Wichita Falls women coming together to rev up new nonprofit with cash, ideas

Trish Choate | Times Record News

A new nonprofit group — Impact 100 Wichita Falls — aims to put the tool of charitable giving into the hands of local women who want to make a positive impact on their community.

“We want to bring women from across the community together, every age, every neighborhood, every ethnicity,” nonprofit President Paula Perkins said.

Women interested in learning more and meeting those already involved can attend a coffee meetup will be from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Eighth Street Coffee House.

“Individually we can each do something,” Perkins, an education specialist at Region 9 Education Service Center, said. “But collectively we can do so much more.”

The mission of the local group is to transform the Wichita Falls community through collective charitable investment, Perkins said.

“The model is simple — one woman, one gift, one vote,” she said.

The organization is looking for 100 women or more to each donate $1,000 — a tax-deductible contribution — to the nonprofit group, according to the website, www.impact100wf.org.

The gifts are pooled together to create a $100,000 “high-impact grant” to a local nonprofit organization, according to the website.

Once a year, group members vote on what nonprofit organization to award the dollars to, according to the website.

“With Impact 100 Wichita Falls, every member’s voice is equal, and each woman can be as involved as she wants to be,” Perkins said.

Perkins said group members understand $1,000 is a big commitment.

So there are options, she said. Women can pay out the amount.

The organization also welcomes matching gift opportunities from workplaces, Perkins said. And a member can be sponsored, for instance, by a spouse or parent.

The sole requirement is that Impact 100 Wichita Falls receives the full balance by the deadline, she said.

Paula Perkins

Perkins learned about the women’s collective giving approach almost 10 years ago through the work of Colleen Willoughby, founder of the Washington Women’s Foundation.

“Her passion in harnessing the power of women for grantmaking was not forgotten,” Perkins said.

Perkins began talking about it with a small group of friends.

“There was an excitement and energy about having something like this locally,” Perkins said.

Research lead to the Impact 100 giving model.

Wendy Steele of Cincinnati, Ohio, created the model in 2001, and it has since grown to more than 50 chapters across the globe, according to the website.