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Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Giving Circles: A nonprofit's new way to create community and engagement around giving

The median donor retention rate for all non-profits was 43.6% last year, according to The Fundraising Effectiveness Project. That means that less than half of all donors decided to give again during the year.

The growing giving circle movement is engaging 150,000 members in the U.S., and is expected to grow to 350,000 members over the next 5 years, and move $1 billion in donations. The most interesting fact thus far is that the vast majority of these donors are recurring givers. So how can nonprofits use the power of these giving communities to support their nonprofits? We’re breaking down a few ways that nonprofits can get involved in this exciting movement.

Create a giving community for your nonprofit. Put together space for your donors to set up a recurring donation and get updates on the progress that you’re making towards your goals. Some groups will require a minimum donation amount to join the giving community. They’ll then give donors in the community the opportunity to vote on projects within the nonprofit to support with their funds. This engagement helps keep donors connected, engaged, and continuing to give. A few examples of nonprofits doing this already include 1% for the Planet and Reforestation to Help Solve Climate Change

Help board members and donors create their own giving circles on your behalf. Get your current donors to help recruit new donors by creating their own giving circles. A few nonprofits that are using giving circles with their board members include The Castle Giving Community. 

Apply for grants from giving circles. Many giving circles accept applications from local nonprofits. 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. Nonprofits can search the directory to see if there are any giving circles within their local area and focused on their cause area that are accepting grant applications. 

Through the collective power of giving circles, you can turn one-time donors in your community to recurring givers. 

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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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