What If ...
What is there was a solution that could create connections in an increasingly divided world?
What if a simple experience could help people feel more grounded, happier, and connected with each other.
What if you had complete clarity on the difference you'd like to make in the world?
A Giving Circle is a form of participatory philanthropy where groups of individuals donate their own money or time to a pooled fund, decide together where to give these away to charity or community projects and, in doing so, seek to increase their awareness of and engagement in the issues covered by the charity or community project. Many circles, in addition to donating their money, also contribute their time and skills to support local causes.
Giving Circles are a relatively new trend, but it is built on traditions dating back hundreds of years to mutual aid societies and other forms of giving for the community. In the United States, giving circles were initially composed of women; they are now more diverse in race, age and gender, although women continue to make up the majority of members.
The structure of the circles can be informal or formal. On the informal side, circles vote and choose an organization to support and each member writes an individual check. Formal circles may have their money housed at a local community foundation and have staff that support the work of the circle. Giving circles can range in size from a handful of members to several hundred.
Individual donors who join or form a giving circle typically seek to build community within their circle through social events, in addition to the economic impacts of the groups.