Meet Live Your Dash Winner: Talley Baratka

As the founder of Impact 100 Richmond, Talley has never met a stranger.

“Talley is a dear friend and our volunteer work together is some of the most rewarding, engaging, and enlightening time I have spent on this earth. We have laughed, cried, and learned so much together. There is no one I’d rather walk into the unknown with than Talley Baratka – because she is someone who always knows her center, and being around her reminds you of yours. Talley lives her True North. Her impact on our community can easily be measured in dollars raised, but I think a more meaningful metric would be lives touched. That figure is immeasurable. Her heart does not know a stranger.” Carole Anne Lajoie, friend and Impact 100 Richmond Leadership Team Member

In 2009 community leader Talley Baratka was looking for a way to make a profound difference in the Richmond community and she knew she could not do it alone. Talley recognized the power of women giving together, so she engaged women from all walks of life, and Impact 100 Richmond was born. 

Impact 100 Richmond is a volunteer-driven, women’s philanthropy group that makes a significant difference in our community through collective giving. Their mission is to create positive change in Metro Richmond through high-impact, life-long, transformational grant making.

The group has funded at least one $100,000 transformational grant each year to a local nonprofit that has a big idea and great potential but may not have access to large-scale funds. 

Since its inception in 2009, they have awarded nearly $1.8 million in significant grants to 20 local nonprofits and $50,000 to our neighborhood catalyst grant recipients. 

Talley believes connection is what we are all hard-wired for and even did a Tedx talk about it a few years back. She lives her life with such purpose and intention – whether it is at her day job in communications, through her important work at Impact 100, or something as simple as hosting a book club to discuss the book ‘I Think You are Wrong, But I am Listening‘ to simply do what so many of us wish our elected officials and our journalists would do: listen to folks who think differently than you do. 

Impact 100 Richmond’s First Grant

She doesn’t just have plans or ideas, she makes things happen by being willing to put herself out there. She doesn’t waste time complaining or wishing the world would be different, she takes action and lives her dash with such integrity and heart that you cannot help but be inspired by her example.      

“The inception and formation of Impact100 is representative of Talley‘s powerful influence in which the greater Richmond area is a blessed benefactor. Talley used her creativity to build a forward-looking initiative that brought women together to gift significant grants to the local nonprofits in a way that specifically nudges them to think bigger and better within the framework of their current initiatives.

She is a woman “living in her moment”. And, with that, not only inspires but encourages others to do the same, whether it’s the women of Impact100, the grantees, the people the nonprofit’s serve, her dear friends, or her own children. She is leading the charge to give more in a truly authentic way.” Beth Ryan

“Talley had a vision and a network – not only that focus and that drive, but also compassion, a kind heart, and a willingness to put action behind it. Her vision really has changed Richmond forever.”

In response to local community leaders’ request for accessible funds, Impact 100 Richmond established the Neighborhood Catalyst Grant in 2018. This place-based grant is a long-term investment in one local neighborhood. Over four years, the membership funds up to $25,000 to various nonprofits that serve the selected neighborhood. These grants are intended to encourage and reward collaboration, advancement, and partnership in solving community challenges across all Impact 100 Richmond focus areas. 

To respond to pressing needs in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Catalyst Grant Committee made the unanimous decision to direct this year’s $25,000 Neighborhood Catalyst Grant to Fulton’s Neighborhood Resource Center (NRC). This unrestricted grant allows NRC to focus its operations on food security in the community, so they can work block by block to meet basic needs of its most vulnerable residents. The NRC continues to need community support.


“Talley Baratka is an awesome young lady. She’s sweet, she’s kind and intelligent. I met her in March 2019 and when I open my mouth, she listens to me. I have enjoyed working with her through the organization Impact 100. She’s very dedicated to whatever she’s doing. She’s going to stick with it and support you and help you see it through — what better title for Talley than Live your Dash. She lives her life to the fullest loving her family, loving her friends, and helping out people that she just met. She will Dash into action to do what she can. So hip hip hooray to a Phenomenal Woman.” Linda Egister Sutton, Fulton Neighborhood Advisory Committee Member

“Talley Baratka is a tireless and innovative community advocate. At a time when the needs in our communities are both deep and inequitable, Talley holds the unique ability to cut through bureaucracy and get things done. Impact 100 Richmond is simply one of the ways she lives her actionable spirit. In recent years, her work in the Fulton Community through Impact’s Catalyst Grant program has visibly lit her soul on fire. Richmond is better because Talley is here.” Michele Rhudy, friend and co-worker

Impact 100’s success as a giving circle has inspired the creation of similar local efforts targeted to other demographic groups.

“Collective giving has really caught on,” Baratka said. “I say the more the merrier. Philanthropy is a very big table. The more seats, the better.”

Talley is a senior consultant at Rhudy & Co Strategic Communications and was named the Richmond Times-Dispatch 2019 person of the year. She is truly living her dash and inspiring so many around her to do the same.

Join us Thursday, April 29 as we honor Talley, along with more amazing community members living their dash, for our annual spring luncheon.

Click HERE to purchase your Live Your Dash Luncheon tickets!

Sources: Richmond Times-Dispatch, Impcact100 Richmond