Gates Foundation Funding First-ever Summit for US Giving Circle Networks

(l-r) Marsha Morgan from Community Investment Network, Diane Chipps Bailey from Women’s Collective Giving Grantmakers Network, Joelle Asaro Berman from Amplifier, and Hali Lee from Asian Women Giving Circle speaking on a panel at Women’s Philanthropy Institute 2017 Symposium in March 2017. Photo courtesy Courtesy of The Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

Amplifier, the global network of giving circles inspired by Jewish values, will convene all 20 U.S. giving circle networks for a summit in Grand Rapids, Mich., this November 14-15.

Giving circles – groups of people who pool their charitable donations and decide together where to allocate their money – are a key tool for entry to philanthropy. At least 550 of the more than 1,000 giving circles in the U.S. are part of the 20 different networks that Amplifier is convening in order to explore ways to scale and strengthen giving circles nationwide.

Funding for the summit is being provided by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Participating will be two leaders from each of the 20 U.S. networks, representing giving circles from diverse communities: African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Latinos, faith-inspired givers, groups of women and youth, and more.

The summit will also feature a presentation of new findings on the American giving circle landscape by University of Nebraska, Omaha’s Dr. Angela Eikenberry, Jessica Bearman (Bearman Consulting), Julia Carboni (Syracuse University), and Jason Franklin (Johnson Center for Philanthropy). Eikenberry and her team’s research inspired the idea for connecting and convening the 20 American networks.

Natan, a Jewish giving circle In New York, launched Amplifier in 2014 with core support from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. Amplifier has since become an independent entity, with support from a growing group of funders including Schusterman, Natan, the Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah and the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust.