A new wave is remaking philanthropy and giving across the United States and abroad, starting at the grassroots level. Community-led shared gifting, giving circles or, as they are referred to academically, collective giving, is growing rapidly.

Collective giving is when donors come together to pool resources and collectively decide on how they want to distribute funds. It allows individuals and entities with fewer resources to also participate in philanthropy and can build community.

[Angela M. Eikenberry, a Professor of Public Affairs at the University of Nebraska – Omaha,] said collective giving was often employed in communities traditionally underrepresented in traditional philanthropy, such as the Community Investment Network, which connects African-American led giving circles across the country.

When we first started doing this work, they were individual groups forming all over the place, without any clear connection. Now, more and more of these groups are part of networks of giving circles. [-Eikenberry]

An example of this is the Thriving Resilient Communities Collaboratory (TRCC) … While not strictly a sharing or gifting circle, TRCC uses a co-funding model to distribute grant money among its members, with a twist — participants are not just deciding on who gets money, which is common in giving circles but also funding for their own organizations. The result is more collaboration.

When people are asked to set their interests alongside the interests of other groups they admire and respect, the recognition is that we’re going to do better if we work together,” said Benjamin Roberts, a steward at TRCC. “Over time, proposals have become more collaborative.

“The money gives people a reason to show up,” Roberts said. “But over time, it’s become clear that the most precious thing is the set of relationships that have developed.”

Read the full article about collective giving by Nithin Coca at Shareable.