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Giving circle launches first grant cycle

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Julia Vail

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Beehive Collective, a Raleigh-based giving circle, is accepting proposals for its first grant cycle. The collective will award $10,000 in grants to organizations promoting economic security.

Depending on the applications the circle receives, it could divide the $10,000 among multiple nonprofits or make one lump-sum grant, says Heather Yandow, Beehive Collective member and director of development and communication for the North Carolina Conservation Network.

“We really want our giving to be impactful, so we’re trying to pool our money so we can make the gifts meaningful,” she says.

The Beehive Collective started three years ago when a group of women decided to organize a production of “The Vagina Monologues” to raise funds for local women’s charities.

Since that time, the circle has expanded both in number and scope. Made up of about 40 members, mostly women, the collective aims to tackle other issues facing Raleigh.

In a nod to the economic downturn, the collective is devoting this year’s funds to organizations that help people get out of debt and build wealth.

“Because of the mortgage crisis, it was especially salient,” Yandow says.

Members of the giving circle contribute half a percent of their annual income, as well as a great deal of time and energy. They attend panels, organize events and volunteer at a variety of organizations, Yandow says. The collective set a goal of awarding a total of $60,000 to local nonprofits by 2012.

“We liked the idea of creating a ‘buzz’ about the causes we care about,” she says.

Proposals are due Oct. 15; grant recipients will be announced after the collective’s November meeting.

For more information on membership or grant proposals, visit the Beehive Collective website.

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