also trains and supports volunteer residents to turn these vacant lots into orchards. As a result, neighbors will build community pride and connections with each other while developing skills as they plant and maintain the orchards. Funds will be used for salaries & supplies like plants, gardening materials, and equipment.


Breakthrough Cincinnati

Access for All: Breakthrough Cincinnati Advances Equity in Education

Breakthrough Cincinnati closes the academic gap that limits opportunity and success.  They intervene just before middle school with a 6-week summer enrichment course to keep promising students on track.  They provide this rigorous academic programming to middle school students who lack access to these resources in their marginalized community schools. In partnership with the North College Hill School District, Access for All will provide onsite programming to reduce summer learning regression,  conduct focused interventions to help close the achievement gap, and provide ongoing support and mentorship to increase future enrollments in college.  The program will serve 160 students when the four-year ramp-up is complete. Funds will be used for teaching fellow salaries, administrative salaries and expenses, food supplies, transportation and field trip costs.

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County Foundation

My Mobile Library project

The “My Mobile Library” project will bridge the digital divide by providing a Mobile Library vehicle outfitted with Wi-Fi, computers, printers and other technology as well as dedicated assistance to teach residents in the “Library Desert” areas of East Westwood/North Fairmont, Lincoln Heights/Lockland, Evanston, Winton Hills and Camp Washington. This project will expand the Library’s footprint by increasing digital access to support the day-to-day needs of residents like applying for jobs.  This project will also expose residents to new technologies and training.  Funds will be used to purchase the Mobile Library and outfit it with Wi-Fi, multiple computers, and printers.  The funds to staff, provide upkeep and maintenance and use of the vehicle will be incorporated into the Library’s operating budget.


Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses

Trauma Recovery Center project

The Seven Hills Trauma Recovery Center provides crisis intervention to trauma victims. Seven Hills is seeking funding to relocate the Trauma Recovery Center from its current location, housed in a community building with several other programs and services, to a dedicated, refurbished building.  The new facility will provide a more private, safe and family-like environment along with increased care services, including emergency shelter for trauma victims. Funds will be used to renovate and furnish space to provide an emergency shelter for trauma victims.

To learn more about Impact 100, or for information about the upcoming 2022 grant application process, visit www.Impact100.org.


About Impact 100: Founded in Cincinnati in 2001 by Wendy Steele, Impact100 was born out of a desire to make a greater impact with philanthropic donations by collectively pooling the funds of area women to create a significant $100,000-plus grant. The Cincinnati chapter alone has awarded more than $5.5million in grant money locally. The name, Impact 100, comes from the initial goal of 100 women contributing $1,000 to award a $100,000 grant to a community organization.  Impact 100 has grown into a movement with chapters in more than 50 U.S. cities and two foreign countries. Together, the organizations have awarded more than $55 million in grants.