by Suzan Becker
Goodbye doesn’t have to be forever! Women’s Impact Fund (WIF) loves it when members come back after a break or letting their membership lapse. This past year, there have been at least six women who have rejoined after some time away from the organization. Some of their stories might make you smile or surprise you, but all are a testament to the strength and enduring importance of what WIF is, does and who we are.
Deborah Bosley answered her phone several months ago to hear Anne Essaye, our 2016-2017 Board Chair, inviting her to lunch. Deborah had been away from WIF for about five years.
“I wanted to move my philanthropic dollars to something else and I was in the midst of retiring; I had to reassess my financial commitments,” Deborah said. As a result, when she finished her five-year commitment to the organization, she just didn’t sign back up.
Anne’s phone invitation was to a WIF gathering. Deborah has always respected the organization. She likes to give back, and she likes the convenience of writing one check that gets put into a pool of money.
“It becomes substantial money, so it makes me feel a part of something much bigger than myself.” Deborah said yes to the lunch and after the event, when Anne asked her to rejoin, the answer was “Yes!” Deborah will be working on the Communications Committee next year.
Deborah noted, “Frankly, that the (Board Chair) of WIF would pick up the phone and invite me was huge!”
Anne Predieri left WIF for three years. It was a straightforward breakup as she moved to New York for work. When she moved back to Charlotte, however, one of the first things she did was send a check to WIF. From her perspective, it was a no-brainer. She loves the diversity of age and experience in the group. And she loves the flexibility of what WIF offers.
“I love the ability to be actively involved with a committee or just leverage my money to drive much greater impact,” said Anne.
As an attorney, Megan Sadler, had been a member of WIF for just one year before she realized she needed to step away. Her work/volunteer balance was out of whack. She wanted to be in WIF as a doer but couldn’t.
“I was looking not just for philanthropy but other aspects [of membership] as well. I wanted to be engaged, involved and learn more about charities and causes,” said Megan. Her professional obligations had other ideas. “I got overwhelmed with a case I was working on, and I drew back from a lot of involvement at the time.”
Five years later, Megan was having lunch with fellow attorney and WIF member Abbie Baynes when the conversation turned to WIF.
“Abbie was telling me about a couple of WIF committees she’d been involved in and that’s how WIF got back on my radar. She specifically recruited me for her committee,” Megan said. As one of the newest members of the Community Impact Committee, she will join the team following up with WIF grant recipients to check on their progress and report on their success.
“I like the fact that we provide the grant but don’t just disappear,” Sadler said.
So, speaking of disappearing, do YOU know anyone who’s left WIF? If so, what are you doing for lunch next week?