About Us

Philanthropy Together

All across the country people are coming together to create the change they want to see in the world by joining a giving circle. This way of giving enables people to increase their impact and knowledge, have fun, and connect with their local community.

Collective giving has exploded in popularity, growing to more than 2,000 circles with 150,000+ people joining over the last two decades. Philanthropy Together is a new global initiative, co-created by hundreds of giving circle and network leaders, to scale and strengthen this movement to more than 350,000 people in 3,000 giving circles, collectively giving $1 billion in just the next five years.

We aim to showcase this model of collective giving, scale the number of circles and the number of people involved, and strengthen and sustain the work of existing giving circles and associated networks.

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Our Story

The History

In fall of 2017, alongside the launch of the Collective Giving Research Group’s Landscape Study, leaders from two dozen giving circle networks came together for the first time through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Each network was working diligently with their own circles, chapters, affiliates, and communities, but without many (or any!) cross-field connections. This convening was an eye-opening moment: everyone wanted to connect, learn from one another, and spread the giving circle movement far and wide.

Five diverse leaders and networks—representing Asian Women Giving Circle, Amplifier, Community Investment Network, Latino Community Foundation, and Philanos—embarked on a 12-month co-design process with consultant Isis Krause of Knead Partners to take the starting ideas from the convening and turn them into a full-fledged strategy. After dozens of interviews with giving circles, hundreds of hours of Zoom-fueled virtual working groups, and another field-wide convening three times the size of the first, the plan for Philanthropy Together was born.

An additional seed grant from the Gates Foundation enabled the idea to turn from vision to reality, and founding Executive Director Sara Lomelin—a long-time giving circle advocate and leader who started and grew the Latino Giving Circle Network to 20+ circles across California—came aboard to lead this bold vision. Philanthropy Together officially launched on April 1, 2020, thanks to the hundreds of people who co-created this powerful work. We’ve only just begun, and we’re so glad you’re here.

Meet the Team

Director of Development & Partnerships

Team Associate

Strategic Advisor

Senior Manager of Marketing & Community

Director of Engagement

Meet Braintrust

A committee of representatives from more than a dozen giving circle networks across the country who inform program development and strategy for the giving circle field at-large.

Our Supporters & Partners

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Logo
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