Giving Circles ... The power of giving together

Over the past 10 years in the United States, giving circles have developed into a powerful grassroots philanthropic movement, largely driven by women.

In a 2007 study, the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers' New Ventures in Philanthropy initiative identified approximately 400 giving circles in the US, more than double the number from two years earlier. A survey of 160 circles found that they leveraged $13 million in 2006 alone, and more than $100 million to date. In 2009 a follow-up report found that donors say they give more, give more strategically and are more knowledgeable about charitable organisations and problems in their communities when they participate in giving circles.

Giving circles are a new trend in Australia as women and men realise the value of working with other like-minded people to pool philanthropic investment. They have been described as a cross between a book club and an investment group, creating a low-key environment to learn about social issues. In recognition of this emerging trend, Australian Women Donors Network has drawn on the expertise and advice from around the globe to bring you this step-by-step guide, plus inspiring Australian case studies and further resources.

Starting a giving circle is relatively simple and anyone can do it. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you know about the community sector or how much money you have to invest. We hope you find the following information helpful and look forward to hearing about your journey ...

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