What Are Women's Giving Circles?

We believe in women and their collective power to make change. When empowered with educational and financial resources, research has confirmed that investments made by women - regardless of their locale - impact society with funds being directed to education, healthcare, and environmental causes.

The increased emphasis on women’s equity world-wide provides an exciting opportunity to build upon the rise of women’s philanthropy in the United States. Showcasing the estimated 1.2B USD generated by the giving circle movement over the last two decades and introducing the concept of women’s collective giving as a platform for values-based global change, are paramount as international philanthropy continues to evolve beside gender parity.

The concept of women’s giving circles and collective giving is very simple:

  • Women all give the same amount of money.

  • The money is pooled.

  • Grant requests are voted on by the members.

  • All the money is generally given out annually. NOTE: Some community foundations keep a portion in their endowments.

Giving circles have tripled in number since 2007 and women are the majority of giving circle members.
— Research funding provided by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation via the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

What Is Collective Giving?

Collective and collaborative giving is when groups of people get together and are:

  • Pooling individual dollars to make significantly larger and transformational gifts.

  • Encouraging people from diverse backgrounds to participate in granting big gifts to make a genuine impact.

  • Supporting educational programming around grant making, philanthropy education, and community needs.

  • Building leadership.


Why Start a Women's Giving Circle or Collective Giving Effort?

Research has shown that women’s giving circles and collective giving efforts benefit organizations because they:

  • Build connections with a huge new pool of potential donors.

  • Bring women’s voices to the board room.

  • Empower women to advocate for issues they support.

  • Democratize philanthropy by opening it to more than the wealthy.

  • Provide women with a new and unique opportunity to become leaders. 

  • Meet organization’s mission statements to make better communities and address human needs.

  • Help develop a culture of philanthropy.

  • Leverage women’s wealth.


The 6 C’s of Women’s Philanthropic Giving

Twenty-five years ago, Sondra Shaw Hardy and Martha Taylor identified 6 C’s as the inspiration for women’s giving which forms the basis of all women’s collective giving.

Women give because they want to:

  • Create new solutions to old problems.

  • Change rather than preserve the status quo.

  • Commit to the organization’s mission and vision.

  • Connect with the organization.

  • Collaborate with others, particularly other women.

  • Celebrate and have fun with giving.