Giving Circles Network
Topics: Aging / Arts & Culture / Community Development & Human Services / Education / Environment / Families & Children / Homeless / Housing / Mental Health / Microfinance / Rural Development / Violence (Breaking the Cycle) / Young Women / Women & Girls / Youth in Philanthropy
• Open Road Project (Research & Action Supporting the Aging Population) – the Giving Circle of Hope (GCH) provided a seed grant to The Shepherd's Center of Vienna/Oakton in 2005 for their "Open Road" Project, an outreach effort to bring the documentary, “The Open Road” to agencies, organizations, businesses, and key individuals that serve the aging. As a result, representatives from all these organizations are planning a Community Summit to discuss strategies that address the impact of a growing aging population in Northern Virginia. Members of the GCH Guiding Circle are on the executive committee of this project. By providing seed funding and hands-on collaborative direction, GCH is in a position to have impact on the needs of the aging.
The Giving Circle of Hope received the 2006 Best of Reston Award for its contribution to the community as well as various other awards and commendations for its services across the community. In just four years, the Giving Circle of HOPE has awarded over $200,000 in grants and performed over 3500 hours of volunteer service. Sub-circles include Grants, Service, Public Relations, Book Discussion, and Special Events. The Giving Circle of HOPE is a component fund of the Northern Virginia Community Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization (Tax ID #51-0232459). For a quick glance of the projects and events that it has sponsored and funded in the past, click here.
• The Community Giving Resource has highlighted The New Mountain Climbers Giving Circle, established by African Americans, as a success story. The Circle has issued two grants: 1) $500 grant supporting ..."a tutorial program offered at a community center in Christiansburg to help build a "...true learning center to teach carpentry, masonry and other trades." 2) $750 for the Smile Project, a "homebound Headstart program for rural families with pre-school children." New Mountain Climbers receives matching funds from the Ford Foundation and visioning and fundraising assistance from a consulting group called Hindsight Consulting, which is seeding Giving Circles in Louisiana, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
• Lisa Herrick, Caroline Newman and Naomi Karp of Washington Womenade. Lisa explained during the Winter 2007 First Giving Circles Networking event that their impetus was there were six friends having dinner, with one -- is a physician, Amy Kossoff -- who provides healthcare for the homeless. She had expressed her concern during their dinner that she had hit the $10K mark in writing checks to "help the homeless" with her personal money, but could not keep giving so much herself, and did not know what to do. The group of six decided that they would host an event and ask friends to bring money and just ask for $35. The money that they raise has continued to help homeless individuals. Their model is "throw a big potluck and ask them to bring friends, a potluck dish and $35". Amy Kossoff is the main conduit in giving the money away. They only give the money to the entity, not the individual (i.e., to the pharmacy, landlord, utility company, or dentist). Everyone's donation goes to someone in need, and with zero overhead. You can't get simpler than that!
• In Our Own Voices Program (Mental Health) – For two years, the Giving Circle of Hope (GCH) has funded the Friends of Loudoun Mental Health’s (FMH) "In Our Own Voices" Program, which seeks to de-stigmatize mental by having clients tell the story of their journey through mental illness. By providing a seed grant in the first year and serving as the sole funding source for two years, GCH has enabled this Program to get off the ground and become a success: the Commonwealth of Virginia has recognized it as outstanding and has asked the FMH to develop it into a statewide program.
The Clarence Foundation's Microfinance Circle (Boston, MA based) projects funded by the end of 2005 had the following impact:
The Three Generations Circle of Women Givers (Traverse City, MI) focuses across three generations to both break the cycle of violence and to leverage the education and resources of women to give to their communities. The Circle helps fund both the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) (with 50% of its donations) for the Grand Traverse Area for projects and programs needed at Helen’s House and 50% is distributed to community programs that meet the purpose and mission of the Circle. With this funding, this Giving Circle helped the Women's Resource Center in 2006-07 to serve ..nearly 1,500 survivors of domestic and sexual violence, which includes the following services:
Source: WRC Website History
The Women's Giving Circle of Howard County (Maryland): According to "Giving Circles, a National Trend, Prove Popular Here in Maryland" From: WGC in the News (September 2007), The Business Monthly, by Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, this Circle achieved the following success:
If you have a success story to share, please let us know!
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