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Giving Circles

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 – – 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 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!


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