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Women Connecting, Giving as One

Impact Las Vegas celebrates 10 years of giving, thanks to one woman rallying many

Maureen Romito has called Las Vegas "home" for 45 years. The retired human resources director is a vibrant, passionate, go-getter and world traveler, but when she's home in Southern Nevada, she's working on her baby, who turns 10 this year. Romito started Impact Las Vegas in 2013. It's a collective giving platform for like-minded women. 

“I’ve made many efforts over the years, but let’s face it, my last name isn’t Gates, Buffet, or Wynn," she explains. "How could I personally give enough to truly make a significant impact on the challenges facing our community? That’s when I discovered collective giving and the Impact model."

Impact Las Vegas consists of women who donate $1,000 each year, and 100 percent of membership donations are pooled to fund an annual "transformational" grant to a local nonprofit in one of five focus areas: culture, education, environment, family, or health and wellness. 

The group started with 13 members and has grown to 95 over the last decade. The goal is to exceed more than 100 members over the next year, which means a giving milestone of $100,000. New member, Jody Lenzie, has lived in Las Vegas since 1974 and said, "I've watched the city grow, and I'm more aware of organizations trying to better our community. When I learned about Impact, I was thrilled to join a movement created to support these organizations. I'm proud we can make our city better with a lump sum donation.”

In February, 90 nonprofits submitted letters of inquiry to the group. Impact members evaluated the letters and whittled the list to 17, who were then invited to submit a full grant application. The women work together and the list is narrowed down to four semi-finalists, then down to two. Each member of Impact casts a vote to select the winning recipient. The grant will be awarded in June 2023. 

“Not only do we get to see exactly how our money is used and witness the impact it has, but we also learn more about our community challenges and meet inspiring nonprofit organizations we’ve never heard of,” says Romito.

Last year Impact Las Vegas granted $83,000 to Kline Veterans Fund's “Homes for the Brave” program to address the issue of homelessness among veterans living in Clark County. Based on the $1,000 average request for assistance from local vets, the Impact Grant Award will help 83 families with urgent housing needs during the next two years.

The list of winners also includes Nevada Child Seekers, Girls on the Run, Roseman University, and many more. This year is monumental because the tenth grant award will be the largest ever.

“I’ve made efforts over the years, but let’s face it, my last name isn’t Gates, Buffet, or Wynn. How could I impact the challenges facing our community? That’s when I discovered collective giving (Impact model)." Maureen Romito

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