As Popularity of Giving Circles has Tripled, Women's Giving Circle of Howard County Joins Historic Gathering of American Giving Circle Networks to Co-Design Vision for Scaling & Strengthening the Movement Further
Seattle, Washington (April 2019) – Supported by a lead grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and 19 other funders, 82 participants from dozens of American giving circles and giving circle networks came together for a historic gathering in Seattle, Washington to connect with and learn from each other, and to build a vision for amplifying, strengthening and scaling giving circles across the United States.
Recent studies by the Collective Giving Research Group demonstrates that giving circles have exploded in popularity in America, and that they offer a way to meaningfully engage people in giving and in investing in their communities. A recent report from the Lilly School of Philanthropy found that giving circles tripled In number from 2007 to 2017, to 1,500, and have donated as much as $1.29 billion in that time.
“Giving circles are a major part of the future of American philanthropy,” said Marsha Morgan, chair of the Community Investment Network, one of the 5 networks co-leading the initiative. “Neighbors, friends, family, church and synagogue members - these are all ‘everyday givers.’ People are coming together, pooling their money, networks, and expertise, and investing in the change they want to make in the world. Giving circles are democratizing and diversifying philanthropy, and engaging tens of thousands of people in shaping their communities.”
The gathering marked a milestone within a year-long “co-design” process for the giving circle movement, shepherded by five Giving Circle Networks: Amplifier (a network of circles inspired by Jewish values), Asian Women Giving Circle, Catalist (formerly the Women’s Collective Giving Grantmakers Network), Community Investment Network (a network of African American circles), and the Latino Community Foundation (a network of Latinx circles). The co-design process is engaging dozens of giving circle leaders, networks, and stakeholders to collectively design ways to strengthen and expand the giving circle movement.
The process itself reflects the collaborative spirit of giving circles: dozens of diverse stakeholders from across the giving circle movement, from different communities and affinity groups, with different funding areas and approaches, are joining forces to design the common strategy and tactics needed to support the growth and sustainability of giving circles nationwide. Together, participants represented thousands of people already in giving circles who believe in the power of collective giving and are changing the face and the future of philanthropy.
“My favorite part of the gathering was hearing the stories of hope and impact that so many giving circle leaders shared about their communities,” said Paula Liang, Chair Elect of Catalist, a network of 68 women’s funding groups. “There is a rich history of generosity and collective action in all of our communities and throughout American history, and this project can help us move that work forward while opening it up to so many more people. Joining a giving circle makes your giving more informed, more influential, and more impactful.”
Giving Circle membership also leads to greater civic engagement. Dr. Anthony C. Hood, a member of the Birmingham Change Fund giving circle and Director of Civic Innovation at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, told the story of the current Mayor of the City of Birmingham, Alabama, Randall Woodfin who is the youngest mayor in the city in 100 years. Woodfin’s first step into civic involvement was as a member of the Birmingham Change Fund, which exposed him to the issues facing his community and the civic pathways to addressing them.
Masha Chernyak, VP of Programs at the Latino Community Foundation, shared the story of Martin Vargas Vega, a child of farm-workers parents in Watsonville, California, who joined the Latinos in Tech Giving Circle with his first tech job. Vargas Vega is launching another giving circle with Latino leaders in his hometown. “We are helping to reclaim philanthropy for the Latino immigrant community and grounding the work in love and justice,” said Chernyak.
Over the two-day convening, leaders shared ideas and resources for a field-wide infrastructure that will help inspire more grassroots philanthropy, strengthen communities, and increase American giving overall. The vision includes:
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Giving Circle Networks:
Individual Giving Circles:
Supporting Institutions & Thought Leaders:
20 Funders Co-Invested in this Process:
Giving Circles, Networks, and Members:
Contact: Isis Krause, email@example.com
The Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County has received the following request to help with an immediate need in the community through our Emergency Response Network (ERN) – can you lend a hand?
Our partners at HopeWorks are requesting $1,000 in assistance for a woman who recently left a violent relationship — if she breathed wrong, he would punish her. On one occasion, he broke the television and injured her young son. She has five kids altogether; although two have passed away. Her mother and grandmother also passed away just two weeks after her son died leaving her with little to no support. She now resides in HopeWorks’ emergency shelter and hopes to find secure, safe housing to move forward with her remaining children.
She and her children are in need of immediate financial support to help pay for a security deposit and part of the first month’s rent for a new and permanent safe home.
On behalf of our partners at HopeWorks we are asking for $1,000 from the Emergency Response Network to help support this woman in need.
Can you help? If so, please DONATE HERE.
WGC will pool your contributions and send the funds directly to the nonprofit. We will only accept enough funds to cover this request.
The WGC Emergency Response Network was created to provide an opportunity for WGC donors to directly help women in need. When our nonprofit partners are working with a woman or girl with an immediate need, they submit a request to the WGC.
Emergency Response Network Requests:
Thank you for your support of women and girls in our community through the WGC’s Emergency Response Network (ERN). We are making a bigger difference together than we might otherwise be able to alone – the reason for our giving circle!
