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2011 Vivanista, Inc.

In Brief: Giving Circles

IN BRIEF: GIVING CIRCLES SUMMARY


Tired of wasting time in idle charitable event planning meetings, Jacqueline Caster, founder of the Every Child Foundation, envisioned a way to increase the impact of her own charitable giving. Thats when she created a model for giving circles that has been replicated dozens, if not hundreds, of times by other groups around the country. A Giving Circle is a group of charitably-minded individuals who band together to collectively donate to a selected non-profit organization(s). These groups can reap the rewards of voluntarism and collaboration without the time and effort of committee-produced fundraising events.

PROJECT OVERVIEW
This brief examines how individuals can pull together financial resources to create a Giving Circle for their favorite charity without leaning on traditional means of fundraising to the public. The project goals were to: 1. Analyze whether Giving Circles can be effective alternative fundraising campaigns. 2. Contrast Giving Circles to other fundraising campaigns as to return on investment. 3. Estimate time and effort to start and maintain a Giving Circle in comparison to starting another type of volunteer fundraising group. 4. Outline steps to create a Giving Circle.

2011 Vivanista, Inc.

In Brief: Giving Circles

KEY FINDINGS
There are very few requirements to creating a giving circle, initially... just gather some friends who are willing to donate to a charity of collective-choice, and donate the money. Outside of paying a professional grant making consultant, the Everychild Foundation has less than 10% overhead. Not even Caster despite the amount of time she dedicates to the organization, is compensated for her work. With 220 members and an annual donation level of $5,000, Everychild is able to award a $1 million dollar grant each year to one organization. The budget is managed so as to leave enough - $100,000 to cover operating costs, including a grant consultant. Members of Everychild Foundation giving circle have the social element inherent in fundraising event committee work. They are invited to evening salons in members' homes with speakers on issues facing children in our communities. The purpose is for their members, who may attend with their spouse or a guest, to become more knowledgeable in their role as grant-makers. Additionally, members can join one of several committees, including: Grant Screening Board Grant Monitoring Committee Everychild Newsletter Public Policy Committee Public Relations Committee Salon Committee

2011 Vivanista, Inc.

In Brief: Giving Circles

TEST RESULTS

Ac#vity
Giving Circle

Volunteer Eort
Members know nancial requirements High

PlanningTime
0 3 months 6 12 months

ROI
>90%

Poten#al
Limited to the number of members

Event

Direct Mail

n/a

3 6 months

On average: High potential: can 40 60% grow to donations of multi-millions ~15% Limited given that DM does not generate large gifts

How do fundraising events compare to giving circles? Fundraising events have greater upside potential whereas giving circles have a finite donation cap the number of members x the amount they donate annually. Not all groups have the resources to produce fundraising events. Giving circles provide an alternative vehicle for fundraising while maintaining the desired social aspect that event production offers as outlined in the committee options above. Most giving circles are able to donate a substantially higher percentage of their financial commitment to the ultimate charity theyve selected because they did not have to deal with overhead and other costs associated with fundraising event production.

2011 Vivanista, Inc.

In Brief: Giving Circles

STEPS TO SETTING UP A GIVING CIRCLE


If you want to create a giving circle that has more reach and is able to utilize funds most efficiently, here are some easy-to-follow steps:. Step 1: Determine the structure: How much will your annual donation amount be and what is the limit as to the number of members? Step 2: Decide how the funds will be distributed. Will the collected donations go to one particular nonprofit organization or multiple organizations? Will those grants be for one year or multiple. This decision should be incorporated into the bylaws. Step 3: Develop a process for decision-making: This could entail setting up a committee, or voting body that decides which organization to award grant money to. Step 4: Ensure that donations are tax deductable: If you are unable, or unwilling, to go through the extensive process of becoming a 501(c)3 as designated by the IRS, the Vivanista Foundation provides the mechanism to collect donations and distribute to selected nonprofits. Step 5: Create a budget: What percentage of donations do you want to allocate to the cause? In order to contribute as much money as possible, most Giving Circles forgo having any paid staff or formal office space. Step 6: Set expectations for members beyond their donation. How often will meetings take place and how many are members expected to attend? Will the group have additional social activities? Are their volunteer opportunities with the grant recipients? Step 7: Invite friends.

2011 Vivanista, Inc.

In Brief: Giving Circles

FOR MORE INFORMATION


Giving Circles: Together We Make a Masterpiece, Vivanista, by Donna Rabin So you want to start a Giving Circle, Vivanista, by Donna Rabin www.givingcircles.org Giving Circles from Forum of Regional Association of Grantmakers Wikipedia denition The Every Child Foundation

2011 Vivanista, Inc.

In Brief: Giving Circles

ABOUT VIVANISTA
Vivanistasmissionistoimprovenonpro/itscharitablefundraisingbydeployingproven bestpractices.Memberresourcesincludeeventtools,promotion,revenuedevelopmentand communitybuilding. Experience:Incorporatingaggregatedfundraisingdatafromcharitableeventsaround theU.S.todeliver/ieldtestedsolutions Expertise:Designinguniquecustomizedsetoftoolsthatcaneasilyandeffectivelybe implementedinavarietyofevents Fun:Asvolunteersourselvesweunderstandtheimportanceofcreatingbotha purposefulandenjoyableexperience.

TheVivanistatrainingmodelfocusesondeliveringinteractivesessionssoattendeesleave armedwithtangibletoolsthatcanbeimplementedimmediately.Moreover,theVivanista approachtotrainingleveragesthatinteractivitytoinjectasenseoffunandsocial interaction,alldeliveredbyexpertswhohave/ieldexperience. www.vivanista.com Contributors: Willow Jones, Donna Rabin, Layne Gray

2011 Vivanista, Inc.

In Brief: Giving Circles