“Co-leading a giving circle has been one of the most rewarding initiatives I have ever undertaken,” said Lynne Garfinkel, Boulder County resident.
After graduating from Launchpad For You, Lynne teamed up with Pam Lowy to launch Moving Mountains Giving Circle on .org to support organizations and causes in Boulder County, Colorado. In its first few months, the group grew to more than 30 members and is focused on addressing food insecurity in our community through giving, volunteering and educational activities. When the Colorado fires hit in December they were able to rally friends and family nationwide to donate to their giving circle and then directed those funds locally.
Passionate about giving circles and her experience, Lynne is one of 20 other people around the United States taking on the role of “Giving Circle Coach” by joining Philanthropy Together and Grapevine’s inaugural Giving Circle Coaching Program. Just launched in January 2022, this cohort of leaders around the United States will each work to train, support, and launch at least five new giving circles – aiming for a total of 100 new US-based circles between the cohort—with community, resources, and shared experiences between the coaches.
“I am thrilled to be part of the effort to scale the movement by engaging and coaching others to start a giving circle and make a difference in their communities,” said Lynne.
About the Coaching Program
The Coaching Program is a new initiative, launched January 2022, aimed at helping coaches identify and reach out to leaders in their communities, people best served for facilitating their own giving circles with the right support.
Armed with training tools from the Philanthropy Together Launchpad incubator, and Grapevine.org’s robust technology platform for giving circles—coaches will facilitate the growth of five or more new giving circles.
This new program builds on pre-existing networks and relationships: how many of us regularly attend community meetings, or have a friend or loved one with membership in the Chamber of Commerce, a book club, or a local nonprofit? The key to these organizations is human interaction: and the coaching program takes this idea a step further.
Building on the existing partnerships and relationships between communities, coaches will find new ways to strengthen connections between dynamic community leaders as they set out to help them form their own giving circles. These new leaders will work hand in hand with someone who’s launched a circle before and has that first-hand experience about lessons learned to starting a giving circle.
“Before Philanthropy Together and Grapevine, raising funds for meaningful causes always seemed like a daunting task,” said Stacey Pierre, More Than Strong Giving Circle and 2022 Coach. “Together, both groups make giving accessible. Joining the coaching program was the next right step to my goal of empowering other young professionals to contribute to their respective communities.”
Meet Our 2022 Coaches
“I have a passion for the giving circle movement because it allows a group of like-minded people to strategically change the world! Being a founder of a giving circle that has been around for 15 years has been one of the joys of my life, and I love to see that spark in others as they find the joy in the giving circle journey too!” – Joy Webb, Circle of Joy Giving Circle
The 2022 Coaches Cohort comes from a wide range of interest areas and backgrounds, serving communities all over the United States. Fifty percent of coaches in this year’s learning ecosystem self-identify as people of color, with representatives from the LGBTQIA2S+ community, youth, women’s groups, and planning on beginning giving circles within corporations, higher ed institutions, community nonprofits, and more. A huge thank you to the inaugural Giving Circle Coaching Program Cohort:
Nicole B Garzino
“I became an Ambassador to introduce others to the exponential impact of giving circles. Giving circle members have the opportunity to work with old and new friends, learn more about the needs of their community, and build relationships with the nonprofits working to address these challenges.” – Faith Boettger
Thank you to the entire Grapevine team, our amazing 2022 coaches, and everyone taking that next great leap into the wonderful world of giving circles!
How to Get Involved
Are you a giving circle leader looking to start new giving circles in your community? Reach out over email and we’ll share more information about future Coaching cohorts. email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maggie May is a small business owner, author, and story-centric content strategist within the nonprofit sector. Maggie is the Founder and Executive Director of the agency Get Mighty Creative, as well as a co-founder and the Director of Operations for The Undercard Collective, a giving circle focused on representation in music and the arts. She is a Maryland transplant by way of Florida, Pennsylvania, Ireland, and most recently Salt Lake City, Utah. She has a passion for finding stories and telling them the way they're meant to be told.