awe /ô/noun wondering reverence tinged with fear inspired by the sublime
Hi! I’m Lis Williams, the Founder of AWE Partners, LLC, a social impact advisory firm that educates female entrepreneurs and executives on how to bake mission into their life and business for more passion, purpose, and profit!
When you imagine a better world — what does it look like?
If you could ensure that sharing your time, talent, and treasure
would make a difference what would you do first?
If you could incorporate your giving goals into your business mission
what would that mean for you, your team members, and your customers?
As a heart-centered, mission-driven businesswoman you want to make a difference in the world. You want to use your gifts and talents to ease the pain of those who suffer. You want to make the world a better place for generations to come. You want to use the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired to assist those who are working in the trenches to find solutions to society’s greatest challenges.
But you’re not interested in aligning yourself and your business with an organization that’s doing just good work.
You want great work!
You know what it takes to run a successful business and you want to see the same approach with the organizations you support. In fact, it’s critical that your philanthropy is representative of the high quality to which you aspire.
But change seems almost impossible to effect. There are so many important issues and organizations to support. How do you know what’s yours to do and where your efforts will be most impactful?
You take small steps but never see the results. Your giving is a mish-mosh of causes and organizations that changes from year to year. You wonder if your donation is even getting to the people and problems it’s meant to help.
I used to feel that way, too. I wasn’t clear on my purpose, what I had to offer, and who I should align myself with. I didn’t know if I was supporting solutions or just taking a band-aid approach to social impact.
And the more research I did, the more overwhelmed I became. I was stuck in a place of frustration and inaction.
I knew I wanted to give, shop, and invest – to make a difference. I knew there was a deeper, richer way to live but I wasn’t sure how to get there.
So I decided to create an approach to giving that was more intentional and strategic. One that incorporated both the inner and outer work necessary to be meaningful and yet effective.
An approach that leads to AWE-thentic Impact – your highest purpose and greatest good.
The life you were meant to live.
And now I want to teach you how to get there saving you time, money, and frustration.
Learn more about our on-line course Impact from the Inside Out
My path to AWE-thentic Impact has been anything but direct. After graduating from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana with a degree in Finance, I took a job in IT Consulting with Andersen Consulting. There I quickly learned that technology was not my thing. So I made a career switch into corporate lending at Continental Bank. I loved working with numbers and people, but I loathed the corporate environment. Hierarchy, bureaucracy, and kissing ass just wasn’t my gig.
At the time, I was also pursuing my MBA in the evenings at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. So in addition to studying finance, I decided to take classes in entrepreneurship and management of non-profit organizations.
Once I finished my MBA, I launched my first start-up that never got off the ground. I learned that starting a business is really challenging, but working for myself was fantastic. So I continued to work with other entrepreneurial organizations and finally landed at a non-profit organization called the Chicagoland Enterprise Center, which provided pro bono consulting services to start-ups. I loved the work.
But, alas, time was passing. I became pregnant with my first child, my husband was offered a position in Charlotte, NC, and I decided to leave my job and test out the world of the stay-at-home mom.
Honestly, it was the most fulfilling thing I had ever experienced. So rather than rush back to work, I stayed home and raised my two boys.
When it was time to step back into the work world I was drawn to the non-profit sector. But after volunteering, serving on boards, and doing some pro bono strategy work, I was disenchanted with what I saw.
There were so many organizations with great missions and good-hearted people, but our social challenges just seemed to be getting worse and worse. I didn’t want to spin my wheels on band-aid approaches. I wanted to help find solutions.
So after returning to Chicago, I headed back to the Kellogg Center for Nonprofit Management to learn what I could about what was working. There I was introduced to a concept called “outcomes measurement”. Non-profit organizations were now being asked to prove their effectiveness and I loved this idea. I could transfer my credit analysis skills in the for-profit sector to the non-profit sector and make a real impact!
I spent a year researching the topic only to discover that for non-profits to adopt the idea of “outcomes measurement” funders would need to require it. So we first needed to educate funders on why this is important.
And the idea for
AWE Partners was born.
Here’s what I know. The problems are numerous, but solutions exist. And, together, if we focus on solutions and drive funding to the organizations that are most effective in implementing those solutions, we will effect real and lasting change.
We CAN create the better world we know is possible. And we can start now. But we need your help!
- Feel confused and overwhelmed by the giving process
- Don’t know where to begin
- Aren’t sure where to find the information you need
- Want to save time and money
Let me share a more intentional, hands-on, impact-oriented approach to social impact that allows you to:
- Establish deeper connections to the causes you care about
- Identify the most effective organizations to support
- Use evidence-based strategies to effect change
- Become more engaged with the people you serve
- Attract loyal team members and clients and include them in your give back
- Use your gifts and talents to change the world
Join me for a free 30-minute impact coaching session to learn how we can work together to take you from…
- Overwhelm to Impact
- Confusion to Clarity
- Uncertainty to Unstoppable
- Inaction to Infinite Possibilities
The world needs your unique gifts, talents, skills, knowledge, experiences, and wisdom. I would love to guide you on your journey to AWE-thentic Impact!
Learn more about our on-line course Impact from the Inside Out
The AWE Community is a non-partisan, inter-faith, global community of women committed to social impact. Together, we seek to discover meaning in life through service to the Universe. By embracing our unique gifts and talents, honing them and sharing with others, we live out our soul’s calling in solidarity with all of humanity.
Light the Dark
Heal the World
Experience the AWE & Wonder of a Life Well Lived!
“Your life purpose is to make your unique impact on the ongoing creation and evolution of the Universe beginning with your own growth and transformation.”
– Elisabeth A. Williams
Join the “Movement toward Meaning” and together let’s create the better world we know is possible!”
Join the AWE Community
Elisabeth A. Williams is the Founder and CEO of AWE Partners, LLC, a boutique social impact advisory firm that educates women on how to give, shop, and invest for impact from a place of authenticity. Lis holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BS in Finance from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.