Be sure not to miss two recently published studies:
The first, from the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, found that fully half of women donors surveyed reported that they make the philanthropic decisions in their households, including the amount to give and the charities to support. Furthermore, 92% of male respondents identified their wives as significant influencers of charitable gift making decisions. The second, The Impact of Giving Together, documents the rising importance of giving circles. How do the two connect? Both remind us to take another look at giving circles—groups of donors who pool their funds to support various organizations and causes—who happen to attract more female donors than male.
The Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers estimates the number of giving circles around the nation doubled between 2004 and 2006 and currently stands at approximately 800. Giving circles have raised an estimated $100 million since 2004, generating significant impact. All five of the states served by The Collins Group have giving circles in at least one community.
Largely grassroots, these organizations attract a diversity of donors in terms of age, gender, and ethnicity—the “hidden” pools of donors that nonprofits want to reach. Giving circles appeal especially to women, individuals younger than 50, and members of various ethnic and cultural communities who may feel traditional philanthropy does not match their values or meet their interests. The Impact of Giving study showed that giving circle members give more and more strategically; give to a more diverse group of nonprofits; and tend to have a deeper knowledge of philanthropy and nonprofit structure, operations and issues.
In other words, in a challenging fundraising environment, giving circles offer nonprofits another way to expand the philanthropic pie by providing access to new donors and strategies.
For more information on giving circles and to locate one in your region, visit the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers website at:
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About the Author
Kristin Barsness CFRE
With a researcher’s eye for the important details, Kristin understands the intricacies of building strong donor relationships to meet your fundraising goals.