The start of the new decade offers hope for economic recovery for countless Americans, still many might not be able to make sizeable donations to national nonprofits that will be working hard to serve those in need. One way concerned community members can make a difference is through participating in giving circles – groups that combine their efforts to make a united contribution.
In her study entitled The Impact of Giving Together, University of Nebraska researcher Angela Eikenberry found that participants give more money, and give more strategically, when working collectively. She estimates that there are more than 600 "giving circles" in the nation who get together to learn about and solve community needs.
For people who have yet to discover the giving circles within their community, or for giving circles looking to find additional resources, an online company – aptly named The Giving Circle – can help. The Giving Circle, boasting a motto "No act of kindness is too small," helps put community members in touch so their small contributions can add up to big assistance.
The Giving Circle lets visitors to its web page make donations to charities of their choice online, and it helps individuals learn about volunteer opportunities in their areas. It also provides a virtual community of givers for people nationwide who are motivated to help the same cause.
The company’s mission well articulates their idea that compassion and community can help Americans overcome economic struggle. "Through our interconnectedness, interdependence, and the expanded power and possibility created by our love, support, compassion, and cooperation, we will make a difference in the quality of people’s lives."
The grass roots organization speaks to the increasing local grass roots movements that have become a boon to community organizations struggling with the loss of corporate funding in difficult times. Many believe this new method of communal giving could be the next frontier of philanthropy.