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  • Impact Austin

Strategic Advisory Council: FY 2022 and 2023

By Becky Austen, Co-Chair

Strategic Advisory Council, FY 2022 and 2023


Impact Austin has a long history of community engagement, particularly when we’ve faced key decisions and transformational changes. We’ve come alongside nonprofit and civic organizations, businesses, funders, philanthropists, and other thought leaders, and the outreach has taken many forms, including surveys, focus groups, workshops, and committees.


With the seismic changes that affected society at large in 2020, we began exploring a more sustained approach for engagement and feedback. At the June 2021 Annual Meeting, we announced the plan to convene a Strategic Advisory Council (SAC). We launched the SAC in September 2021, connecting with community leaders to strengthen and diversify our membership and grantmaking. Long time Impact Austin members Becky Austen and Lorene Phillips volunteered as the SAC co-chairs. We reached out to Austin’s “movers and shakers” to join the council, and twenty-eight extraordinary members stepped up to share their expertise, challenge our strategic thinking, and make recommendations to the Strategic Planning Committee and Board of Directors. Two-thirds of the council members were BIPOC, with representation from nonprofit and community organizations, academia, businesses, chambers of commerce and more.


FY 2022-2023 Strategic Advisory Co-Chairs Becky Austen (left) and Lorene Phillips (right)


Over the next eighteen months, the SAC met five times and dove deep on topics centered around economic empowerment, race equity, capacity building, and funding. Members formulated recommendations on trust-based philanthropy, DEIB, and grantmaking. We explored how Impact Austin can leverage its strengths, collaborate with other funders, and address existing and new opportunities and gaps in Central Texas. Feedback was shared with Impact Austin leaders and Board members to inform the strategic planning process.


We took stock of the SAC over the past few months, as the members and co-chairs were approaching the end of their two-year terms. We determined that the SAC was a great source of insight for Impact Austin, and an ideal forum for candid conversations on strategic matters. Fourteen members agreed to extend their terms for another year, and Susan Palombo and Nancy Vera came on as the new co-chairs. Planning is under way for SAC meetings this fall and next spring, with close alignment to the strategic plan and Board priorities.


Advisory councils are not new to nonprofits, but we haven’t seen them leveraged as much in the collective giving arena. We’re honored to share our learnings in a session at the Philanos PowerUp! Conference in Baltimore in November 2023.


We’re so grateful to the council members who have contributed to strengthening Impact Austin and shaping its future. We’re excited to see the next wave of great ideas and outcomes from the SAC in the months ahead!


STRATEGIC ADVISORY COUNCIL - Original Cohort and Members continuing in FY 2024


Paulina Artieda The New Philanthropists


Courtney Bailey Leadership Austin


Rebecca Birch Susan G. Komen®


Sylvia Butanda Indeed Social Impact Programs :& Partnerships


Vanessa Davila Helping Hand Home


Chelsea Dean-Martinez Girls Empowerment Network


Estevan Delgado Austin Community Foundation


Chelsea Elliott half Helen Foundation


Johanna Moya Fábregas Con Mi MADRE


Fang Fang Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce


Ana-Cristina González Mobile Loaves & Fishes


Woody Harrison Woody Harrison Films


Patricia Hayes PVH Consulting Group LLC


Carolyn Krawczyk Austin PBS


Dan Leal Seedling


Pauline Lewis Community Leader


Diana Maldonado Maldonado Strategies


Lynelle McKay Community Leader


Irina Meza Creative Reaction Lab


Haydee Moreno JUST Community


Dr. Rosalind Oliphant Sadler Means YWLA


Karen Ranus Community Leader


Lourdes Rodríguez David Rockefeller Fund


Denise Shannon Philanthropy Consultant


Ricki Wax Google


Nakeenya Wilson Community Leader





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