membership FAQs

Q. Is my donation to Impact Grants Chicago tax-deductible?
A. Yes. Impact Grants Chicago is a 501(c)(3) organization and all contributions made by December 31st are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law for the year in which the donation was made.

Q. What is Membership PLUS?
A. Members who are able to contribute beyond the $1,000 donation are encouraged to join at the Membership PLUS level of $1,100. The additional $100 helps defray our operating expenses.

Q. What are Additional Operating Expense Donations?
A. We are an all-volunteer organization and rely on additional donations to help defray our operating expenses such as website maintenance, membership, nonprofit and communication software.

Q. My company offers matching funds for charitable donations. Can I give $500 and have my company match it to make my total $1,000 donation?
A. Yes. We will accept partial membership donations of $500 or more if your company will match the remaining $500 membership donation.  However, as an all-volunteer organization, we rely on matching gifts to help cover our operating expenses and would prefer that those women who can afford to do so, pay the full $1,000 member donation so we can use the matching gift to defray expenses. The full $1,000 membership fee must be received by December 31 if the member wants to sign up for a Grant Review or Financial Review Committee.  We recommend allowing at least six weeks for your company to process the matching funds.  Please contact for questions on corporate matching gifts.

Q. Can I make my donation with Stock/Gifted Securities?
A. Yes. Impact Grants Chicago accepts donations of stock in a publicly-traded company as payment for membership. Please contact our Treasurer at for the appropriate forms.

Q. Can I donate less than $1,000 to Impact Grants Chicago?
A. Yes, as an all-volunteer organization, we greatly appreciate additional donations to help defray our operating expenses; and while your donation does not provide you with voting or participatory rights, it helps ensure that 100% of each member’s $1,000 donation is used to fund the grants. Please see Give a Gift page for more information.

Q. If I contribute more than $1,000, do I receive more than one vote?
A. No. We follow the Impact Model of “one woman, one vote.” Any amount given over $1,000 goes first to offset operating expenses. If we receive more funds than we need to cover operating expenses at our year end, our Board of Directors may vote to add that money to grant funds. Any contribution of $1,000 or more may also be directed to sponsor a member. Please see our Member Sponsorships page for information on sponsoring a member.

Q. What is required of a Member?
A. All members are encouraged to choose their own level of involvement. Some members simply like knowing that 100% of their donation will be put to good use in the community, others may want to participate in an occasional volunteer or educational opportunity and some may want to be part of the review process and choosing the finalists. Regardless of your level of participation, all members are given the opportunity to vote for the grant recipients at the Grant Awards Celebration. See the Member Involvement page for more information.

Q. What types of organizations does Impact Grants Chicago fund?
A. Impact Grants Chicago funds mid-size (operating budgets between $650,000 and $8 million) Chicago nonprofit organizations that are addressing critical needs and social issues facing the city. We accept applications for new or existing projects or programs, or for the expansion of existing projects or programs in five main focus areas: Culture, Education, Family, Health and Sustainability. See Eligibility Requirements for more information.

Q. How long is my membership in Impact Grants Chicago?
A. Our annual membership year runs from June through May. Each $1,000 donation provides membership for one year, including eligibility to vote at the Grant Awards Celebration in May. Membership is renewable beginning in June of each year.

Q. How does Impact Grants Chicago communicate with its members?
A. Impact Grants Chicago uses email to send all communications, including event invitations, newsletters, updates and committee sign-ups. Please be sure to add to your approved contacts so you do not miss any important information.

Q. Can I sponsor a member?
A. Yes, Impact Grants Chicago welcomes sponsored members. If you wish to sponsor a family member or friend, we will register the donation in their name and they will receive all the benefits of membership. If you wish to sponsor a member from our list of women who would like to be part of Impact Grants Chicago but are not able to make the financial commitment, please contact us and we will gratefully accept your donation on their behalf. For more information, see our Member Sponsorships page.

Q. Does Impact Grants Chicago have a corporate giving program?
A. Yes, corporations can give to Impact Grants Chicago in several ways. We offer a member sponsorship program where corporations can sponsor their women employees as members as well as corporate underwriting opportunities. For more information, see our Corporate Member Sponsorships page or our Corporate Underwriting page.

Q. Does Impact Grants Chicago only give grants to nonprofits that help women or those that are run by women?
A. No. We accept applications from all types of nonprofits that meet our requirements. See Eligibility Requirements for more information.

Q. Who is eligible to become a member of Impact Grants Chicago?
A. While only those who are eighteen or older and identify as women can become members, anyone can make a donation!

Q. Can men participate in Impact Grants Chicago?
A. As a women’s organization, we do not accept men as members; however, men are welcome to make donations, sponsor members or encourage their women colleagues to join. See Give a Gift page or our Member Sponsorships page for more information.

Q. Why is Impact Grants Chicago a women’s only philanthropic organization?
A. Besides being a collective giving organization, Impact Grants Chicago is also an organization where like-minded women come together to socialize, volunteer, and learn about nonprofits in their community. Additionally, women have different life experiences than men which can influence their philanthropic giving decisions and the votes for our finalists.