A native of Newport Beach, California, we’d like to introduce you to networking expert and world traveler, Karen Grundhofer. Volunteering since a young girl, Karen’s involvement with Impact Giving was meant to be. Highlighting Karen’s amazing work this month as we open grant committee sign-ups for the 2020 grant season is very appropriate, considering it is one of her favorite parts about the organization.
Throughout her childhood, Karen supported many leadership organizations and while studying at the University of California, Berkeley, volunteered for local literacy programs. During her college years, she spent a summer interning in Washington, D.C. and worked at various Four Season Hotels before graduating with a degree in sociology. A career-driven woman, Karen took the leap and began her professional career at the Four Seasons Hotel in London, followed by The Hyatt Carlton Tower (Now the Jumeirah Carlton Tower).
With her young family, Karen left London and moved to the Middle East where they lived for 20 years. Spending most of her time in Dubai, Karen became very involved with her children’s schools. While abroad, her kids attended American schools, and she made every effort to plan American cultural experiences for her family. A natural leader, she became the President of every parent council, developed toy drives for local orphans, and raised awareness about breast cancer.
In 2015, Karen returned to the United States and took on the role of stay-at-home mom. With all her kids off to college, Karen began working at the prestigious Jofit of Newport Beach and now manages the store. An avid networker, Karen found passion in her position while attending various Orange County events.
Karen takes pride in her service work and knowing this, her friend Marisa brought her to one of Impact Giving’s grant kickoff events. At the event, Karen was blown away and joined immediately. That same year, she sponsored an Orange County nonprofit, New Directions for Women, who ended up being a finalist. New Directions for Women, a women’s rehab facility based out of Costa Mesa, allows women to bring children up to the age of 13 years old to live with them, has been a staple in the community for over 50 years. The organization is looking to expand and update many of their meeting spaces to accommodate their recent growth.
In addition to New Directions for Women, Karen is an active volunteer for longtime, local organization, Breast Cancer Angels (BCA). BCA is especially important to Karen because 100% of donations made to the organization go to women undergoing breast cancer treatment in Southern California. Additionally, 50% of the ladies the organization is currently helping are women under the age of 40, with stage 4. Breast Cancer Angels helps with extra expenses such as childcare, electricity bills, gas cards, etc.
Karen is also an Independent Consultant for Touchstone Crystal by Swarovski. Karen aims to sell most of her jewelry pieces at nonprofit events, so that she can then give a portion of the proceeds directly back to the nonprofit.
When asked what she likes about Impact Giving, Karen commented that “seeing the process of grant committees allows me to build relationships with many of the ladies. From site visits to discussion meetings, you get to know the nonprofits at a greater level.” She adds that her international experience was very helpful when vetting the international grant applicants. “What’s amazing is that even sponsoring an organization, gets the organization publicity,” states Karen. She looks forward to sponsoring more organizations in the upcoming grant seasons.
Karen loves the kind of women that are involved with Impact Giving and we love her right back. We are so lucky to have you as a Partner of Impact Giving.