Giving Circles

Giving Circles
Community Philanthropy
Giving more by giving together
Collective giving groups, often known as giving circles, have tripled in number since 2007 and are an increasingly popular way for donors from diverse backgrounds to amplify the impact of their giving.

Giving circles and other collaborative giving groups are made up of individuals who collectively donate money and sometimes unpaid time to support organizations or projects of mutual interest. Members have a say in how funding is given and which organizations or projects are supported.

Collective giving was a research focus of Jason Franklin, Ph.D., the inaugural holder of the W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair. Jason conducted the research included in this Collection with collaborators in the Collective Giving Research Group: Jessica Bearman (Bearman Consulting), Julia L. Carboni, Ph.D. (Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University), and Angela Eikenberry, Ph.D. (School of Public Administration, University of Nebraska at Omaha).

New Landscape Study

In Abundance: An Analysis of the Thriving Landscape of Collective Giving in the U.S.

A partnership between the Johnson Center, Colmena-Consulting, and Philanthropy Together, this new report underscores collective giving groups’ role in reshaping philanthropic practices, fostering social connections, and amplifying the voices of marginalized communities. Practiced in cultures all around the world, collective giving brings people together to pool their resources, including time, talent, treasure, testimony, and ties — often referred to as the 5Ts. Groups like giving circles, SVP chapters, giving projects, and nonprofit-led circles have long served as democratic and philanthropic learning hubs — bringing historically marginalized voices into philanthropic decision-making spaces, challenging preconceived notions of who is considered a philanthropist, and elevating members as integral actors in our sector’s efforts to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in giving. 

Reports on Collective Giving

Front cover of the report

The State of Giving Circles Today: Overview of New Research Findings From a Three-Part Study (Nov 2017)

Cover Thumbnail: The Landscape of Giving Circles/Collective Giving in the U.S. 2016

Cover Thumbnail: Giving Circle Membership: How Collective Giving Impacts Donors - Executive Summary (Nov 2018)

Cover Thumbnail: Dynamics of Hosting: Giving Circles and Collective Giving Groups (Nov 2018)

Explore More on Giving Circles
& Collective Giving Groups

Collective giving groups are an increasingly significant philanthropic force, engaging a greater diversity of donors, including women, people of various ethnic and racial backgrounds, and donors of all wealth levels.

Looking for more on community philanthropy?

Explore the W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair’s work through research and initiatives.