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This is a very relevant study which highlights how this new, more democratic, and local form of giving is spreading. There are 426 giving circles (GC) outside the US and estimate that in 2018 they gave away a combined $45.74 million in grants and involved 42,200 members. Among many of the specific findings, we found global GCs to be more frequently connected to a GC network and more often to be independently run (vs hosted) than their US counterparts, to be overwhelmingly local in their focus, and overall much younger than their US counterparts with 92% founded in the last decade.
The final report of this initial series, Dynamics of Hosting Giving Circles and Collective Giving Groups, explores the hosting experiences of community foundations and other organizations. Key findings include:Contributing to a culture of philanthropy in their communities is the top reason that hosts are motivated to start or support a giving circle, followed by reaching new donors and a more diverse set of donors.The most fundamental service provided by giving circle hosts is serving as a fiscal sponsor; other top services offered include providing communications support, organizing educational opportunities for members and soliciting proposals from potential grantees.Hosts cited staff time required, differences in expectations between the giving circle and host organization, and covering costs as the biggest challenges associated with hosting giving circles.
Giving circles and other forms of collective giving (hereafter referred to as GCs) have grown significantly in visibility and popularity over the past 15 years. Often started by donors, they are widely understood to be highly flexible, democratic, do-it-yourself vehicles for giving. Previous research has illuminated the positive impact that participation has on the giving and civic engagement of donors. Until recently, however, our understanding of the scope and scale of GCs was 10 years out of date! This research presents an updated understanding of the current landscape of GCs and similar models of collective giving or giving collaboratives in the United States. This research comprises the first of a three-part inquiry, which also looks at research underway related to the impact of participation in GCs on donor giving and civic engagement, and a study of the relationships between GCs and their hosting organizations.
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