A Letter from Board Chair Anne Essaye

July, 2016


Anne Essaye, 2016-2017 Board Chair

Dear WIF members,

I am energized, awed, and humbled by the opportunity to serve as chair of the Women’s Impact Fund. I am energized by the chance to help carry out the vision of our strategic plan. I am awed by the power of our collective-giving model to address critical needs in our own backyard and to create a pipeline of women who are knowledgeable philanthropists and civic leaders.  I also am humbled by the hard and important work of the nonprofits we have funded over the past 12 years.  This is a great place to start!

A key goal in our strategic plan is to position the Women’s Impact Fund as a bold leader on community issues. The Board has had several discussions about what this means. In the upcoming year, it means a few things:

Long-term impact study: We have invested in a long-term study of the impact of our grants. UNC Charlotte is conducting the study on how the $4 million in grant awards we have made over the years may have helped move the dial on key community issues. The study will help us understand the big picture impact of our grants.

Grants process: We have a grants task force that is seeking to build on our strong grants process by finding ways to be more innovative and have greater impact in our community.  The UNC Charlotte impact study includes finding out from our grantees what emerging issues and critical needs they see on the horizon.  Their insights will help inform our grants process going forward.

New “co-work” space: The Women’s Impact Fund is moving to C3 Lab located in SouthEnd, which is one of the new “co-work” spaces. Co-working is a fresh and collaborative work environment.

Being brave, not perfect: For me personally, I plan to focus on being brave, not perfect.  In my mind, that is bold leadership. My hope is that you will do the same.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas about the upcoming year with me!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for being a member of the Women’s Impact Fund.

All the best,

Anne Essaye
Board Chair, 2016-2017