What is a Giving Circle?

A giving circle is a form of participatory philanthropy where groups of individuals donate their own money or time to a pooled fund, decide together where to give these away to charity or projects and, in doing so, seek to increase their awareness of and engagement in the issues covered by the circle.

Reasons you might consider a giving circle:

  • You make a bigger impact on the charity by pooling your resources. Pooling donations together with many other women will be larger than what each of us could do alone. Your dollar goes further because it adds up to much more than what any single member could likely do on her own.
  • Your donation makes a bigger impact on the problem. We want our money to work hard so we research the organization and programs they are implementing to ensure effectiveness and accountability.
  • You choose our funding recipients. An application process will be designed to provide an opportunity to vote on recipients.
  • You save time. This is a giving circle that you can give as much or as little time as you want and you still have peace of mind that you are making a donation that has a big impact on charities that you care about.
  • Giving through a circle is a rewarding way to donate money because we know that each person brings a different talent to the circle. There is opportunity to forge new relationships and participate in a community of thoughtful, effective women philanthropists, who are diverse in age, interests, and backgrounds.
  • Education is part of the process. Because giving circles give out such sizable grants, many charities make the effort to reach out and further educate potential donors. You will be able to attend special networking events to learn about challenges in our community and hear from dynamic speakers making a difference affecting women and children in the community, philanthropy, and grantmaking.
  • You won't have to worry about the end-of-year donation rush. A giving circle can be your annual charitable donation plan. You know how much you'll be donating. You'll know that the charities will be well chosen. And if you want to give more at the end of the year, then you can choose to browse those catalogs or to send more to a charity we've chosen in the past. An end-of-year charitable donation is your choice to pursue or not at your pleasure!

How will the funds be established?

The Women's Giving Circle has decided on initiating a HYBRID APPROACH with this fund, which will allow all donations to be split in half, placing 50% in an endowed fund established in perpetuity adhering to the spending policy of the Foundation and 50% in a non-endowed fund where grants can be made immediately for those charitable organizations with the strongest need.

Why initiate a Women's Giving Circle?

Information gleaned from many of the studies published include the following:

  • Women generally donate more, are more actively involved in the given charities, demand more proof of effectiveness, and prefer somewhat different causes than men.
  • Women were more generous, regardless of education, age, race or other demographics.
  • This disparity may seem to make no sense, because the same study pointed out that women's earnings were just 80% of men's.
  • One explanation provided was that women are more empathetic because they are socialized to be that way. Another potential answer is that wives typically outlive husbands and thus manage household finances, including donations, for more years.
  • While they may earn less than men, women earn more than they used to and thus make more spending decisions.
  • Women do not just write bigger checks. They also take a bigger role in the charities’ operations.
  • Women are uniting around “women’s and girls’ issues to a greater extent.” Certainly there are more organizations dedicated to women’s philanthropy.
  • Both men and women want to know where their donations ae going, but according to the research, men prefer statistics while women prefer stories.

For More Information

To learn more about Women's Giving Circle, please contact:

Holly Morrison
President and CEO
[email protected]
570.752.3930, press 3

Kara G. Seesholtz
Chief Advancement Officer
[email protected]
570.752.3930, press 4