Impact100 History

In September 2001, in Cincinnati, Ohio, an idea to promote philanthropy formed in the mind of Wendy Steele.

With the help of Wendy’s close friends and business associates, that idea became the non-profit organization operating as Impact100 Cincinnati. The original notion: Impact100 would consist of at least 100 women members, each contributing $1,000. These funds would be pooled and fully donated as transformation grants of no less than $100,000 to non-profit organizations serving Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Eastern Indiana. By early 2002, Impact100, Inc. had acquired their non-profit status. They made their first grant of $123,000 in the Fall of that year. In January 2003, People Magazine published a story about Impact100. After the article was featured, Wendy’s model began to flourish across the country and into Australia.




The Impact100 Council encourages collaboration and sharing of best practices among Impact100 chapters to allow for continued growth and sustainability of Impact100 around the world. Impact100 SRQ has been a member of Council since 2018.



Impact100 SRQ  is a member of Philanos, the national women’s collective giving and grant makers network.  Philanos empowers women by supporting the creation, development, and expansion of collective giving through informed grant making.  This organization gives a national voice to and accelerates the power of the high-impact collective giving movement.

SRQ History

The vision to start a Sarasota Chapter of Impact100 SRQ began in February, 2017, when Founding President Jane Watt was inspired by her mother and sister’s involvement in their Impact100 Pensacola Bay Area chapter. Jane shared her dream of founding a chapter in Sarasota and Manatee chapter with two of her close friends, Jodie Zerega and Tilly McFadden.  Together, the three of them built the infrastructure enlisting the assistance of the other amazing women in our community and creating an impactful Board of Directors that enabled the Impact100 SRQ dream to become a reality.  The Impact100 SRQ chapter began empowering a local diverse group of women of all ages, stages in life, income levels and backgrounds to join together to annually fund $100,000 transformational grant(s) in Sarasota & Manatee counties.

In 2019, Impact100 SRQ kicked off its inaugural year with 228 founding members and two grants awarded of $114,000 each.  With over 50 chapters across the US and Australia, Impact100 SRQ debuted as the 3rd largest start-up chapter ever!

Impact100 Model

The Impact100 model is readily available to all communities who wish to implement it. The model is designed to empower women to see themselves as philanthropists and overcome the barriers women have historically faced in this arena. The model is designed for transformational grant-making within local communities, with a minimum grant size of $100,000.

At Least 100 Women Come Together

Each Woman Donates $1,000

At least $100,000 is donated to a Local Charity

Focus Areas

This model provides nonprofit organizations with grants in increments of $100,000 across five main focus areas:

Arts & Culture



Health & Wellness


How it Works

Impact100 SRQ seeks to benefit communities of Sarasota & Manatee counties by annually awarding at least one high-impact grant to fund innovative, meaningful projects. The concept is simple:

  • The annual $1,000 donations of Impact100 SRQ members fund the grants. The number and size of grants given is dependent on the number of members. The goal is to give incremental grants of $100,000 each year to a non-profit organization serving Sarasota & Manatee county communities.
  • Membership is open to all women over the age of 18 and renewable annually.
  • Nonprofits are eligible to apply for a grant in one of our five focus areas. The project must predominantly serve Sarasota & Manatee county communities.
  • Members of Impact100 SRQ may choose to volunteer to serve on committees that evaluate the grants and select a finalist in each area.
  • Finalists are chosen and a representative of each of the finalists gives a brief presentation of the agency’s proposal at the annual meeting of Impact100 SRQ. The entire membership of Impact100 SRQ votes to select the grant recipient(s).
  • Recipient agencies are given 24 months to complete their projects. Funds are disbursed as programs are implemented.


