CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 10, 2017) – Women’s Impact Fund, a Charlotte-based, collective-giving organization with more than 450 female members, granted five local nonprofits a combined $440,000. This brings the total number of grants given by the organization to 64 and a collective contribution of more than $5 million to address critical needs in the community.

Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation, Matthews Free Medical Clinic, ourBRIDGE for KIDS, Supportive Housing Communities and WINGS for Kids, Inc., were recognized as this year’s grant recipients during the organization’s annual meeting May 9.

The organization’s grant committee reviewed the more than 130 entries received last fall in a competitive application process, and then evaluated the potential grantees in an extensive process to narrow down to ten finalists. The five grant recipients were selected from the finalists through ballot voting by the full membership.

The grants were announced during the group’s May 9 annual meeting held at the Foundation For The Carolinas in uptown Charlotte. Wells Fargo was again the presenting sponsor of the event.

“The work of these five nonprofits combined with our grant dollars is what can really make a difference and move the needle in our community,” said Anne Essaye, outgoing Board Chair. “There is still a lot to be done as demonstrated by what occurred in our community this past year and the outcomes of the Opportunity Task Force. Women’s Impact Fund is committed to being a part of the solution through our collective giving.”

During the annual meeting, members also participated in the “sWIFt gift,” a flash philanthropy award of $5,000 to one of the 2017 grant finalists not awarded a full grant. Members took part in a text message vote that selected Heart Math Tutoring as the recipient of the sWIFt gift. The unrestricted funds can be used as needed by the organization.

Together with its grant recipients, Women’s Impact Fund has created powerful change in Mecklenburg County and has emerged as one of the largest women’s collective giving groups in the country.

2017 Women’s Impact Fund Grant Recipients

  • Arts & Culture grant recipient: ourBRIDGE for KIDS received $100,000 to support the “After School Creative Arts Learning Program” which incorporates special arts initiatives and cultural experiences into summer language programs for immigrant and refugee children. The use of arts is an important tool to further learning and address language barriers.
  • Education grant recipient: WINGS for Kids, Inc., received $100,000 to advance their social-emotional education programs which support K-5 students by providing daily after-school mentoring and instruction in select Title I schools. The organization relies on part-time staff from local universities and colleges who receive extensive training.
  • Environment grant recipient: Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation received $100,000 to expand its technical program staff in order to enhance the ability to patrol waterways, investigate reports of pollution and expand education programs in area elementary schools. Increased staff will also support advocacy projects for local and state policy matters.
  • Health grant recipient: Matthews Free Medical Clinic received $80,000 to support its mission of providing free, quality healthcare to low-income and uninsured residents. The grant will provide needed resources to enhance the clinic’s efficiency and increase the number of patients served.
  • Human Services grant recipient: Supportive Housing Communities received $60,000 to provide housing and support for men, women and families, especially veterans and those with mental illness. The program uses an approach that prioritizes finding permanent housing quickly followed by additional services as needed.

Also during the annual meeting, Deborah Majewski with Bank of America was elected by the membership to chair the Women’s Impact Fund Board of Directors for the 2017-2018 year.

About Women’s Impact Fund

Since 2003, Women’s Impact Fund has amplified the significant role women play in philanthropy. Its mission is to maximize women’s leadership in philanthropy by engaging and educating members, increasing charitable contributions and strengthening communities through the impact of collective giving. With over 450 members, the organization has emerged as one of the largest women’s collective giving groups in the country and continues to create powerful change within Mecklenburg County. To date, Women’s Impact Fund has made 64 grants totaling over $5 million. For more information, visit, and follow on Facebook and Twitter.

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To view images from the event: Photo Album