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Monday, July 12, 2021

Giving Circles: A new and easy way to discover and join global communities of giving

There are over 2,000 giving circles and growing around the world that have engaged at least 150,000 people and given away as much as $1.29 billion. Never heard of a giving circle? It’s a simple way for individuals to collectively pool their funds and decide together how to donate them. However, until now, there wasn’t one place for people to search and discover these giving communities. Grapevine and Philanthropy Together recently launched the first-ever Global Giving Circle Directory

The directory lists 2,150+ giving circles and is the first and only place to find and list a giving circle online. It’s an easy-to-use, searchable database to connect prospective members with giving circles. The directory also allows giving circles to boost their visibility and attract new members, prospective grantees, potential funders, as well as similar giving circles for future cross-collaborations. Giving circles can also shine a light on their past grantee partners and amplify their work. 

Anyone can head to the directory and search for a giving circle that’s specifically focused on their location, area of interest, giving amount and more. For example, someone in San Francisco could search for Giving Circles within 25 miles of the city, focused on advocacy and social justice, and with an annual contribution amount under $500. They’d then be able to explore groups like 100+ Women Who Care San Francisco, Lacuna Giving Circle, and more to see what circle might be the best fit for them. 

The giving circle movement has been growing quickly over the last few years. These giving circles are bringing everyday donors together to support smaller, local organizations that are often more diverse and more in need of every $1 to continue their important work in their communities.

Here are a few examples of giving circles across the U.S. that are addressing unique needs in specific communities. 

Liberated Capital: A Decolonizing Wealth Fund. Edgar Villanueva started a giving circle to support Native American communities. When COVID-19 hit, some of these communities were devastated, but his giving circle was there to help. They moved millions of dollars to nonprofits across the country. This included nonprofits that provide basic necessities, such as masks, sanitizers and diapers; childcare services for essential workers; and support to those unable to pay rent and utility bills. A few nonprofits that were funded included the Native American Community Clinic, Cultural Survival, and Native Women’s Society.

Black Trans Lives Thrive. This group supports nonprofits run by and for Black trans women. Members commit to donating at least $25 each month and then the group collectively decides on a nonprofit that they’ll support each quarter. Recently, the group supported SWOP-Bronx, a nonprofit dedicated to the fundamental human rights of sex workers and their communities, focusing on ending violence and stigma through education, community building, and advocacy.

New England International Donors (NEID). This giving circle gathers groups of donors from the New England area each year to pool their donations and make a bigger collective impact globally. This year, they’re focusing on learning more about and supporting climate change and racial justice. 

By searching through the Global Giving Circle Directory, you can find Giving Circles like these and those that match your interest, location, and more. 

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Missed Grapevine's introductory blog post about Giving Circles?  Read it here.

Written by Emily Rasmussen, CEO & Founder of Grapevine. Grapevine is a new, free platform that makes it incredibly easy for giving circle groups to collect donations, communicate with members, find nonprofits to support, and grant their pooled funds. Visit them today at: https://www.grapevine.org/ 

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