New Impact100 philanthropy season kicks off Sept. 22 |

New Impact100 philanthropy season kicks off Sept. 22

Rocky Mountain Youth Corps members Wilmarie Rios-Jaime and Jake Stolz work on the Morning Gloria Trail near the quarry on Emerald Mountain in 2014. RMYC recieved $5,000 from Impact100 as part of the program's 2015-16 season.
Courtesy Photo

— A new season of the Impact100 philanthropy program kicks off this month, and program organizers are eager to see new faces at the first event.

The concept of Impact100 is simple — 100 people give $100 each, and together, the group — called a giving circle — has $10,000 to give local nonprofits.

The Steamboat Springs Impact100 program is organized by the Yampa Valley Community Foundation and supported by a handful of sponsors.

The sponsors cover the cost of food and drink at four events during the Impact100 season, which runs September through April.

During the first event of the 11th season, set for Sept. 22, participants can suggest nonprofits to present at future events and be potential recipients of the grant money.

“At the first event, people basically put the names of nonprofits in a hat,” said Susan Petersen, community impact manager for the Yampa Valley Community Foundation.

The events are typically held at swanky local homes and feature drinks and a themed meal from Steve Carlson at Big Air Catering.

Since all of the food and drinks, as well as each venue, are donated or covered by a sponsor, 100 percent of the participants’ money goes toward the nonprofits, Petersen said.

The program was created more than 10 years ago by a group of Steamboat young professionals who enjoyed seeing the impact their money could make when pooled, according to longtime member Laura Cusenbary.

Cusenbary said she remembers when, during one of the first seasons of the program, a high school student came to the group asking for $500 to help with the school’s student newspaper.

Rather than put the student in the running for the group’s $10,000, attendees pooled the money they had that day and were able to fund the student’s request on the spot.

“That was great,” said Cusenbary, who plans to participate in Impact100 again this year.

Petersen said the first event, which will be at a modern home on Anglers Drive, is a great place for people new to Impact100 to get a feel for the program and consider joining.

“Come and check it out,” Peterson said. “You don’t have to join.”

Those interested in donating $100 can come to one or all four events, which are scheduled for evenings in November, February and April.

At events in November and February, selected nonprofits will give brief, informal presentations about their work and need for the funding, and in April, all Impact100 participants will vote on which organizations to award money to.

Last year’s biggest recipient was Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, which received $5,000 to put towards expanding efforts further into Northwest Colorado.

The prior year, Routt County Humane Society was awarded money to help with the group’s efforts to take over the city’s animal shelter.

This year’s Impact100 giving will also be boosted by a $2,000 donation from Tour de Steamboat, as a donation from race proceeds.

Those interested in joining Impact100 aren’t required to register or RSVP for the first event, but can pay the $100 donation in advance, if interested.

To pay the $100 or learn more about the program, visit

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

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