Our Mission

In Impact100 Greater Wausau, we strive to be an inclusive, diverse organization of women who are growing as knowledgeable philanthropists to support nonprofits in Marathon County and make a lasting impact on the community. We rely on the skills and talents of our members to accomplish our mission.

Our Core Values

In Impact100 Greater Wausau, we value:

  • Empowering women to be philanthropic decision makers.
  • Raising our members’ awareness of nonprofit organizations in our community.
  • Giving every member an equal vote in the awarding of grants.
  • Ensuring that $1,000 of each member’s donation goes directly to grant awards.
  • Striving to be transparent, accountable, innovative, and continuously improving.
The 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

$100,000
is donated to a
Local Charity

*Impact100 Greater Wausau’s membership contribution is $1,100:
$1,000 goes towards grants, while $100 helps to cover administrative expenses

Focus Areas

Our goal is to award at least one $100,000 grant to a local nonprofit organization. Grants applications may be submitted in five broad Focus Areas:

Arts & Culture

Education

Family

Health & Wellness

Environment

How it Works

Impact100 Greater Wausau members contribute $1,100 annually. Of that amount, $1,000 from each member is pooled into a grant fund to be given away to nonprofit organizations in our community. The number and size of grants awarded depend on our membership, but our goal is to give incremental grants of $100,000 each year. Grants can be awarded in the areas of Arts & Culture, Education, Family, Health & Wellness, and Environment. Grants are awarded based on a vote of the Impact100 Greater Wausau membership at our annual meeting. Every woman who gives $1,100 or more has one vote.

Our History

“Each new Impact100 chapter has been launched because someone hears about the model and commits to building one in her backyard.” – Wendy Steele, Impact100 Founder

In January 2020, Jen Thomas, Becky Kettleson, and Margy Stahr incorporated Impact100 Greater Wausau. They were inspired by the Impact100 model when Jen learned about it from a childhood friend who is part of Impact100 Greater Milwaukee.

At the Annual Awards Celebration in Milwaukee in June 2019, Jen and Becky met women of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds. At their table sat mothers who came with their young adult daughters, coworkers, neighbors, and friends. The excitement and anticipation in the room were palpable. That night, they learned about Just One More Ministry’s Impact Grant proposal. With a $100,000 grant, they would purchase industrial refrigerators and freezers that would increase their food storage capacity by 700%, diverting countless pounds of fresh food from the garbage and into the hands of hungry men, women, and children. When Just One More Ministry’s proposal received one of three $100,000 grants, the women in the room stood to applaud, and Jen and Becky were hooked: they began to dream about how $100,000 could transform Marathon County nonprofits. They knew that the greater Wausau area needed Impact100.

Plans for a September 2020 Membership Launch were running smoothly, until Covid-19 closures turned their attention to the global pandemic. They learned from speaking with local nonprofits and Impact100 chapters around the globe that the nonprofit community needed women and their resources more than ever. As a result, Wausau is one of nine communities that successfully launched an Impact100 chapter in 2020.  

In our first three cycles of giving, Impact100 Greater Wausau has awarded $383,000 in grants to Marathon County nonprofits. The nonprofit finalists are chosen by women who have studied applications and financial records, interviewed nonprofit leaders, and reflected on the projects that will be most transformative in Marathon County. Every member of Impact100 Greater Wausau can feel confident the options have been vetted and that her vote counts. 

The same excitement that permeated the Milwaukee ballroom in 2019 has now been felt at each of Impact100 Greater Wausau’s Annual Awards Celebrations.

2021 Grantees – $112,000 Awarded

  • $100,000: Boys & Girls Club of the Wausau Area, Club Teaching Kitchen
  • $6,000: Patriot K9s of Wisconsin
  • $6,000: Rise Up Central Wisconsin

2022 Grantees – $138,000 Awarded

  • $100,000: Good News Project, Inc., Be the Good Today, Transform Tomorrow
  • $19,000: ATTIC Correctional Facilities
  • $19,000: Childcaring, Inc.

2023 Grantees – $133,000 Awarded

  • $100,000: United Way of Marathon County, Mobile Community Closet
  • $16,500: Friends of Rib Mountain State Park
  • $16,500: Learn, Build, Fly

We dream of a day when our membership reaches 200 members so that we can award $200,000 in a single grant cycle. The time is now, Greater Wausau, to connect women and build a stronger Marathon County.

For more information about how Impact100 started, see our council story.

Becky Kettleson
Co-President/Co-Grants Director
Becky Kettleson
Co-President/Co-Grants Director

Becky worked at the Best Buy headquarters in Richfield MN for 8 years, with her last position being in the online marketing capacity. She and her husband moved to the Wausau area in 2012 where she switched her focus to help out with a local family foundation and stay home with her two children. She is excited to see the power of collective giving go to work.

Jen Thomas
Co-President/ Communications Director
Jen Thomas
Co-President/ Communications Director

Jen earned her Masters in Education and was a middle school English teacher before becoming a full-time mom. Having grown up in Northcentral Wisconsin, Jen, along with her husband and daughters, were excited to relocate to Wausau in 2015, where many opportunities to actively volunteer in the community have been incredibly rewarding.

Margy Stahr
Vice President/Co-Membership Director
Margy Stahr
Vice President/Co-Membership Director

Margy holds a PhD in English and worked in higher education for more than a decade before returning to Wausau in 2016 with her husband and two children. Her true passion is volunteering with organizations that make a difference in the local community, particularly those committed to youth and families.

Amy Janke
Treasurer
Amy Janke
Treasurer

“I choose to be involved with Impact100 Greater Wausau because I believe in its mission and am touched by seeing dreams becoming reality for our local community,” says Amy Janke. Amy is currently the CFO at Wausau Supply Company and brings a wealth of experience to her role as treasurer.

Nicole Lipowski
Co-Membership Director
Nicole Lipowski
Co-Membership Director
Nicole is originally from the suburbs of Chicago but has called Wausau home since 2002. She resides in Rib Mountain with her husband and two kids. Those who know Nicole best refer to her affectionately as a “Professional Volunteer” because she makes a difference with a variety of charities. Nicole is also an artist and substitute teacher.
Sarah Sewall
Co-Grants Director
Sarah Sewall
Co-Grants Director

Sarah was born and raised in Oshkosh, WI. She moved to Wausau with her husband in 2006 and works as a pathologist. She is the mother of four girls. As a part of Impact100, Sarah looks forward to the opportunity to bring community members and their innovative ideas together.

Cathy Ortscheid
Secretary
Cathy Ortscheid
Secretary

Over 100 women coming together to accomplish a philanthropic goal is immeasurably powerful!
Over the past two years, as a member of Impact, I have marveled at the camaraderie, mutual
respect, and inspiration every woman involved in Impact has brought to the organization. The
end result enriches our community and the future of many individuals directly receiving the
benefits of Impact100. I am proud to be a member of Impact100 and to serve on the board as
Secretary.