Giving circles encourage donors to give more stragetically
Participating in giving circles encourages donors to give more, and to be more strategic, a new report from the US finds.
When donors pool their money and other resources and decide together where to give these away, they also become more knowledgeable about non-profit organisations and problems in their communities, says the study Impact of Giving Together, published by the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.
Previous studies in the US have shown a massive increase in the number of giving circles being established across the country and that they are now an established philanthropic force. The current survey researched the giving habits of 587 active and former giving circle members, and included a control group, interviews, and participant observations.
Along with the evidence that giving increases when it is collaborative, the study found that giving circle members are more likely than other donors to give to organisations serving women and girls, ethnic and minority groups, and for arts, culture and ethnic awareness. They are less likely than other donors to give to federation-based (such as the United Way) or combined giving funds and to religious organisations.
This study and previous research also show that local non-profit organisations also benefit from giving circle funding and other resources because most giving circles provide support to their local community.
Collaborative giving may also prove to be particularly relevant during a recession because donors can leverage their donations with others to have a greater impact on causes they care about.
Philanthropy UK highlighted the emerging trends in UK-based giving circles in our Special Report: Women & Philanthropy, March 2008.
More information on the study is available on the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers website.