Jane Watt
Jane Watt

Originally from the Hudson Valley area in New York, Jane and her family moved to Sarasota in 2009 from Fishers, IN where she lived for 19 years. She graduated with a B.S. in Accounting from Radford University and is currently an Oncology Sales Specialist with over 28 years’ experience in the Pharmaceutical industry. Jane was inspired by her Mom & Sister to found an Impact 100 chapter, so the journey began for Jane, Tilly & Jodie and her hope is to impact our community, one woman at a time! Her previous volunteer experience includes:

  • Secretary and volunteer for local Elementary PTO
  • Team leader for Zero Prostate Cancer Walk
  • Ronald McDonald House Community Volunteer
  • Membership chair for Sigma Sigma Sigma 1
  • Social Chair for National Accounting Society 1988
Amy Tupper
Vice President
Amy Tupper
Vice President

Originally from Connecticut, Amy relocated to Sarasota in 2015. She worked for many years in the health insurance industry before moving on to build a successful health and fitness business. Amy is a Realtor with Michael Saunders & Co. and she enjoys spending time with her family enjoying life and exploring all that beautiful Sarasota has to offer. Her community service includes:

  • Mother Baby unit volunteer, Sarasota Memorial Hospital 2017- present.
  • Catechist, Church of the Holy Spirit 2007-2014
  • Family Programming Director, local elementary PTO 2006-2010
Joanna Benante
Secretary & Director of Communications
Joanna Benante
Secretary & Director of Communications

Originally from Marietta, GA, Joanna spent 13 years in Chicago before settling in Sarasota in 2007. She has been a Licensed Realtor with Michael Saunders & Co since 2007. Joanna enjoys living life to the fullest in Sarasota and with her husband, 2 sons, and her extended Sarasota/Tampa family. Her community service includes:

  • Currently serves on the Pastoral Advisory Council of Church of St. Patrick
  • Member & Secretary for the Board of Directors for the Cotillion Club of Sarasota 2014-2017
  • Member, Secretary & Enrollment Committee Chair of the Board of Directors for St. Martha Catholic School 2012-2016
  • Previously was an active volunteer with Literacy Volunteers of America, Junior League of Chicago, and participated in other diverse volunteer work in Atlanta, Chicago & Sarasota
Betsy Friedman
Director of Membership
Andrea McHenry
Andrea McHenry

Andrea originally from Morgantown, West Virginia graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. Relocating to Charlotte North Carolina, Andrea spent 16 years as a flight attendant with Piedmont/USAirways. Andrea and her husband Cliff started their family in Charlotte.

Moving to Sarasota in 2005, Andrea retired from the airlines and was able to stay home and raise her children. During her early years in Florida she was involved in the PTA at Gulf Gate Elementary, holding various roles including secretary, PALS liaison, and fundraising events.

As a member of Church of the Palms, Andrea has been actively involved with the youth program which has provided her with the opportunity to learn and grow as a Christian alongside middle and high school students. In addition to her weekly involvement with the youth, she has been involved in mission work locally and in Nicaragua for the 5 years, recently leaving that position to further her education.

Andrea enjoys spending time with her family, being outdoors and experiencing all that Sarasota has to offer. In 2012 Andrea went to Nursing School earning her LPN certificate in 2013. She worked for 21st Century Oncology . She also served as a Board Member and Treasurer for Sarasota Cotillion from 2013-2016.

Toni Schemmel
Director of Grants
Toni Schemmel
Director of Grants

Born and raised in the Chicago area, Toni holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois as well as a MBA in Marketing from Loyola University Chicago.

Toni and her husband, Joel, left Chicago in 1995 and spent one year in Sofia, Bulgaria and the next 7 years in Prague, Czech Republic. During their stay Toni held positions at Sprint Bulgaria, KPMG in the Czech Republic and was an adjunct professor at The American University in Bulgaria. They relocated to Sarasota in 2003 with their 3 young boys nearing school age. As a licensed Realtor, Toni has served as Regional Marketing Director for Premier Sotheby’s International Realty as well as her current role within the Schemmel Property Group as marketing coordinator.

Toni enjoys time spent with her family and her now grown sons, especially time spent at the beach, on the water or skiing in Colorado. Toni’s previous board affiliations include:

  • Faith Formation teacher at St. Thomas More Catholic Church 2004-2
  • Riverview High School IB Parent Organization Co-President 2015-2017
  • Board Member, Treasurer and VP of Communications for Sarasota Cotillion 2014-2017