Giving Circles Network
Why a Giving Circle? The simple reason is to
pool donations with friends in an enjoyable social setting in order to
engage in the decision-making about where your money goes and to have a greater impact
in your community -- whether at the local, regional, national or
international level. In this way,
Giving Circles enable participants to make collective funding
decisions and become more involved in the giving process than by
simply writing a check to a favorite charity, all while having fun
doing it. By donating time and/or money through their Giving
Circle of choice, participants find that they have a deeper and
better giving experience and -- because they are involved in the
decision-making -- feel that they achieve more meaningful giving.
The Facts About Giving Circles: As of the last known formal survey of Giving Circles in 2006, there were 400 catalogued Giving Circles in 44 states and the District of Columbia. Approximately 40% (160) of them surveyed have alone raised $88 million since their inception (most since the year 2000) and granted almost $65 million to fund community needs.2 Giving Circles are ethnically diverse, with a majority female (in members) but are increasingly co-ed or all male (47%)1, and comprised of all formality levels and sizes, from a hand full of neighbors hosting "parties with a purpose" to some as large as 400 members -- supporting largely local U.S. communities but also increasingly international communities. With the fast growth of these local community groups and other like-minded individuals seeking to join or grow their own circle, there is understandably a growing need for information and networking. Further, there is a desire to leverage each other's capability and ultimately to enhance the impact on the causes they promote and better meet the needs of the individuals and organizations that they are serving. The Giving Circles Network seeks to meet the needs of the donor Giving Circles so that they in turn can ultimately have as meaningful of an impact as they and their recipient partners seek to achieve.
Types of Giving Circles – There are all types, shapes and sizes of Giving Circles located throughout the U.S., with:
Please see our Giving Circles Advisory Panel for some exemplary Giving Circles that represent a cross-section of those in the U.S. today.
1 More Giving Together: The Growth and Impact of Giving Circles and Shared Giving by Jessica E. Bearman, Washington, DC: New Ventures in Philanthropy initiative of the Forum of the Regional Associations of Grantmakers (2007).
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