Collective Philanthropy: A New Way of Giving

On November 7, Women Helping Women Fund held our annual Giving Circles Reception at Steamplant, located in downtown Spokane. Our Giving Circle Reception is one of two collective philanthropy events that our organization hosts each year. Our organization’s mission of working to create healthy families and vibrant communities for women and children in Spokane County would be impossible without the support of this group of local community members. 

Collective philanthropy is the idea of people coming together to support a common cause or mutual interest. “Giving Circle” is the most common name for these events. Generally, members of a giving circles have some impact on how the money raised is to be used. Most organizations decide beforehand where the funds raised will go. For WHWF, our collective giving funds go directly into specific areas of need in our organization operations. This event ensures that 100% of funds raised at our Annual Benefit Luncheon go directly to the local programs who need it most.The event also allows for donors to learn how else they can lend their talent to our organization.

According to Dr. Jason Franklin, Chair for Community Philanthropy at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, “Giving Circles are a powerful tool to democratize and diversify philanthropy, engage new donors and increase local giving.” 

Our Giving Circle Reception allows members to mingle and network, while sharing their involvement with our organization. Admission to the event is free, and guests are encouraged to bring friends, family, and peers. By creating a safe environment of fun, inclusion, and commonality, we create an environment where giving is easy and impactful. Instead of feeling like there is more they can do, donors can pool funds together with like-minded individuals, which allows for the organization to make a bigger impact in the community. 

Collective Giving groups around the world have at least tripled in number since 2007. Additionally, the amount of money raised by Giving Circles has tripled over the last decade, totalling around $1.29 billion, according to an article published by Fast Company in 2017.

WHWF Executive Director, Heather Hamlin thinks the best way to raise support and funds for a pressing issue is together. Over 70 men and women attended our Giving Circles Reception this year.

Hamlin hopes that more people feel inclined to join WHWF’s Giving Circle in the following years, saying, “These monumental problems can seem so daunting.  But together, we can change the forecast for so many women and children in Spokane.” 

“Together, we continue a legacy of community engagement, and empower our women and children to create healthy families and vibrant communities,” concluded Hamlin.

Molly Gianarelli

Molly Gianarelli

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