Why I Care

Jane Watt Harnessed the Power of Collective Philanthropy to Create Impact 100 SRQ

Watt has seen membership soar to 107 women, each of whom contributes $1,000 annually.

By Ilene Denton April 2, 2019 Published in the April 2019 issue of Sarasota Magazine

Editor's Note: Since this article was published, Impact 100 SRQ has added an additional 121 members, and will give two $114,000 grants to area nonprofits in November.

Since co-founding Impact 100 SRQ in late 2017, Siesta Key resident Jane Watt has seen membership soar to 107 women, each of whom contributes $1,000 annually. That means Impact 100 SRQ this fall will be able to donate $107,000 to a deserving nonprofit organization; hopefully much more, as membership grows. Watt is so devoted to helping Impact 100 succeed that she’s taken a sabbatical from her work as a pharmaceutical representative. “It’s going to transform the way women here approach philanthropy,” she says. 

“Impact 100 is taking off like gangbusters. The first chapter was started in 2001 in Cincinnati. There are more than 50 chapters across the U.S. now, with 50 more in development. The largest, with over 1,100 women, is in Pensacola. My mom and my sister joined that chapter and enthusiastically told me about it.”

“The more women you have, the more grants you can give. Our goal is to give five $100,000 grants in five broad areas: arts and culture, education, environment and recreation, family, and health and wellness. We chose those five focus areas so all nonprofit groups in the community can apply. Our members, all volunteers, do the vetting.”

“We pride ourselves on including all women, from age 84 to a young woman with young children. Half of them have not been a formal part of philanthropy before.”

For more information, visit impact100srq.org.

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