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WIP Spotlight: Q&A with Communications Vice Chair Chardonnay Ismail

Meet Chardonnay Ismail, a Client Engagement Manager at Chernoff Newman, where she manages projects and cultivates day-to-day relationships with clients and agency teams. But beyond her professional prowess, Chardonnay is making a significant impact as a dedicated supporter of Women in Philanthropy (WIP). 

Read this month's Q&A with WIP's Communications Vice Chair to discover the driving force behind Chardonnay's commitment to philanthropy and the inspiring lessons she has learned along the way.

What initially drew you to support Women in Philanthropy, and what aspects of the organization's mission resonate with you the most? 
I first heard about Women in Philanthropy through a workplace giving campaign in 2022. It’s my dream to someday be a philanthropist. WIP promotes the idea that every woman can be a philanthropist, and I love that no matter where you are in your philanthropy journey, you can make a difference. And knowing that WIP’s efforts are to support women and children right here in the Midlands solidified my decision to get involved.

How has your involvement with women in philanthropy influenced your perspective on philanthropy as a whole? 
Growing up, I’d always thought of philanthropy as donating a huge sum of money to a cause. And while that can be true, as I’ve gotten older, I realize it’s much more than that. It’s about giving your time and passion to a cause that is greater than you. We’re hosting a community baby shower this spring that will provide resources to expectant mothers who may not have received them otherwise. That is what philanthropy is all about. And being part of a group of women who are passionate about serving their community makes me even more excited about it.

What advice would you give to individuals who are considering becoming WIP donors? 
Do it. It’s so rewarding. Not only do you get to make a difference in our community through your donation and voluntarism—you get to meet and learn from some incredible women along the way.

What is your favorite Women in Philanthropy event and why?
I absolutely love Power of the Purse because it brings so many different people within our community together to raise money for women and children. This event is a true testament to the United Way of the Midlands’ guarantee of good and positive change. 

Chardonnay is a shining example of how individual contributions can collectively create a ripple effect of good and positive change in the Midlands community. Her story encourages others to join the cause, embodying the belief that, indeed, every woman can be a philanthropist.

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