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Giving Circles: Growing Grassroots Philanthropy

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Giving circles entail individuals pooling money and other resources and then deciding together where to give these away. More than this, they educate members about community issues, engage members in voluntary efforts, provide social opportunities, and maintain independence from any particular charity. This article reports on an exploratory study of giving circles in the United States, addressing the questions: What are giving circles and their impacts and how are they unique to the new philanthropy environment? The article concludes by discussing the implications of the giving circle movement for philanthropic and nonprofit professionals.