Exploring WIF Values: Strategic Impact

By Karen KnobleKaren Knoble

Strategic Impact: We believe in achieving strategic impact by harnessing the power of our collective intellectual and financial resources and by collaborating with other community organizations. We believe our organization should be part of the long-term solutions for our community.

I serve on the boards of several organizations. While these experiences are meaningful, I know I can effect little change through them due to limitations in my time, knowledge and financial support, and by the defined scope of these non-profits.

When I joined Women’s Impact Fund, I was excited to become a part of a collective giving group.  I felt the energy, and I saw the impact of this community of philanthropists.  As a member, the collective giving power of Women’s Impact Fund enables me to serve at a higher level of philanthropy and make targeted investments across our community.

I have served on several grant committees, and I am currently a Board member.  I have learned about serious issues that face Charlotte-Mecklenburg and its residents.  To me, achieving strategic impact is about using our collective understanding and our shared resources to promote innovative and inspirational solutions to these problems.

In 2015, Women’s Impact Fund put into place an internal strategy that will enable us to reach our fullest collective potential by more fully valuing and utilizing the talents of our members. Two specific goals are to:

  • Establish Women’s Impact Fund as an organization that develops and positions women to become philanthropic leaders, non-profit leaders, and community leaders.
  • Position WIF for BOLD long-term leadership on community issues.

To accomplish these, we are focusing on membership engagement so we continue to attract women who are passionate problems-solvers and can challenge the status quo. We are developing more intentional member education. We are working toward long-term financial sustainability, and we are leveraging our strong grant-making process to become more creative philanthropists, both individually and as a collective.

When I look at the membership of Women’s Impact Fund, I see a group of unusually intelligent, educated, passionate and talented women.  I want our Charlotte community to benefit directly from their talents and skills, as they become community and non-profit leaders.  I know that Women’s Impact Fund has the potential to be a thought leader in our community whereby our members boldly take what they learn about philanthropy through Women’s Impact Fund and work towards long-term solutions.

The process of strategic investment in our community does not end when we award one of our grants to an organization. Our members also invest back into the community by becoming involved with individual non-profit organizations, possibly even some of our grant recipients. They give their talent, passion and network that they cultivate through Women’s Impact Fund.

It is by recognizing the strategic value of individual and collective contributions – and fostering these among our individual members – that Women’s Impact Fund can have the boldest strategic impact on our community.