Impact 100 of Okaloosa and Walton counties is looking for 500 women who want to make a difference in their communities.
This local chapter of a national organization has only been in existence for four years and has already given almost a million dollars to local non-profits.
The chapter was founded by Michelle Anchors and Sandy Sims in 2012 with the simple idea of finding 100 women in the two counties who wanted to make a difference in their communities. Those 100 women would each give $1,000 and collectively, they could make a difference.
Anchors and Sims did better than that, though. They founded the chapter with 128 local women.
There is no fundraising or meetings to attend, unless you want to.
Each member gives $1,000 annually for membership.
"You can just write a check and do nothing, or get involved. It's that simple," said member Karen Brommer. "Our members come from all walks of life."
Kay Crawford joined three years ago.
"I couldn't believe there was an organization that gave 100 percent of every penny to charity," she said. "It is so amazing to see what generous women in Okaloosa and Walton counties can accomplish. I don't join many organizations, but Impact 100 was the perfect fit for me. I felt like I could make a big difference in the community by joining this group of strong, generous women."
Workshops are held for non-profit organizations to apply for grants in one of five categories: art and culture; education; environment; family and health; or recreation.
Committees visit the applicants and the members then vote on which ones will receive the grant money for their projects.
No grant money may be used for administration or salaries.
The recipient cannot be a religious or political organization, and no grant winner may apply for the next two years. Each grant recipient has two years to complete their project.
Recipients have included Destin Harvest, Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge, Shelter House, Grace Rides, the Matrix, AMI Kids, and Arc of the Emerald Coast. Each recipient receives at least a $100,000 grant for a stated project.
The chapter's membership in 2015 was 323.
"Our goal is to get 500 members so we can do even more," said Brommer, who has been a member since 2013. "My $1,000 doesn't make much of an impact, but together, we can make a difference. It's amazing to see what we can do together. We're not looking for wealthy women; just generous women. We all think we live in paradise, and we do, but there is a lot of need out there."
For more information on Impact 100 visit www.impactnwf.org, or call 543-7192.
The first workshop for non-profits seeking grants will be June 7 from 9 a.m. until noon at Destin Public Library. Registration deadline for the workshop is May 13.