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Giving Circles attract wide range of donors


New research shows that individuals pooling their resources in what are known as giving circles focusing on a mutual charitable interest are promoting more diversity in philanthropy.

Since giving circles emerged 10 years ago across the United States they have grown to roughly 150,000 people bestowing $1.29 billion supporting charitable organizations.

The Collective Giving Research Group recently released a study indicating giving circles are welcoming to “donors from a wide range of income levels.” They also attract a more diverse community of donors who may not be traditional supporters of institutional philanthropy.

Jason Franklin is the W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy chair at Grand Valley State University's Johnson Center for Philanthropy and a member of the Collective Giving Research Group explains, “Giving circles are a powerful tool to democratize and diversify philanthropy, engage new donors and increase local giving,” adding, “In a time when philanthropy is increasingly focused on the giving habits of billionaires, this research is an important reminder that everyday givers are coming together and pooling their resources to make a difference in their communities and for the issues they care about.”

The research reveals giving circles often form around gender, race, age and religion. Taken together, of all giving circle members, 70 percent are women.

Patrick Center, WGVU News.