The Impact of Giving Circles

In “What’s Behind the Surge in Giving Circles,” Veronica Dagher, of the Wall Street Journal, details how a woman named Adriana Loson-Ceballos decided to start a giving circle with her friends when she did not have enough money to donate to a non-profit. Dagher describes a giving circle as a place “where like-minded individuals can pool their money and collectively decide where to donate it”. Essentially, it’s an opportunity for people to meet and donate to cause that they all care about. The prevalence of giving circles has grown in the past years,

 and almost half of them have been fully female. Dagher speculates that a big reason this change has occurred is because women previously felt they could not donate large amounts to philanthropy because they did not make enough; however, in recent years, this has started to change. Since more and more women are pursuing more careers that they are interested in, there has been an increase in their own confidence and contribution to philanthropy as a whole.

Not only do giving circles allow women to donate to a cause they are passionate about, but also, doing it as a group adds a sense of community to the act. Giving circles allow women to create long-lasting friendships with other women who are interested in the same causes and boost their impact on the cause. Coming together as a community allows these women to donate even more than they could have individually. In the case of one woman giving $1,000 to a non-profit versus finding a group of 50 women giving $1,000 each to the same non-profit, the latter contributes a significant amount more to that non-profit or charity. Moreover, the community built cancontinue to find similar organizations they can further their impact on.

I believe that the surge in giving circles represents a greater trend present in millennial women today — one that is backed by growing confidence that wasn’t present decades ago when giving circles first started. The growing confidence can not only be seen in philanthropic acts but also with the popularity and rise of #MeToo, #TimesUp, as well as the group of women who came together to create the Black Lives Matter Movement. The fact that women are more confident about their own abilities to speak out, to pursue careers they want to pursue, and to donate to causes they are passionate about is a sign that society is moving in the right direction.

If you are interested in starting a giving circle or joining an existing one, the giving circle network has a lot of information and tips for you. Giving circles are a great opportunity to multiply your impact and find a community!

By Ankita Inamdar