Launchpad For Hosts

A virtual incubator to launch giving circles within your institution

Giving circles are a powerful way to increase community engagement, diversify your membership, create close connections with local, grassroots nonprofits, and embed your organization’s mission further into the community. Launchpad For Hosts is the only training program of its kind to help you start giving circles at your institution.

With a curriculum informed entirely by a decade’s worth of field research, as well as the fresh expertise of community foundation professionals across the country who have been leading up their institution’s giving circle efforts for the past several decades, Launchpad For Hosts is ready to support you as you begin your giving circle-hosting journey.


Join Launchpad For Hosts

6 interactive learning sessions

The program kicks off with six weeks of virtual group learning and discussion about key questions and decision points. You’ll learn alongside other host institutions and develop a personal roadmap to start giving circles at your organizations.

1:1 and group coaching

After the learning session, you’ll continue to refine your plans with expert coaching from our Executive Director Sara Lomelin, who successfully grew Latino Community Foundation’s giving circles to more than 20 with 500 participants, and Director of Engagement Tyeshia Wilson who founded a hosted giving circle.

Peer learning community

You’ll gain access to our ongoing peer learning community where you can continue to ask questions, make new connections, and fine-tune your plans alongside a community of peers. With many common questions and concerns, our community forum is a go-to for peer learning.

Want to start giving circles at your host institution?

You know giving circles are powerful, but maybe you haven’t known how to start. Launchpad For Hosts takes best practices from dozens of host institutions to create a more sustainable model for your institution. Giving circles help steward donors, deepen and expand funding to address your communities’ most pressing challenges, and do so with intentionality and joy. As giving circles continue to be an undeniable upward trend in American philanthropy that are ushering in a new wave of democratized giving, we invite you to join us to start your own. With big philanthropy at a crossroads, there is no better time to showcase your dedication and belief in your community—as givers and receivers.


Scholarships available! Thanks to a grant from the Institute for International Education, with support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, you can receive up to $750 off program fees.

Everything you need to know

Who is best suited for Launchpad For Hosts?

Launchpad For Hosts is for passionate community leaders within philanthropic host institutions, most commonly Community Foundations, Jewish Federations, Corporations, Women’s or Issue Funds, etc.

You might be a program officer or donor engagement director, or leading corporate social responsibility work within your organization. We encourage participants to be leaders within your organization able to make decisions or pull in key decision-makers easily.

Always thought about starting giving circle(s) at your organization but didn’t quite know how? Launchpad For Hosts is for leaders like you, ready to step up and stand strong for their local community.

What will I learn during Launchpad?

Launchpad For Hosts starts with six weeks of immersive training covering all aspects of setting up hosted giving circles.

  • Week 1: Host Vision — Define mission alignment, outcomes and goals, and how to gather stakeholder buy-in.
  • Week 2: Circle Design — Determine your ideal model and type of hosted giving circle, with considerations around size, membership, contribution structure, and issue focus.
  • Week 3: Host/Circle Relationship — Solidify how your hosted giving circles will fit into your existing business model, staffing structure, and operations.
  • Week 4: Circle Leadership — Uncover who will lead and champion your hosted circles and learn how to train and support these leaders to enable long-term sustainability.
  • Week 5: Hosting Infrastructure — Dive into all the small details of technology tools, data tracking, and internal/external communications.
  • Week 6: Long-Term Impact — Envision long-term donor engagement tactics, how to measure impact, how to deepen donor education over time, and considerations around circle life cycles.

The Community Forum has additional resources, video content, and template scripts, agendas, and tools for you to modify.

How much does it cost to participate?

Launchpad For Hosts is priced per institution, at $1,000 for one participant and an additional $500/each for two or more participants (max of 3). We are proud to offer Launchpad For Hosts at this price level given the extensive support provided: 10 hours of live training, 2 personal coaching sessions, access to a community of other philanthropic host institutions, and our commitment to helping you start and run successful giving circles over the long-term. Apply by November 1 to save $200 on program fees!

Scholarships available! Thanks to a grant from the Institute for International Education, with support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, you can receive up to $750 off program fees. To request a scholarship, please enter your requested amount on your application.

*Please note that Philanthropy Together is a nonprofit organization itself and we are committed to scaling sustainable giving circles. If this fee prohibits your organization’s participation, please reach out to Tyeshia Wilson, Director of Engagement, and we’d be happy to discuss:

When is Launchpad For Hosts?

Launchpad For Hosts will welcome its next cohort on Tuesday, February 1. The program kicks off with a 6-week sprint, where you’ll engage in weekly 90-minute live, interactive learning sessions. Ongoing 1:1 and group coaching will be available with Philanthropy Together’s Director of Engagement, Tyeshia Wilson, who has extensive experience in strategic community engagement and is also a member of a hosted giving circle.

What is the difference between Launchpad For Hosts and Launchpad For You?

Launchpad For Hosts is specifically for a host institution (such as a Community Foundation, Jewish Federation, Women’s Fund, Issue Fund, Corporation, etc.) to run one or more giving circles within that organization. Hosts offer a range of support services to giving circles.

Launchpad For You is for individuals starting their own volunteer giving circles on issues they care about with the people they care about.

If you have questions about which program is right for you, please reach out to Director of Engagement Tyeshia Wilson and we’d be happy to discuss:

See why others love Launchpad For Hosts

2021 Launchpad For Hosts Participant

“This program provided the information and tools necessary to launch a successful giving circle and boosted my confidence too!”

2021 Launchpad For Hosts Participant

“[Launchpad For Hosts] has been a mind-blowing experience. I’ve learned a great deal and feel confident to move to the next level in this work.”


Have more questions before you apply?

Tyeshia Wilson, our Director of Engagement, would be happy to meet with you!

Apply today

We are now accepting applications for Launchpad For Hosts 2022, which kicks off on Tuesday, February 1. Please complete the application below. Apply by November 1 to save $200 on program fees!

SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE! You can receive up to $750 off program fees! To request a subsidy, please complete an application.