Achieving maximum community impact from Impact 100 grants is a guiding principle for our organization. How we can do that in a more intentional, systematic way through equitable grant making was the subject of two Equity Forums for members in late March.
More than 50 members attended the virtual forums and provided positive feedback about what they learned and suggestions for future discussions.
Taisha Rojas-Parker, Equity in Grant Making Committee Chair, presented at both forums, citing findings that the biggest factors holding back philanthropy’s quest for social change are rooted in race. She emphasized the importance of understanding the role of race in solving community problems and reviewed what other philanthropic groups have done to apply equity in grant making.  Taisha also explained that 2021 is a year of learning as Impact 100 grows its capabilities in this area. See her presentation here.
Also during the forums, Impact 100 Co-Presidents Annemarie Henkel and Sharon Mitchell shared the Strategic Plan created by the Board and talked about the creation of Impact 100 Next Step Awards this year, which will provide smaller monetary awards to grass-roots and diverse organizations.  This moves our organization forward in becoming more diverse and inclusive, 
Equity Forum attendees also had an opportunity to discuss equity in grant making with each other in small break-out groups and ask questions of the presenters.
Positive Post-Forum Survey Results 
Attendees who completed online post-forum surveys indicated their approval of hearing about the goals, strategies and plans that support greater diversity, equity and inclusion in Impact 100. Survey responses also indicated members’ eagerness to learn more about equity in grant making and how Impact 100 will move forward.  For example, one attendee said she would like “more information on ‘how to’ or ‘best practices’ to ensure we have our dollars go where they can be the most impactful and distributed equitably.”
Over the past year, 97 members have attended diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) events sponsored by the Impact 100 DEI Committee. Additional DEI events are being planned in the coming months. Watch your email and the Impact 100 website for more information about future events.