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Doing. Being. Leading.

Charlotte – already on the map as one of the fastest-growing cities and home to one of the most successful women’s collective giving groups – was in the spotlight in October 2015.

That’s when WIF hosted the fifth annual national Women’s Collective Giving Network National Leadership Forum. WCGN represents 44 collective giving groups with a combined membership of 10,000 women in 23 states and grants totaling almost $70 million.

A quick shout-out to co-chairs, Dianne Bailey and Sonja Nichols, whose warmth, energy and leadership was felt throughout the event.

Another round of thanks to the Charlotte Conference committee: Natalie Allen, Judy Allison, Mary Lou Babb, Robin Branstrom, Paula Broadwell, Madelyn Caple, Jill Dinwiddie, Lynne Fairbanks, Toni Freeman, Pearlynn Houck, Mary Gallivan, Leigh Goodwyn, Pam Johnson, Jessica Klasinski, Amy Lovett, Carolyn Meade, Sarah Shifflet, Logan Stewart, Claire Tate, Mary Sherrill Ware, Carla Willis and Jennifer Winstel.

They were joined in planning by the WCGN Board, nine leaders from across the country. Merrill Lynch (Bank of America) and Grant Thornton served as conference sponsors. 130 members of Women’s Impact Fund attended, including 80 who volunteered as greeters or speakers, who coordinated press and photography or who served in other capacities. The bright scarves of conference volunteers were everywhere in evidence.

Darla Moore, founder and chair of the Palmetto Institute, a nonprofit think tank, opened the conference in a big way on Thursday, October 15th. Pam Johnson and Laura Allen taught the out-of-towners to “talk Southern” at Friday morning’s breakfast; we heard a lot of “all ya’ll” from the speakers who followed them on Friday and Saturday and their “translations” of Southern phrases were featured in the Charlotte Observer’s Morning Five.

Friday’s lunch presentation, facilitated by Dianne Bailey, featured founders of three international nonprofits: Colleen Willoughby, Washington Women’s Foundation in Seattle; Nancy Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen; and Charlotte’s own Molly Barker, founder of Girls on the Run International and her new venture, The Red Boot Coalition.

Throughout the conference attendees could choose sessions along six tracks:

  • education on issues, such as human trafficking
  • being, including a session on working simply
  • strategies for building membership
  • using technology, including social media and tools for shared content and communications
  • grantmaking, such as grant assessment and impact
  • sustainability, including board governance and strategic planning

WCGN Photo Gallery

For more media coverage of the 2015 WCGN National Leadership Forum:



Non Profit News Roundup:

Charlotte Observer:

Charlotte Five:

Charlotte Agenda:

Charlotte Biz Journal:

Society Charlotte:

Huffington Post Collective Giving Series:

Fayetteville Observer:

Muck Rack:

Women’s eNews: