‘Collective Giving’ Is Changing Philanthropy

By: Anneken Tappe · April 05, 2024 · Reading Time: 2 minutes

What Is Collective Giving?

Thanks to “collective giving,” more people across America consider themselves philanthropists.

Collective giving is characterized by a group of people, also known as a giving circle, combining their resources to support designated causes. These groups are often hyper-localized, both in terms of circle members and the causes they support.

It’s a new take on philanthropy, which may otherwise be associated with the super wealthy.

Giving circles allow individuals to donate cash, but also offer more hands-on giving opportunities, including volunteering, sharing expertise, spreading the word, and forming relationships. Most participants donate less than $1,000 annually but find that they are still contributing in a meaningful way, a recent report by the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy, which conducts research on effective philanthropy. The report estimates the number of giving circles has grown from 1,600 in 2017 to almost 4,000 in 2023. The research suggests this number could double again over the next five years.

Giving Back

Collective giving can promote community engagement, which may be especially meaningful following the pandemic, which left many people disengaged, isolated, and eager to giveback.

Many giving circles are predominantly led by women, and are the fastest growing kind of philanthropy in America.

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