Welcome to our new series: Giving Circle Spotlight. This month, we’re introducing the Tribe 12 Fellowship Giving Circle, launched through Amplifier’s Giving Circle Incubator. Tribe 12’s giving circle created strong bonds between the fellowship’s alumni and transformed young adults into community leaders who now have the tools to give tzedakah thoughtfully and collectively.
Integrating Giving Together into a Leadership Development Curriculum
The Tribe 12 Fellowship is a Jewish leadership development program and a venture accelerator in Philadelphia that has worked with young adults in their 20s and 30s since 2011. This year, the fellowship piloted a giving circle to teach its young leaders that philanthropy can be a transformational experience, and a way to make real impact in their communities. The Tribe 12 fellowship curriculum now includes ethical philanthropy alongside topics like entrepreneurship, design thinking and emotional intelligence.
As part of the fellowship’s giving circle process, the 10 fellows (including a paramedic, a visual artist, a comedian, and a health and wellness coach) focused on exploring and funding projects that Tribe 12 Fellowship alumni helped launch in their local community. By connecting with past fellows, 2017 fellows learned about their peers’ innovative approaches to community impact, and learned more about the everyday challenges their community faced. As a result, the 2017 fellows made a small but powerful gift to one of their fellow Tribe 12 alums whose project provides healthy food and community food education in Camden, NJ (more below).
“This was a group of people in their 20s and 30s, mostly with limited experience with giving and I watched them transform through the process into people who truly understand the power they can wield—as individuals, but even more so as a collective,” said Ross Berkowitz, the founder and executive director of Tribe 12.
The Tribe 12 giving circle made its first gift of $1,500 to Parkside Roots to Market, a venture that an alumnus of the Fellowship helped to incubate. Parkside Roots to Market is a local organization in Camden, New Jersey that teaches urban farming and provides fresh produce to a local community living in a food desert. The funds will go directly toward hiring an educator who will teach farming techniques to local community members. By learning urban farming, local residents will have more access to quality food as well as new professional opportunities.
Scaling the Giving Circle
The 2017 Fellows are going to continue their giving circle as a Tribe 12 Fellowship alumni circle. The 2017 class will take the lead and invite alumni from past years to join the circle as well. In addition, the giving circle will continue to be integrated into the Tribe 12 Fellowship experience for the 2018 Fellow class. By adding an alumni giving circle into the mix, Tribe 12 is creating a sustainable model that will continue to build community and enable young leaders to practice mindful philanthropy well into the future.
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