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Giving Circles – and Amplifier! – in the News

November 20, 2014

We’re excited to share some recent press coverage about giving circles.  We’re constantly inspired by the work giving circles do – not just the grants they make, but the way they thoughtfully grapple with the biggest, most complex challenges we face and find opportunities to make a positive impact.

The Jewish Women’s Fund of New York’s giving circle Isha Koach (Women of Strength) has a feminist mission: to address the global needs of women and girls through a Jewish and gender lens, and to to advance the efforts and profiles of Jewish women social entrepreneurs who lead organizations that improve the quality of life of the world’s most vulnerable women and children.  When the group learned that as many as 75% of cases in the recent West African ebola outbreak were women – who make up the vast majority of nurses, and are usually primary caregivers for sick husbands and/or children – they decided to take action.  Inspired by the Biblical injunction to not “stand idly by” in the face of violence and injustice, Isha Koach made its first grant of the year, $10,000 to the AFYA Foundation, as an emergency relief grant to combat the spread of ebola and to help ship $1.7M of life-saving supplies to Sierra Leone.  Read more here.

The Israel Giving Circle, hosted by San Francisco’s Jewish Community Federation, is making waves in the Bay Area, giving $24,000 in grants to two Israeli organizations: Hagar, an education and peace program, and The Aguda, a human-rights group representing Israel’s LGBT community.  Equally important as the support they gave was they way they gave it.  Sigalit Rubinson, who helped organize the circle, and who was a participant in Amplifier’s first giving circle incubator in early 2014, said: “The process brought a thoughtful, personal, hands-on giving practice into the living room with exponential impact — on the participants and on the issues and organizations that received funding.” Read more here.

Finally, we’re proud to share coverage in both The Jewish Week and YNet of the launch of AmplifierGiving.org this fall!  Stories like the two above are exactly why we decided to create a platform and hub for giving circles inspired by Jewish values.  Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for anybody to start a giving circle of their own, learn about and connect with important causes and great organizations, and share fun and meaningful time with friends and family.  We hope you’ll browse the site and check out How Amplifier Works to get your own circle started up on the platform!