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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Impact Bay Area

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Crime & Law, Disaster Aid, Education, Mental Health, Safety Education, Sexual Abuse Prevention, Sexual Assault Services

Mission: Impact Bay Area is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that teaches effective boundary setting, personal safety, and physical self-defense skills. Our classes are tailored to meet the needs of different ages, genders, and communities.

Target demographics: create a world where everyone has the personal safety tools to live a fuller, more confident life.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 1,082 women, girls, and men to be safer and more confident

Geographic areas served: the San Francisco Bay Area

Programs: Courses include Women's Self-Defense Basics (ages 18+), Young Adult "On Her Own" Self-Defense Basics (ages 17-22), Teen "Kick Like a Girl" Self-Defense (ages 12-16), Self-Defense and Personal Safety for Kids and Parents, Boundary Setting (ages 18+, 2 hour workshops). We also offer Impact At Work 3- and 6-hour self-defense classes. Our classes can be tailored to your group's needs.

Community Stories

15 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

My mantra growing up as a teen girl used to be "over my dead body" around the topic of the boundaries I associated and built up around my precious body. Little did I ever reflect on what I would do to live if the body became the pinnacle of my mortality. When I finally confronted that question, it was during a brutal attack and hostage scenario I survived at 21 years old. In the wake of the incident, my spirit, body and mind were frozen. While still in the throws of daily therapy sessions and first attempts of recovery, a dear friend of my mother told us she was an alumnus of Impact Bay Area, an organization whose mission is based on self-empowerment and self-defense. I enrolled in the Basics Training program and immediately felt the safety to open up and share the story of what happened to me only a month before that first class. I met peers of multiple generations and wonderful instructors who coached and cared for I and my classmates through the entire process. Impact not only changed the way I was able to see self, and helped in the early stages of a journey to find myself again, to reacquaint myself with my body and being; it saved my life and the way I am able to live it. As I prepare to celebrate the 9th anniversary of my survival and rebirth in a matter of days, I find myself a proud volunteer for Impact Bay Area, compelled and inspired to help other women and girls love and protect themselves. Impact Bay Area is: a proclamation of self, of your worth, of your voice and your right to stand up for yourself. Impact Bay Area is self-empowerment incarnate. Their IMPACT is forever embedded in my spirit.
Please empower yourself, your daughters, your sisters, your mothers, grandmothers, wives, friends and each of the women in your life. Talk about violence again women, girls and everyone in our community and ask how and if they have ever been directly affected: 1 in 3 will say "yes I'm a survivor too". We CAN change this statistic.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Impact Bay Area is an amazing organization! They have an effective curriculum to empower women and teens through intensive full-force self defense and verbal boundary setting. I took the class last year and it has been LIFE CHANGING for me. Not only do I have more peace of mind and feel safer, but I also have more confidence, affecting all spheres of my life. The class was unbelievably incredible. It was also a lot of fun. I am a big fan! I plan on signing up the whole family eventually.

Impact is also wholeheartedly dedicated to making self-defense available to everyone regardless of financial circumstances. I am a scholarship student myself, and am incredibly grateful for all that they've made possible.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Impact Bay Area is a great non-profit that just needs more money! I first took the Basics class when I was 18 years old, and it was life changing. I not only learned physical skills, but more importantly, I learned how to say NO! I also learned to trust and listen to my inner voice and it gave me a great boost of confidence in myself.

20 years later...I'm still involved with Impact and love assisting in classes. I'm a mom of two now, and can't wait to get my children in classes. I really feel that Impact should be part of the school curriculum and something that all women should have.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Impact helps empower its students with personal safety choices and confidence in the face of adversity.
A great organization helping the community become a safer place.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This class (IMPACT's "Basics") will change your life. I consider myself a strong woman athlete (long distance backpacker, brown belt in Judo), but before this class I always had, in the back of my mind, the question, "Could I defend myself if attacked?" Now I know, without a doubt, that I *could*. The Basics class should be mandatory for all high school girls. I wish I had been able to take it when I was that age - #1, learning that your voice is your most powerful weapon (learning to say no and mean it; feeling that you can and should maintain healthy boundaries). But if voice alone fails, learning to defend yourself by disabling your assailant. IMPACT's full-force self defense against padded assailants will stay in your body memory forever.

The class has such a profound affect upon me that I have become a volunteer for this 25-year old organization. IMPACT also has classes for Men, Defense Against Weapons, Multiple Assailants...and a host of others for the teen and co-ed populations.

