Giving circles are simply incredible – they’re a form of participatory philanthropy allowing individuals to donate their own money or time to a pooled fund, then collectively choose how to distribute the money to charities or community projects. Giving circles increase the awareness of, and engagement with, community non-profits. Many giving circles also contribute members’ time and skills to support local causes, in addition to money donated.
A friend of mine started a giving circle in Billings, Montana – www.100strongbillings.com – which inspired me to start a similar giving circle in the Gallatin Valley, where I live. I loved the idea of pulling together 100 women, each giving $100 per quarter, to gift $10,000 to local non-profits. Our community, like so many others, is full of incredible non-profits to support. What does a $100 donation do for an organization versus a $10,000 donation? So simple; so powerful!
Every woman who donates gets a vote on where the money goes. No matter your income level, you can participate and make a difference in your community.
So far, our group helped fund new flooring in a local women’s shelter for abused women and children, provided financial support to hire an additional therapist at a women’s care facility, and contributed funds for an after-school space for at-risk teens.
We are only three quarters into our project; I can’t wait to see what more we can accomplish together. I have no doubt that 100 Strong Gallatin Valley will soon become 200! What an impact a $20,000 grant will make.
If you want the framework to start your own giving circle, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ve done the work, all you need to do is implement it. Imagine what a difference we could make with a giving circle in every community!