5 Giving Circles Inspiring Us in 2023
What is a Giving Circle?
Giving circles are made up of community members that come together to pool their time, talents, and treasures, for the benefit of causes they care about.
“A giving circle is a group of people with shared values that come together to make change. They pool their time and money, and decide as a circle where it should go. Their efforts, discussion, and collective gift transforms into community power, proactive change, and civic action. To learn more, visit WhatIsAGivingCircle.com.” - Philanthropy Together
1. 100 Women
100 Women work tirelessly to eradicate gender discrimination and inequity. The volunteer-led organization started with one woman’s idea, and with the strength of community it has empowered women through many impactful projects, including:
● Girls education in Africa
● Birthing huts in Papua New Guinea
● Cervical Cancer checks in Vietnam
● Job resumes and corporate attire for disadvantaged women in Perth
● Young women in Cambodia in learning how to sew in a step towards financial independence.
“Sometimes you can feel a bit helpless with all the problems of the world. How can I make a difference? I’m lucky, I have access to education, health services and employment. I am free from violence. Unfortunately, not all girls and women have these opportunities. How do we connect those who have with those who haven’t and bridge the gap? So we realised, if we could find 100 Women, that would be willing to pay $100 a month, then collectively we would have $120,000 to give away every year. That’s when 100 Women was born". - Alicia Curtis (100 Women Co-founder)
Recently celebrating its 10 years anniversary, Lacuna Giving Circle has been driving change for Asian American and Pacific Islander social justice organizations through philanthropy since 2012.
Lacuna members are LGBTQIA and activists, artists, attorneys, communicators, and civil servants. Together, the members have raised more than $60,000 to support immigration advocacy, the arts, domestic violence-prevention, and healthcare access.
Co-founded by Think BIG’s Caitlin King Khoury, the Phoenix Collective Giving Circle is a group of everyday philanthropists on a mission to help all humans have equal opportunities to survive and thrive on our planet.
Even though it’s one of the newer giving circles on the list, its impact is still felt. They have distributed over $10,000 to date to Phoenix Allies for Community Health, Desert Star Institute for Family Planning and the Center for Biological Diversity, which were chosen by the members based on community needs.
SPIN (Sisterhood of Philanthropists Impacting Needs) is a philanthropic giving circle of Black women in the Denver community who leverage their collective strengths in order to positively impact marginalized women and adolescent girls.
SPIN launched like many giving circles do, as a small group of philanthropists looking to make a difference.
In its first year, SPIN raised $10,000 for local nonprofits. Take a look at the Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s page on SPIN to see a full list of their grantees and find out how you can get involved.
The Awesome Foundation is composed of fully-autonomous foundation “chapters” made by friends, family members, or complete strangers to support awesome projects through micro-grants, usually given out monthly, and now totaling $6.2 million granted to more than 6,000 projects!
Some awesome projects they’ve supported include a community PowWow, an improved cookstove factory in Lira, Uganda, and so many more.
You can search Philanthropy Together’s directory to find more giving circles that are changing philanthropy to be accessible to everyday people. Many of these giving circles are welcoming new members, or you can always start your own!
For even more inspiration and information on collective giving, join Philanthropy Together for the 2023 We Give Summit May 2 through 4. If you miss sessions the recordings will be shared, so get registered and share with us what you learn!