Many people these days seek to have a more personal experience in their charitable giving. They want to know that what they’ve donated can truly make a difference. Sometimes it’s hard to get a positive emotional experience out of just dropping a $25 check in the mail to Charity XYZ, and receiving a membership card that sadly hangs on a bulletin board all year. Giving circles are a way to make charitable giving more rewarding by adding a social element to the act of giving.
Giving circles are groups of individuals who pool their resources to make their donations go further. It’s a wonderful way not only to help those charities to which you donate, but also those individual members of the circle who truly take that particular charity to heart. The circle can take turns donating to causes that speak to individual members’ interests, or they can set a focus and donate to the same cause each time. The point is that the decisions are made communally so everyone feels good about being involved.
Let’s say I want to make a donation to Heifer International. Individually I can only afford to donate a flock of chicks. But if three of my friends joined with me to make a donation, we could donate a goat! A goat will more positively impact the livelihood of a family in India or elsewhere. Pooling our collective resources means we can do more. It’s worth looking into.
Giving circles can be as formal as the individual members decide for them to be. It could be just a group of friends donating $25 a month or it could be a group of co-workers who support a charity to which their employer matches contributions. The circle members decide how often to donate, how much and to whom.
Giving Circles.org reports that there are over 800 giving circles of varying sizes and levels nationwide. They even have a database of circles that individuals can consider joining. Each circle operates independently or in partnership with a community foundation, depending on their size and ability.
Giving circles are part of the community philanthropy movement. When individuals join forces and use their resources collectively, they can do more. You can do more. Using a reputable site like WePay, you can easily collect donations from circle members, and the designated donator can facilitate the donation of the funds for that period of giving.
Giving circles: community philanthropy, positive global impact.