Giving Compass' Take:
- Sara Lomelin, CEO of Philanthropy Together, discusses why and how giving circles are rooted in community and equity.
- How can individual donors pivot to collective giving practices? What are the benefits of giving circles in smaller communities?
- Read more about collective giving.
What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
Sara Lomelin offered the final TED Talk of this year’s conference of expert speakers last month, on a particularly star-studded day in Vancouver, Canada, where she followed actress Bryce Dallas Howard, TV producer Michael Schur and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who discussed the future of his company and his plans for Twitter.
Lomelin, the CEO of Philanthropy Together, a nonprofit that seeks to use grassroots giving to diversify donations, laughs when asked to compare the audience responses to their presentations.
The Associated Press spoke recently with Lomelin about Philanthropy Together’s billion-dollar plans for expansion and why many people are themselves philanthropists without even knowing it. The interview was edited for clarity and length.
Q. Why did you want your TED talk to about giving circles?
A. That is not only my work passion but my life passion. I’m a true believer of in giving circles and the power that can build communities. It’s basically the future of philanthropy. It’s changing the narrative of who gets to be called a philanthropist. We have very bold goals. Our mission is to democratize and diversify philanthropy. What we want is to expand this movement to about 3,000 giving circles that will include 350,000 individuals by 2025.
Q. Will giving circles make philanthropy more equitable?
A. I believe so. We all know these numbers, right? About 8% of philanthropic funding dollars go to communities of color, and about 1.9% goes to women and girls. People start giving circles because they see an injustice, and they want to take action. People power philanthropy. Because a lot of these are identity-based giving circles, they are giving to nonprofits led by their identity. Black giving circles are giving to Black-led nonprofits. Latino circles are giving to Latino-led nonprofits. LGBTQ giving circles are giving to LGBTQ-led nonprofits. So you start seeing funding for incredible organizations that are many times overlooked because they are small.
Read the full article about giving circles by Glenn Gamboa at Associated Press News.