Tips for Creating Your Own Giving Circle

Starting your own giving circle is much easier than you might think. With the right ideas and organization, you can quickly get your giving circle up and running. Here are the top tips for getting started!

Acquire goals and structure

Get your group together for the first meeting! During the meeting you will want to consider how frequently the group will meet, how the funding focus will be determined, where meetings will be held, the number of participants involved, what the financial contributions of each member will be and what the time commitment of each member will be.
Make sure it is known that giving circles go beyond basic charity and both time and money will need to be contributed to the cause.

What is your mission?

Once regular meetings have been set consult your team:

What is the mission of the group? What are the common goals and objectives?
What is the name of your group?What is the operating structure? Everyone needs to be in agreement on every contribution that is planning to be made.

Decide on a place to collect your money

Where will the group place its money collectively? At the beginning of each year, each member of the circle should make their financial commitment to the team and know exactly where it is going. Whether that is in a joint bank account, a public foundation or another accounting system should be decided on by the team.

Establish an area of focus

This needs to be discussed among the group and a focus area established to provide everyone with their sense of purpose.

Develop funding criteria

This process can be as simple or in-depth as you decide to make it. Who will receive funding? Will you review grant applications? Will you visit qualifying organizations?Will you have annual reports upon the ending of a project?

Always evaluate your giving circle

Pay attention to what improvements need to be made and celebrate accomplishments. Keep track of shirt and long-term goals and get regular feedback from each member of the circle.