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More Giving Together: The Growth and Impact of Giving Circles and Shared Giving

May 15, 2007

The Forum's report finds that the number of giving circles in existence has more than doubled in the last two years. There are now at least 400 giving circles nationwide -- at least one circle in nearly every state. To examine the growth of giving circles, the Forum surveyed a sampling of 160 circles across the country. Findings include: Nearly 70 percent of giving circles have a host organization that receives members' contributions and disburses donations to the organizations selected by the circle to receive its support. More than half of all hosted circles keep their money in a donor advised fund at their local community foundation. Giving circles give a lot. In 2006 alone, giving circles surveyed donated $13 million for community needs. Giving circle members number in the tens of thousands. Nearly 12,000 people participate in the 160 giving circles surveyed by the Forum. Giving circles are diversifying. While once considered a women's philanthropy phenomenon, nearly half of circles now have male members. The popularity of giving circles is also growing among people of color and in the gay and lesbian community. Giving circles have staying power. Nearly a third of circles surveyed have been through more than five rounds of grantmaking. Regional associations of grantmakers, community foundations and private foundations, among other philanthropic organizations, are lending their support to giving circles by serving as hosts and advisors.

Family, HNWI, and independent philanthropy

Toolkit for Racial, Ethnic and Tribal Funds and Foundations

May 1, 2007

Diverse communities are molding and stretching models of giving to fashion something new. Funds and foundations are a promising and growing tool used to organize racial, ethnic and tribal giving. Sometimes called "ethnic funds," these are typically public foundations that mobilize the giving resources of a community for that community's benefit. This involves organizing groups of donors to invest in the foundation, pooling resources, developing giving priorities and a process, and making grants.  The form used depends on the culture and needs of the community, its financial profile, and what other philanthropic players are present. No one size fits all, and each community has multiple choices. This toolkit is designed to provide community leaders or potential hosts with the tools and outlines they need to start a racial, ethnic or tribal fund.  This section reflects lessons and experience gathered from existing funds and foundations in Black, Asian, Arab, Latino and Native-American communities.  

Race and Philanthropy

Donors of the Future: Scanning Project Report

March 1, 2006

The report is the result of a Donors of the Future scanning project with the goal to make the subject more accessible for leadership discussion, learn what resources and tools exist to help identify and engage future donors, identify data sources, create some initial resources for understanding and reaching donors of the future, and spell out the implications of the findings for regional associations and community foundations, and suggest possible next steps. The report outlines the definition of "donors of the future" used in the scan, describes the activities undertaken, and summarizes major focus areas and findings.

Family, HNWI, and independent philanthropy

Value of Relationships Between State Charity Regulators & Philanthropy

March 1, 2006

This publication seeks to help enhance the accountability and effectiveness of foundations and their oversight by state charity regulators by highlighting the value of ongoing, productive relationships between regulators and the philanthropic sector, and demonstrating how such relationships can be successfully achieved. The publication is intended for people working in both charity regulators' offices and the charitable sector.

Multi-stakeholder collaboration and SDGs; Transparency and accountability

Power of Rural Philanthropy

September 1, 2005

The Power of Rural Philanthropy, a new report commissioned by New Ventures in Philanthropy, an initiative of the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, reveals rural philanthropy is a growing trend across the United States, generating billions of dollars for health care, education and other community needs. The report is accompanied by a series of materials for community foundations, private foundations, rural residents and others to help them learn more about the opportunities presented by rural philanthropy.

Family, HNWI, and independent philanthropy

Scan of Regional Associations of Grantmakers' Principles & Practices

April 1, 2005

This report summarizes the results of a scan of the state of regional associations' (RAs) development, adoption and promotion of guiding principles and recommended practices for grantmakers. It is based on a detailed analysis of current RA principles and practices, as well as on phone interviews with representatives from eight RAs that have developed principles, two RAs that are in the process of developing principles, and seven RAs that have not yet developed principles. The report was developed to provide background information to the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers and its Effectiveness and Accountability Task Force, and to serve as an information resource for RAs.

Tools, frameworks, effectiveness

Philanthropic Connections: Mapping the Landscape of U.S. Funder Networks

April 1, 2003

This is a formal examination of grantmaker associations and networks in the U.S. The report, together with its directory and maps, is the first time the field has had a nationwide picture of the myriad and diverse ways grantmakers convene, collaborate, communicate and collectively act across this country. That picture is striking in its size and variety. More importantly it is encouraging - in its potential to serve as a robust nationwide but grassroots-based "web" through which grantmakers can collectively seize opportunities and respond to challenges.

North America; Philanthropy ecosystems and infrastructure

A Plan of One's Own: A Woman's Guide to Philanthropy

January 1, 2003

The book offers practical advice on how women from all age groups and economic backgrounds can create a charitable giving plan and use their financial resources to effect lasting social change. The guide examines women's roles in philanthropy and features "how to" sections on creating and using a variety of forms of charitable giving, as well as working with professional advisors. It was developed by the Baltimore Giving Project (a project of Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers) in partnership nationally with New Ventures in Philanthropy (a project of the Forum of Regional Association of Grantmakers), and locally with Allfirst Wealth Management.

Gender and Philanthropy

Organizational Assessment and Development Guide for Regional Associations

June 30, 1997

This publication was originally a product of The Regional Initiative, a 1992-1995special project cosponsored by the Council on Foundations and twenty-four of the nation's regional associations of grantmakers (RAGs). The purpose of the Initiative was to enhance the capacity of regional associations to meet their members' needs, by building both management and program effectiveness. The Initiative's long-term goal was to strengthen regional associations as agents of organized philanthropy in American life.

Tools, frameworks, effectiveness

Starting a Regional Association of Grantmakers: The Idea Stage

January 1, 1997

This information on starting a regional association of grantmakers was excerpted from the Regional Initiative Handbook, a two-volume publication to foster the formation and strengthening of regional associations of grantmakers. It was originally a product of The Regional Initiative, a 1992-1995 special project cosponsored by the Council on Foundations and twenty-four of the nation's regional associations of grantmakers. The purpose of the Initiative was to enhance the capacity of regional associations to meet their members' needs, by building both management and program effectiveness. The Initiative's long-term goal was to strengthen regional associations as agents of organized philanthropy in American life.

Philanthropy ecosystems and infrastructure; Tools, frameworks, effectiveness

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