Although they come in all shapes and sizes, giving circles are broadly defined as a group of people pooling their money and making a donation to a nonprofit organization. According to the Collective Giving Research Group (CGRC), the amount donated by these groups has tripled over the last decade, surpassing $1 billion in grants.
The growth and granting power of giving circles should grab your attention. So should what they might be telling us about what donors want. First, donors want to have a BIG impact. While an individual in a giving circle may only contribute $50 or $100, the group’s gift will be much larger. This shifts a donor’s mindset from thinking their modest gift doesn’t really make a difference, to feeling more like a major donor (with proper acknowledgment, of course).
Second, giving circles show that donors want to see the impact of their gifts. The same CGRC report showed that 84 percent of groups make grants in their local geographic area, preferring smaller, local organizations to larger national groups. This allows often overlooked organizations to take on ambitious projects that otherwise would never get done. And it allows giving circle members to track the progress of their grant—not just formally from the organization itself, but because of the locality it may also be discussed on the news, in board meetings and at holiday parties.
So research what groups may be in your area and find opportunities for impact projects you could pitch to them, based on their typical grant size. And don’t forget that all your donors, no matter the size, want to create big impact and see how their gifts are changing their community for the better.
Finally, from all of us at AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising, we wish you and your family, friends and colleagues a happy and joyful holiday season. We look forward to hearing about all the great work your organizations will do in 2018!
Shocking Statistic: Seventy percent of giving circles have a majority of women as members (CGRC).
AMPERAGE Fundraising Advisers is a full-service fundraising company whose mission is to move the needle for our clients. For more information on Amperage Fundraising Advisers or to make a recommendation for a future blog post, contact us today!