Linda Dipert, Founding Member
After living in Arlington over thirty years and watching it grow, develop, redevelop, and reach the tipping point that exists today I am proud to say that I live in Arlington, Texas. Our family and many, many other families and individuals have served Arlington and our community with untold hours and collectively millions of dollars to make this a great place to live and raise our families. And as good as it is, we all know it can be better.
During those past thirty plus years, I have witnessed many of the 501(c)3's recruit mostly men for their boards to handle the finances and decision making. But at home, I knew the women were making many of the family decisions and most of the time they were the CFO as well. I also knew from my association with The Junior League of Arlington, The Arlington Woman's Club, and other organizations that there were very capable women in this community - both intellectually and financially.
The potential of women's capacity and collective contribution is enormous. In the past 20 years, national statistics show that women's wealth has grown dramatically, due in large part to greater independence, increased education, and better employment opportunities.
After reading some interesting statistics regarding the transfer of billions of dollars into the hands of women Baby Boomers who are outliving their husbands and other male relatives, I wondered if other women felt as I did. In full disclosure, I have gotten older and have less time to put my "boots on the ground." But, I am no less passionate about where I live. I know that the needs of community building are continuous and growing. This includes social services, the arts, parks and recreation, health care, and the environment. I am also one of those Baby Boomers who have acquired some wealth from the passing of family. These situational events made me feel as though I was in a position to step up to the plate.
A group of six women met for lunch to discuss the idea of pooling our giving to make a bigger impact. We agreed that our giving circle had to meet three criteria: to make an impact, to contribute to a family legacy, and to have fun in the process. We walked away from lunch thumbs up. For the next year we met with advisors to lay the ground work, including a name that reflected our mission, Women INSPIRING Philanthropy. We wanted to inspire ourselves, each other, other women, and the community as a whole, to give back, invest, be engaged, and reap the rewards. All while learning, making new friends, and again, having fun. The first thing we learned was that it was not going to be as easy as we had thought. It involved many meetings to be sure our mission connected with the needs of our community, that our grant guidelines were reasonable and complete, and that each member would be proud of the group decision.
One year after that initial luncheon we hosted our first event. We left with commitments from twenty members. That gave us the encouragement we needed. We knew we were on the right track. Six months later we made our first grant of $50,000. Our sights were set and our direction had taken form. We are still a young, fluid, and evolving organization and we welcome and encourage you to join us.
It's not about charity it's about making a difference. It's about making our community a better place. It's not about service being good for the soul. It is more fundamental, almost primal. It's what the species instinctively wants to do. To perpetuate itself by leaving something behind, to make a mark that lasts, to make ourselves count.
As of 2019, we have invested over $600,000 in our community, focusing on culture, education, environment, family and health and wellness.
The funds of Women Inspiring Philanthropy are held and invested by the Community Foundation of North Texas which entitles all investments to be 100% tax deductible.