Philanthropy & Giving Circles

There is no question that times are hard for people and for charitable organizations. It is also a hard truth that services that might be provided by our government will not be funded due to lack of resources. We can argue across political lines who should pay for what. Or we can do as much as we can of what needs to be done. I look at our schools and social services and think, they need support now.

There are groups who have lists of effective charities, and it’s always good to support organizations with a track record of making a difference. I’ve written in another blog post about Fixes a weekly column in the New York Times. One of the things they keep tabs on is which organizations and what style of philanthropy is working.

I think one way that we can make a difference is through giving circles. If we gather our friends together and make decisions about where we’d like to have impact,

  1. It allows us to participate in a much larger way in the financial success of an organization.
  2. We can involve our kids in the notion and the reality of giving. Kids can make good choices about the kind of help that’s needed.
  3. It keeps us talking about what’s important to us as individuals, families and communities.

It’s a new year. Many of us feel we don’t have enough… but I would encourage us all to look at what enough is compared to the people in our community. It’s easy to get lulled into the need for more, when we might better be coaxed into generosity.

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