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.

Giving Circles in the US
People in Giving Circles
Dollars Given Away

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.

Commitment to Racial Equity

Philanthropy Together is committed to creating a more just and equitable society. Our vision is a world full of passionate, empowered, diverse individuals giving collectively and intentionally to create the world they want to see.

In order to make meaningful and lasting change towards this vision, commitment to ongoing learning and holding racial equity as core to all our work is necessary. We also accept our vital responsibility in tackling injustice, prejudice, and discrimination head on. Our long overdue reckoning with systemic racism played out in full force in recent years, and we affirm that the continued injustices and pervasive culture of division is unacceptable.

We acknowledge that philanthropy as a sector has been complicit in the unjust treatment and inclusion of Black, Indigenous, people of color, and many other marginalized groups, and we deeply commit to being a force for change, healing, and community building. Although the road is long, we must collectively—staff, leaders, partners, and funders—share in the responsibility to put in the work to transform broken systems and continue on a journey towards liberation. We look to upend white supremacist colonial structures that have used philanthropy to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of few and elevate the deep wisdom and experience of community-based and collective philanthropy. The groundswell of racial diversity within the collective giving movement inspires us, and the opportunity to build on its transformative power in service to the overall field of philanthropy gives us much hope.

Everyone has the ability to lead in this work, and we stand resolute in the belief that the collective giving movement is inclusive and made for everyone. Real change is coming, and we are grateful for all those who wish to join us.

Meet the Team

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

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