by David Presley
During United Way Wordwide’s annual Community Leaders Conference, close to 100 people attended the presentation “Developing Women’s Leadership Councils to Drive Impact and Fundraising.” Taylor Foss, Chair of the Women's Leadership Council (WLC) of Asheville and Buncombe County certainly would be the one to ask, because in just one year, Asheville’s WLC more than tripled their members, bringing the total to 163 women. This group of women raised $253,187 in Community Investment Fund Support and has given hundreds of hours of volunteer time.
In her presentation, Foss talked about how the WLC in Asheville has used United Way’s Middle School Success initiative as a core project for its members. The initiative works to create success-ready 9th graders.
Foss went on to explain some key factors that will help a WLC succeed. Specifically she mentioned:
- Establish a giving component
- Adopt a "signature issue" to improve in areas of education, financial stability or health
- Offer members year-round engagement opportunities
Currently there are over 55,000 passionate women across the country who are all dedicated to improving 143 communities by giving, advocating, and volunteering through their local councils. These WLCs are responsible for raising over $1 billion in just twelve years.
For the entire month of July, UNC Asheville is partnering with United Way to put on a showcase of art from local and regional middle school students.
Taylor Foss is Mission Health’s Senior Vice President of Organizational Transformation, where she oversees human resources, marketing, enterprise risk, innovation, and strategic growth and business development. Foss currently serves on the National Women’s Leadership Council Board for the United Way of America, where she is Chair of the Leadership Committee. She is a member of the United Way Board for Asheville, Buncombe County, and she previously served as the Cahir of the Women’s Leadership Council for the United Way of Maryland. Foss received her B.A. at Purdue University, and earned her Master’s Degree in Organizational Consulting and Executive Coaching from the University of Pennsylvania.