Giving Circles continue to be an exciting way to create impact on causes that speak to you, develop or deepen relationships with friends with similar interests, and think differently about your ability to change the world! Here are a few of Starfish Impact’s most important elements to a great Giving Circle:
The opportunity for all members to provide feedback. Some Giving Circles are established with a clear issue focus, while others explore different causes week to week (or month to month, etc…). The critical component, whichever type of Giving Circle you’re involved in, is that each member has the opportunity to share his/her thoughts during the recipient selection process.
The Giving Circle exposes its members to new ways to get involved. Whether the Giving Circle features a variety of charities, or just one, each interaction should deepen your experience with both the issue and the charity. From learning about ways to volunteer with the featured organizations, to identifying types of in kind support they might need (say, for example, you learn that a homeless shelter would benefit from the stash of unopened hotel sized bath products you got from your last weekend out of town), the Giving Circle gives each member a chance to engage more deeply in their giving.
There’s a social component as well. Part of what makes Giving Circles such a meaningful experience is the opportunity to have conversations about issues you are passionate about with other individuals who are also passionate about the same issues! It provides time to connect, learn from each other, and relax and unwind from the many other pressures we each have in our life!
The charity shares the impact with the Giving Circle. Amplifying your giving through a Giving Circle means that charities are more able to share exactly how the funds have had an impact. This is because the Giving Circle has likely given a larger amount than you would have on your own, and thus it’s easier to see a direct impact as a result of the funds. Whatever the amount, when the Giving Circle creates a feedback loop from the charity directly to the donors, the giving transforms to be significantly more meaningful and elevates the entire experience.
What are your favorite elements of a great Giving Circle? Are you involved in one that you would like to share with us and our community? Let us know on twitter at @Starfish Marta!
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