Personal philanthropy is important, but for many people they want to have an impact beyond their personal means. Giving circles are fantastic ways to increase your impact and your network, so we’ve highlighted six of our favorites below.
Our Six Favorite Giving Circles in Los Angeles
Everychild Foundation – This amazing giving circle has donated over $12.5 million since it was founded in 2000 by a passionate group of women in Los Angeles. Their keys to success are in the organization’s focus: the group is limited to a group of 225 women who commit $5,000 annually. They award ONE $1 million grant each year. The group proudly reports a philanthropic “ripple effect” as well, with members giving generously to “runner up” nonprofits. Membership is limited but a few spots open up annually. More details here.
Social Venture Partners – With over 3,200 members contributing to their mission worldwide, SVP impacts local communities by pooling money and brain power. In Los Angeles, SVP provides training through its annual Fast Pitch event and distributes annual grants to its portfolio of non-profit organizations. They are always accepting applications for new members.
Water Buffalo Club – Perhaps the most creatively named giving circle on our list, the WBC began in 1989 “when a bunch of guys got together to create a group that was fun, social, and supportive.” Since then, the group of 75 has given over $3 million to children’s charities in Los Angeles and surrounding areas. And you have to love their sense of humor about philanthropy, not just in their name but in their mission statement, “We are Big Kids Helping Little Kids!”
Violets Giving Circle – Part of the Giving Circle Network at the Women’s Foundation of California, this giving circle was established by juniors and seniors at the Marlborough School in Los Angeles. Each year, the students raise money to build their fund. Since 2008, they have donated over $160,000 to educational programs for low-income women. In addition, they have learned from the Women’s Foundation of California staff about effective philanthropy.
Women Helping Youth (W.H.Y.) – Created in 2006, W.H.Y. members contribute $1,000 annually towards the circle’s grantmaking for children in need. Grants are typically between $5,000 and $25,000 and the organization places a high value on transparency and accountability. You can join this established group here.
Los Angeles Giving Circle – Started in 2010 by friends that met in another giving circle (talk about philanthropic commitment), the LAGC is set to grant $100,000 this year to an organization that leads to economic self-sufficiency and financial security for women and girls in Los Angeles County. Beginning humbly with just 25 members, LAGC has nearly tripled in size. You can join them by applying here.
Do you have a favorite giving circle? Let us know by tweeting at @StarfishMarta.
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