With her background in non-profit management, Patti Withington has a soft spot for organizations that do good work in the world. It’s exactly why she became a founding member of Impact100 South Jersey and served on the leadership council for two years. It’s also why she is ecstatic to see the organization grow from an initial eight founding members to 14 on the leadership council and a membership of 186. Bringing in more powerful minds and the innovation that comes with diverse viewpoints is exciting for everyone she says.
So too is the growth of our capacity to give, especially at a time when nonprofit organizations need it more than ever.
“COVID-19 has hurt all New Jersey nonprofits in different ways,” she explains. “In South Jersey, it’s always been challenging tapping philanthropic dollars since most go to the northern part of the state. For Impact 100 SJ to be focused on our region is incredible.”
As CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Gloucester County, Patti is experiencing firsthand how COVID-19 can impact a nonprofit organizations’ present and future. Operating under the same rules as New Jersey’s public school system, the Boys and Girls Club was forced to shut its doors temporarily in mid-March, layoff some staff and find a new way to serve the 130 kids who depend on the nonprofit for after-school and summer camp programs that build character, skills and leadership.
It has pivoted to online programming and to food distribution by full-time staff members. Its families are able to pick up a week’s worth of dinners and snacks to replace the food the children are normally fed after school every day. They are currently planning different scenarios for summer camp while the state deliberates and develops guidelines around safety.
Patti is known for her financial acumen a skill that served Impact100 SJ well during its formative stages. She is proud to have jumpstarted the financial reports and the membership database, but she says modestly, “It’s the collective collaboration that makes Impact100 SJ so unique and powerful.”
She is a persistent individual with a bullish drive that pushes her forward while never looking back — a great outlook for a cyclist. Patti does time trial bike racing and was planning on starting track racing this year before all events were cancelled due to COVID-19. “I’m trying to remain positive through it all,” she notes.