If you have a history of saying yes when you want to say no, if you have abuse in your background and are sick of carrying it around with you, if you just want to feel safe again...TAKE THIS CLASS.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I took my first Women's Basics class with Impact in October 2012. It changed my life. Not only did I learn physical techniques of self defense, but also I learned how to set boundaries with strangers, as well as people I know. I learned that I had a voice and I can use it without feeling guilty, or afraid that I may hurt someones feelings. I found this class helped me greatly with the anger and feelings of low self worth from years of domestic violence and relationships dominated by power and control. The most wonderful thing about this program, is that it is safe. The instructors treat you with care, respect and dignity. The support from the staff and fellow students is something that you will take home with you and remember forever. We all have the right to be safe and confident. All you have to do is make the commitment.....Impact will show you the way.

Rachel103

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I took my women's basic course in February, 2013 and I can honestly say it was a transformational experience. Not only did I get practical physical skills and opportunities to practice verbal boundary setting, but I left the course with a great community of women. It sounds corny, but this organization really changes peoples lives.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I took 3 courses (Basic, Weapons and Multiple Assailants) with Impact Bay Area a decade ago as part of healing a very traumatic past. I was in my 40's. It was life-changing.

Impact is one of the most heartful, effective blends of physical, emotional and mental training-processing I have ever experienced. Its holistic approach makes it truly spiritual. (I have an M. A. in Psychology and a decades-long spiritual path, so I have a lot of experience with all kinds of inner-focused activities.)

Amazingly, it was the first time in an outwardly "successful" life that I was ever invited to show up in all my power (which was much more than I expected) --- to learn to be willing and able to stand up for and to defend myself --- and, years later, to be able to say "NO!" with enough force that two large barking boxer dogs charging at me without their owner turned tail and ran away :-)

I spent the last 4 years in India and was/am grateful that I still carry Impact with me as body memory and in the "don't mess with me" way I walk. In the aftermath of the well-publicized Delhi gang rape, some organizations in India are starting to train women and girls in self-defense. This is so much more effective than other less-adrenalized methods I tried.

I so wish that every woman in the world could have this life-changing experience.

Amelia5

Client Served

Rating: 5

I took their basic women's self-defense class in the '90s and have taken refreshers at their fundraisers since. Plus I'm a donor. I feel much more secure in public, knowing I have skills to help protect myself from attackers or would-be attackers. Everyone should take their classes, especially all survivors of violence. Impact is very organized and well-run. Their volunteers are golden.
-A 55-year-old average woman

Client Served

Rating: 5

IMPACT should be in every city in the country and worldwide! I did their three day women's basic training in SF and had an incredible experience. I was able to create choice in my body where before only 'freeze' was an option. The instructors are amazing as are the "suits". I recommend it for everyone.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Impact changed my life. I felt physically empowered like never before. I have more confidence in my life overall, and I know that if I were ever attacked, I could fight back strongly. Impact is making women and girls safer. SO IMPORTANT!

Client Served

Rating: 4

A lot of times people only think about and acknowledge big NPOs and forget about the small struggling ones that often make a bigger impact in their community. Impact Bay Area is a small local non profit that makes a big difference to people in the Greater Bay Area. I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship and have attended multiple classes. It is nice that there is an organization that makes safety accessible to anyone and everyone. I have also been a volunteer and supporter. This organization offers helpful programs and I was relieved to realize that many of the skills I have learned are still with me; but more importantly, Impact Bay Area is a community. I know members of my class are still in touch nearly 5 years later and I think that says something.

Heather113

Client Served

Rating: 5

IMPACT Bay Area is absolutely wonderful. I have only had to use my training once in 13 years--but when I did, I automatically went into a stance I had been taught in class that had consequently been ingrained in my 'muscle memory.' I was acting on auto-pilot. Full-impact self-defense is the only way to automate your responses in a threatened situation. IMPACT Bay Area was a wonderful experience for me!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Before I took an Impact Bay Area class I was afraid all the time. After I took it I wasn't. That enabled me to complete graduate school (coming home late some nights) and become a profesional.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hands down the best safety skills I have ever received came from this program. Since taking the class I notice that I am speaking up more and it is positively affecting my work and personal life!

The instructors were professional and warm and I was never afraid of them. I know that you hear the 'full force' thing and expect some scary bootcamp type of experience but it is seriously not that at all. You learn a lot of natural body movement but before all of that you learn to use your voice and set boundaries. Would totally recommend to all of my family and friends.