“We want to accelerate the rate of change. WIN members are learning about philanthropy and sustainable change. We want to become even more effective with our grant making.”
-Linda Brown, President Emeritus of Women's Impact Network
WIN's nine years of grant making has clarified the project elements that accelerate the change we seek. By articulating those elements, we hope to encourage submissions that align with WIN's commitment to IMPACT.
Investment Thinking: Balancing the emotional heart with the analytic head with questions about the philanthropic organization's clarity, coherence, capability, capacity, and commitment to continuous improvement.
- WIN favors projects from philanthropic organizations with a primary commitment to the Annual Area of Giving in order to leverage their experience and skills; however, compelling projects from philanthropic organizations that are entering the Area of Giving will be considered.
- WIN seeks projects that both improve the capacity and knowledge of the philanthropic organization and address a clearly defined need within its target population.
Methodical Measuring: Asking hard questions of those requesting funds and using metrics to evaluate their performance.
- WIN expects the philanthropic organization to detail specifically how and when they plan to have impact in their community and to support those statements with related data and evidence of past successes
- WIN recognizes that some projects profoundly touch a few lives and others affect a larger population in broader ways. Specific data, case studies, and client testimonials are tools a philanthropic organization can use to describe the path it has chosen for the project submitted and why.
Successful Failing: Demonstrating willingness to try new ideas and the ability to learn and adapt.
- WIN favors projects that tackle complex problems: demonstrating creativity and innovation and the willingness to try new approaches and the ability to learn and adapt.
- WIN intends to stimulate entrepreneurial thinking among philanthropic organizations in New Hanover County. We encourage philanthropic organizations of all sizes to present fresh ideas that test a new approach or an approach new to our local area.
Community Power: Rooting philanthropic organizations in the communities they serve produces effective work
- WIN was established to serve New Hanover County. We encourage projects that define needs relevant to specific parts of the county or specific populations within the county who have needs not well addressed. The better WIN understands its community, the stronger its ability to make IMPACT
- WIN greatly respects philanthropic organizations that include in their governing boards individuals rooted in the communities they serve.
Strategic Planning: Approaching projects from multiple angles that recognize the complexity and interwoven elements of the problems they intend to solve
- WIN recognizes that outcomes may not always be achieved immediately. We do expect that the philanthropic organization’s strategic plan articulates clearly the impact it intends to achieve, describes concretely how the project submitted will advance the stated goals, and how and when that impact will be measured.
Active Collaboration: Conceiving ways of bringing implementers and donors together to achieve bigger goals than standard partnerships
- WIN discourages duplication of existing services, but welcomes clear and compelling evidence on how the project planned is unique from others that provide similar service. In a community of many philanthropic organizations, WIN encourages collaboration.
Forward Looking: Reflecting the philanthropic organization’s willingness to remain open to change as cultural and technological shifts impact the community and its needs
- WIN seeks to accelerate change in our community; therefore, we look for projects that will be integrated sustainably into the philanthropic organization’s future strategy.
Together these elements describe 'performance philanthropy'. They challenge the philanthropic organizations in our community as they design new projects. This vision of IMPACT also challenges our own Membership to: