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what is A GIVING CIRCLE

Collective giving circles are an opportunity for women to join together to pool their financial resources collectively, decide how to distribute them in the form of grants to nonprofit organizations with the goal of strengthening their communities. All you need are members, a financial commitment and issues in your community that concern you.

Most giving circles are groups of women who are grounded in a tradition of volunteerism and sharing. These women bring a legacy of community engagement and welcome all who are interested in contributing. Giving circles can be small and informal – a neighborhood potluck, for instance – with a few people pooling their money and giving it to a chosen organization, or they can be highly organized and involve contributions of thousands of dollars and demonstrate a commitment of many years.

Time commitments vary depending on level of participation. The time commitment may range from as few as eight hours a year for meeting participation to up to 25 hours a month to organize and govern the giving group, which would include running meetings, vetting potential grantees and organizing community activities.

“A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.” —Diane Mariechild


COLLECTIVE GRANTMAKING IN THE PHILANOS NETWORK: A RESEARCH REPORT 

Print our full How-To Giving Circle document.

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