When like-minded people come together to invest in their community, great things can happen. Here are seven reasons why collective giving increases generosity in a community.
- Collective giving increases accessibility. When donors join their giving together, each donor can be part of a bigger project.
The Community Foundation saw this play out when over 500 donors – with gifts ranging from $5 to over $100,000 – supported our Emergency Relief Fund in 2020. As a result, together we supported over $800,000 in COVID-relief, and each donor played a role in making that happen.
- Collective giving increases participation. Sometimes donors assume that their small donations won’t really make a difference. However, true synergies can happen when many donors come together to join forces to make a bigger impact than any of them could make on their own.
In 2020, after the tragic death of George Floyd rattled our collective consciousness, the Community Foundation stepped up to do what we do best . .. mobilize generosity. Sixty donors make “founding donations” to a new Racial Equity Fund designed to close equity gaps based on race. Together, we have been able to make grants of nearly $200,000 in the past two years, while creating an endowment to address these issues for years to come, proving once again that we are indeed stronger together.
- Collective giving increases diversity. By lowering the entry point for collective giving, you also lower barriers to philanthropy. This allows donors of all ages and income levels to participate in doing good for their community and creates new opportunities for underrepresented groups to participate in philanthropy.
At the Community Foundation, we believe that generosity shouldn’t have just one price tag. That’s why we are intentional about creating opportunity for emerging philanthropists to have collective giving opportunities too. That’s why we support the Give256 Fund, which allows donors to make a difference in their community for less than $26 a month or just $256 a year. Philanthropy isn’t just for the wealthy . . . it’s for donors of all income levels.
- Collective giving increases democracy. One of the hallmarks of collective giving work is that grants decisions are made by a larger group with more donors having a voice in how those grant dollars will be spent.
Give256 is a perfect example of how collective giving increases democracy. Each Give 256 gets an equal vote on where the grants will be distributed each year. Giving through a giving circle like Give256 gives donors a voice in how their charitable dollars will be spent.
- Collective giving increases connection. By lowering the cost of participation, more donors can connect with our community and with other donors in new and deeper ways.
In 2018, the Community Foundation launched the Women’s Philanthropy Society as an initiative by women and for women. The members of the Women’s Philanthropy Society are much more than donors, they are a sisterhood committed to creating a legacy of love for women and their families in our community.
- Collective giving increases collaboration. Collaboration comes in many shapes and sizes. By participating in collective giving, collaboration occurs among donors who come together to make a difference, but it also occurs by increasing the pool of grant dollars available to local nonprofit organizations to do strategic work.
The Compass Society is the Community Foundation’s strategic grantmaking fund to help it “map the future.” We realize that there are projects that are bigger than any one organization acting along can solve. That’s where collective giving comes in. By working collaboratively, our local nonprofit organizations can bring their unique strengths to bear with other organizations, and together the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Collective giving helps enable this type of synergy.
- Collective giving increases impact. Encouraging more donor involvement in the work of community ultimately creates more impact. Together we truly can do more than any of us can do separately.
The Community Foundation sits at a unique intersection to address our community’s needs with our community’s resources. We help connect donors who care with causes they care about. The impact of collective giving work is good for our community because it increases the impact that donors can have on the problems and challenges we face . . . together.
Collective giving is indeed good for our community. It’s a simple but very practical way that we can work together to do more than any one individual, one company, or one organization can do on its own.