Wilmington's Impact Club strives for huge impact in the community
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A new club in Wilmington with a goal of making a big impact on the city hosted its first event Monday night.
The Impact Club "turns small donations into huge impacts," according to the club's co-founder, Chris Spivey.
Spivey said there are people in the community who want to make a difference, but may not have the money to do so. He said many of these people think their small donation won't make a huge difference compared to a large donation that they can't afford to give.
The club aims to address this by using a crowdfunding approach. Club members commit to writing four $100 checks per year. That money will then pour into the community, and it adds up quickly, Spivey said.
Members nominate up to three area charities each, and all nominations are put into a box. Three are drawn at random. Charities can come from New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties.
Those three charities are invited to the club's meeting, and give a five-minute presentation stating why they think their charity should get the club's donations. Members vote for the one they think will make the biggest impact, and that charity gets all of the donations from that meeting.
Members write the checks at the meetings.
"They're not making the check out to Impact Club. They're making their check out directly to the winning charity so they know directly where it's going, and by hearing the local charity's story at the meeting, they know what that charity does," Spivey said
Spivey launched the Wilmington branch of the national club on Aug. 29 through a Facebook post, and he said he wasn’t sure it would take off.
"I was really nervous about it, quite stressful and I was just worried I was going to let the community down and not be able to inspire people to see the vision of what impact club could be and what we could do for the community," he said.
The opposite happened. Less than a month after that Facebook post, the club has 131 members, with more calling to register regularly.
"I've had people message me on Facebook, call me, email me, and say this is something that they've been waiting for a long time, that they've always want to be a part of something that really impacted the community, but because of their situation or scenario, they felt like they really couldn't contribute that much," Spivey said. "So this is something that a lot of people are really connecting with."
According to Spivey, who has lived in Wilmington his whole life, the overwhelming response from the community confirms the character of people who live here.
"There are a lot of people in this community that care about the people in this community and that want to help, and I think Impact Club Wilmington is going to show what it looks like when a community comes together to help others," he said.
One club member said he can see the number of people wanting to help grow even larger.
"I want to see 200, 300 members," Kevin Gray said. "I want to see us have to be in an auditorium. I want to see the numbers grow. I want to see the impact grow."
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