If you have any questions about the WGC or our Emergency Response Network, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear WGC Donors and Friends,
Wow, what a month! Last month we celebrated Women's History Month and International Women's Day with lots of activity:
READ THE FULL ENEWSLETTER HERE
- CATALIST WOMEN: We joined Catalist Women, a national network of over 60 women's giving circles that support the creation, development, and expansion of women's collective giving nationwide to build women's leadership and amplify the power of giving together.
- GIRL POWER!: We helped to fund Girl Power! again, where over 1,100 girls came to learn about and experience STEM careers.
- VISIONARY WOMEN: We helped to fund this year's powerful Visionary Women Art Exhibit at the Columbia Art Center, and attended the Gala Reception on International Women’s Day!
- WOMEN'S HALL OF FAME: We attended the Howard County Women's Hall of Fame, which honored three Howard County women having an impact in our community, including WGC founder Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, along with Cathy Hudson and Georgia Eaker. It was great to have women's philanthropy and the WGC highlighted at this event - congratulations to all!
- BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION: The WGC was represented by WGC's Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz in Seattle at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the National Giving Circle Co-Design Convening that brought together collective giving experts from across the country who are working to build a national infrastructure to strengthen and grow the giving circle movement.
And, we've got some great things coming up:
- April 30: We are excited to fund Journey Camp for Girls each year, which is now accepting applications for another amazing week of leadership and empowerment for rising 7th, 8th, and 9th grade girls. Applications are due April 30 - please help us spread the word!
- May 7: We have a great Educational Happy Hour coming up on May 7: Nourishing Those Who Nourish Others: Tools to Keep Your Best Self with Dr. Jyothi Rao, of the Shakthi Health and Wellness Center - purchase tickets today!
- May 30: Mark your calendars and plan to celebrate philanthropy in our county at theCommunity Foundation of Howard County's Spring Party - we are proud to be a fund of the Community Foundation!
- June 30: And, finally, join us for a viewing and discussion of Girl Rising on June 30 to salute the founding of the Columbia Film Society and HoCoPoLitSo - we are sponsoring an afternoon that celebrates the education of girls, the beauty of story, and the power of collective action - purchase early-bird tickets available exclusively for WGC donors, and enter code FEST32
Thank you for your support of the WGC! We are committed to growing a community of empowered philanthropists that are building on the past, and working today to shape the future for women and girls through the power of collective giving.
I look forward to seeing many of you soon!
Barb Van Winkle, WGC Chair
The Sweetness of Circles, Medium, March 26, 2019 - Beautiful, important piece on the history, strength and growth of black-led giving circles by authors Valaida Fullwood, Tracey Webb, and Akira Barclay.
Equal Pay Day, NBC News, April 2, 2109 - As we reflect on Equal Pay Day today, let’s take a moment for a little bit of history: A little over 30 years ago, women earned 64 cents for every dollar a man earned — a pay gap of 36 cents.
Kresge Pledges to Increase Portion of Endowment Invested With Firms Owned by Minorities or Women, Chronicle of Philanthropy, April 4, 2019 - The Kresge Foundation has announced that by 2025, a quarter of its U.S. assets will be invested with firms owned by people of color or women.The decision is based on equity, opportunity, and returns.
Teen Girls are Leading the Way. How Can Philanthropy Support Them? Philanthropy Women, April 8, 2019 - Teen girls are becoming movers and shakers across the globe in areas like gun violence, environmental activism, and gender equality, as well as advocacy for inclusiveness and systems change of all kinds.
The Most Effective Way You Can Give To Charity, Even On A Super Tight Budget,Mindfulness, April 9, 2019 - Small donations can have a big cumulative impact. Even though the big $100 million gifts are what get the most attention, about 70 percent of all charitable giving comes from individuals.
The WGC was represented by one of WGC's founders - Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz - in Seattle at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the National Giving Circle Co-Design Convening that brought together collective giving experts from across the country who are working to build a national infrastructure to strengthen and grow the giving circle movement.
Read more about this effort.
Stay tuned for further information as WGC takes a leadership role in helping to grow the movement nationally to benefit communities, the field, and our circle!
WGC has joined Catalist Women, a national network of over 60 women's giving circles representing over 17,000 women who have given over $125 million across the US. Catalist empowers women by supporting the creation, development and expansion of collective giving through informed grantmaking.
Catalist gives a national voice to the high-impact collective giving movement and accelerate the power of our network of independent affiliate organizations.
We are excited to learn and grow with other women's giving circles across the country, and to bring shared learning and resources to the WGC, and to all of you!
April 2, 2019
By Jean Chatzky, NBC News
As we reflect on Equal Pay Day today, let’s take a moment for a little bit of history: A little over 30 years ago, women earned 64 cents for every dollar a man earned — a pay gap of 36 cents. Today, we earn 80 cents, making the gap 20 cents — or about half of what it used to be. For women of color, the gap is even greater. Black women earn 63 cents for every dollar that men do, Native American women earn 58 cents and Hispanic women make just 54 cents.
Note: You may see slightly different numbers floating around out there, and that’s because of different data sets used. For example, The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t count bonuses, while the Census Bureau does, and some calculations use hourly wages while others rely on salary. The important thing to note is that the gender pay gap is still here and it’s still big.
But there is good news — according a 2019 report from Glassdoor Economic Research, the gender pay gap is shrinking in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany and four other countries — it’s nearly 3 percent narrower today than it was three years ago.
Read the full article ..