Walnut Cove Members Group Raises Funds, Impacts Community

Walnut Cove Members Group Raises Funds, Impacts Community

MANNA FoodBank Volunteers

The Cliffs at Walnut Cove is a community of like-minded property owners, many of whom deeply value nonprofit work. Founded in 2007 by Kevin O’Connor, the Walnut Cove Members Association (WCMA) is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit made up entirely of Cliffs property owners. The group raises money through member dues, donations and its annual “Weekend of Giving.” Each year these funds are distributed to a variety of local charitable organizations chosen by the members. “One aspect that differentiates us is that we only give grants to organizations in which our members are actively involved,” says Karen Spacek, WCMA board chair. “It’s more than writing a check.”

Since it was founded, WCMA has awarded more than 300 grants totaling over $1,125,000. Last year’s grant recipients included Homeward Bound of WNC, MANNA FoodBank, the YWCA and Pisgah Legal Services. “We have worked with WCMA since 2009,” says Ally Donlan Wilson, director of development for Pisgah Legal Services. “It is a unique partnership where the WCMA wants to give financially, but they also lend their physical support. We have great volunteer relationships with many WCMA members, several of whom serve on our board and various committees.”

The WCMA currently has more than 300 members and this year’s “Weekend of Giving” was so successful that the organization is poised to provide more than $370,000 in grants for 2019. “Our focus is really on how much we give out to the community,” says Spacek, “not how much we raise. That is the true measure of our success—how many individuals we can impact.”

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