HISTORY OF WOMEN'S IMPACT NETWORK
OF NEW HANOVER COUNTY (WIN)
WIN was created in 2011 as a joint initiative by the New Hanover County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the North Carolina Community Foundation. The purpose was to give women an opportunity to join together to increase the impact of their charitable giving and to learn more about the organizations addressing our community’s most pressing needs.
Members identified four areas of concern – education, health care, environment, and arts and culture – and they decided to award grants in a different category each year. By having this rotating grant focus, WIN members could learn more about needs in each category, as well as have a broader impact.
WIN members could participate as much or as little as they wanted provided they made their yearly financial commitment. WIN also became an endeavor in the education of its members in the thought and practice of philanthropy in general. All administrative, financial and grant making processes were coordinated through the North Carolina Community Foundation.
In 2012, the forty founding members of the Women’s Impact Network made their first grant of $20,000 to the Cape Fear Guardian ad Litem Association.
Donis Smith was WIN’s first chair, followed by Terry Richman, Syble Solomon and Linda Brown.
In 2017, it was mutually decided that WIN would explore independence from the North Carolina Community Foundation. In August 2018, WIN received its 501(c)(3) designation from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. In November 2018, WIN elected its first Officers and Board of Directors as an independent nonprofit organization.
So far, WIN has donated more than $250,000 in grants from $1000 to $50,000, to more than a dozen community organizations in New Hanover County.