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Giving Circles and Fundraising in the New Philanthropy Environment

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FINAL REPORT Association of Fundraising Professionals February 2007 

"Though based on an old idea, giving circles seem to be new forms of collaborative giving within the modern philanthropic context. They have been described as representing the “democratization of philanthropy” (Paulson, 2001, p. 18). Questioning this assertion, Eikenberry (2005) conducted one of the first comprehensive studies of giving circles in the United States (and Canada) to understand the degree to which they are impacting philanthropy.2 The study included interviews with 30 individuals from across the country participating in or working with a giving circle, as well as data from news articles, websites, and other documentation. Eikenberry identified three major types of giving circles across the giving circle landscape: small groups, loose networks, and formal organizations."

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