Giving circle search

New Ventures begins study of giving circles in U.S.

[04.06.04] — New Ventures in Philanthropy is searching the U.S. to locate giving circles and understand how they work.

People in a giving circle pool their charitable dollars in a fund and decide as a group which nonprofits to support, says the Washington, D.C.-based Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, which started New Ventures in Philanthropy in 1998.

Giving circles range from groups of friends who put their money into a designated bank account, to hundreds of people who may let a local community foundation manage their money.

Anyone who knows of a giving circle, large or small, is asked to contact New Ventures so it can compile a nationwide database.

The group aims to study how various forms and functions of different giving circles affect their operations.

At the end of the project, the group plans to highlight giving circle practices that work well and identify missing resources.

To contact New Ventures in Philanthropy, call 410.727.1205, ext. 211, or send an email to, and type giving circle study in the subject line.

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