This post written by Lesley Ray, Fundraising Director at Mater Foundation.
Considered to be one form of the ‘new philanthropy’ – giving that embraces accountability and entrepreneurship – giving circles are emerging around the world as a way for donors to meet their philanthropic goals through the concept of collective giving. A giving circle is a group of individuals who come together to pool and give away resources, educate members about philanthropy and issues in the community, include a social dimension, engage members, and maintain its independence from nonprofit organisations. Sometimes described as a social investment club, giving circles are a highly participatory form of collective philanthropy, attracting individuals of all wealth levels and sharing a common focus on the power of giving together.
Giving circles are not content with passive ‘cheque book’ philanthropy; they are strategic in their giving and are hands-on, with participants generally seeking to be involved with the causes they support. As giving circles continue to flourish in the United States, and with a number of newly-formed groups in Australia, they are providing a new stream of funding and new donors for charitable causes.
Giving circles are a highly participatory form of collective philanthropy, attracting individuals of all wealth levels and sharing a common focus on the power of giving together.
Thanks to the Australian Women Donors Network, the doyenne of giving circles, Colleen Willoughby will be touring Australia in August sharing her collective giving journey and experience with grantmakers, grantseekers, fundraising professionals and anyone keen to make a difference in their community through philanthropy. Colleen is the founder of the Washington Women’s Foundation and believes that collective giving creates greater impact and allows smaller amounts of money to make transformational change. This is a great opportunity for philanthropists to hear first-hand how to start a collective giving movement; and for fundraising professionals to gain insight into how they can develop relationships that are beneficial to both giving circle members and nonprofit organisations.
Lesley Ray is Fundraising Director at Mater Foundation, Brisbane and a fundraising professional of 25 years.
Lesley has recently submitted her thesis for the degree of Master of Business (Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies) at QUT. Her thesis examines the emergence of giving circles and their relationships with non-profit organisations.
Aug. 09, 2013
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