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Rebecca's Musings: Making an Impact Outside of Impact Austin

Every so often, we check in with our founder, Rebecca Powers.  Rebecca has expanded her vision and activities to a national level, but continues to be an amazing resource for Impact Austin.  Here are her thoughts as we near the close of our membership season and the beginning of our grants process.

Impact Austin does very important work—not just in what it contributes to the community financially, but also as an educator of women as it opens their eyes to new ways of making an impact outside of their Impact Austin experience. 

I know this is true because of all the amazing women who have shared their stories with me over the years.

This month, my widowed mother moved from Richmond, VA, to Austin.  It’s the first time in 27 years that we have lived in the same city.  She brings laughter, sunshine, plenty of advice and good old fashioned motherly love.  Now we’ll get to spend holidays together without traveling, and she’ll treat us to her signature chicken and dumplings and homemade confections. 

More importantly, Mom is going to join us on our family’s philanthropic journey, which has expanded as a result of Impact Austin’s influence on all of us.  I’ve always thought it would be really cool for our family to participate in some form of philanthropy together.  I’ve also believed that the opportunity would surface just when it should.  And, it literally fell into my lap in late September. 

The Austin chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals hosts Philanthropy Day each year—a luncheon that honors philanthropists in Central Texas.  This is the 25th anniversary, and they wanted to start a new tradition by giving the Outstanding Philanthropic Youth Award recipient a scholarship.  When I read about it, I knew in an instant that this was a perfect fit for the Powers family.  Our children, Brad and Claire, learned a lot about giving back as they observed the growth of Impact Austin. 

They participated by investing their own money to help us offset operating costs in the early days.  Now, they give to causes that are personally meaningful to them.  My mother asked if she could contribute to the scholarship, too—be still my heart!  So, this will be a three-generation gift—a first for the Powers/Hancock family.  And, we will do it for five years.

I’d love to hear from you about your continuing philanthropic journey and how Impact Austin has played a positive role in that.  Let’s get together over a cup of coffee and share our stories.  There is so much we can learn from each other!    


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