membership FAQs

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. No. We do not accept partial membership donations in any form; however, as an all-volunteer organization, we rely on these types of gifts to cover our expenses. If your company does have a matching gift program and you become a member, 100% of your membership dollars will be used to fund the grants and the matching funds will be used to help defray our operating expenses. For more information, please see our Matching Funds section on the Become a Member page.


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. For more information, please see our Gifted Securities section on the Become a Member page.


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. See Donations 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. See our Become a Member 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 education 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 $750,000 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 communications@impactgrantschicago.org 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 the Sponsored Membership section of the Become a Member page.


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 a donation to our operating expenses or sponsor women members. See Donations or Sponsorships for more information.