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Database Of 2,500 Giving Circle Donors Continues Expansion

Charity Navigator, a nonprofit evaluator based in Saddle Brook, N.J., has become the latest platform that will host the Global Giving Circle Directory, an information compilation on 2,500 donor groups that pool financial donations in support of a wide range of charities and philanthropic causes.

The directory enables potential funders to connect with like-minded donors in support of their favorite causes. Since 2000, at least 150,000 people have come together to donate nearly $1.3 billion to a variety of nonprofits through giving circles.

“Each year, more than 9.5 million donors come to Charity Navigator with the goal to find and support impactful nonprofits,” Charity Navigator President and CEO Michael Thatcher said via a statement. “Now, not only can donors find nonprofits that match their interests, but they can connect with groups of donors that share these interests and together support causes and charitable organizations collectively.”

The directory, which was issued in April 2021, is an update of work started in 2016 by New York City-based development team Grapevine, the Collective Giving Research Group and the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Its 2,500 listings are a solid representation of the global community of giving circles, according to Grapevine’s Director of Content and Community Emily Schaefer. Listing information includes the size, location and focus area of the group, how much the group collects during its year, donation or grant-making cycle, the amount members are expected to contribute and nonprofits that have receiving funds from the group. Giving circles not already listed can request a form here: https://www.grapevine.org/global-giving-circle-directory/launch.

The current iteration is a joint effort between Grapevine, which once again took the lead on system development, and Philanthropy Together, a global consortium of giving circle and network leaders which is providing most of the research and programming.

Having a funder-friendly database will aid in the directory backers’ goal of growing giving circle participants to 350,000 individuals who contribute another $1 billion to causes around the world, Grapevine’s Schaefer told The NonProfit Times. As part of that effort, the backers have launched the Giving Circles Coaches Program, which during the first seven months of 2022 is seeking to train 25 coaches to help launch 100 new giving circles around the United States.

“This is the first time we are doing that program,” Schaefer said. “We will expand it beyond the United States if it works.”

The directory itself already represents a global footprint, with 241 Canadian giving circles, as well as 85 in Asian and the Pacific Islands, 65 in Europe, 17 in the Middle East and northern Africa, 13 in Latin America and one in sub-Saharan Africa represented in its listings.

The backers are not planning on a paid marketing campaign right now, according to Schaefer. Instead, they are relying on grassroots networking efforts with existing giving circles and host organizations to showcase the directory.

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