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Giving Circles and Community Foundations

Grand Valley State University

  • Program Civil Society
  • Program Area Enhancing Community Philanthropy
  • Grant Amount $77,000
  • Grant Period June 1, 2016–August 31, 2018
  • Location Allendale, MI, United States
  • Geographic Focus United States

About this grant

The project goal is to gain insight into how community foundations and other philanthropic intermediaries relate with an increasingly popular form of community philanthropy — giving circles. Research will be conducted on the extent of giving circle activity in the United States, the impact of giving circles on their members, and their impact on community foundations and other host organizations. Factors that will be studied include models, structures, activities, composition, length, level of engagement, initiation process, beneficiaries, and host motivations, incentives, and receptivity. The study will identify challenges and opportunities that could help community foundations, giving circles, and other philanthropic intermediaries to develop more productive relationships, thus raising the potential to increase philanthropy in communities, and make it more effective and responsive. The project will be managed by the Johnson Center for Philanthropy, a unit of the College of Community and Public Service at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.