Posted by Eileen Ellsworth
This is the sixth post in a series reviewing the book “Giving 2.0” by Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen (Great Giving LLC, 2012)
Today’s donors are far more involved in their philanthropy than at any other time in our Nation’s history. Therefore, models of philanthropy that promote giving together and learning from each other are growing in number and importance. Two models of collective giving, namely, venture philanthropy and giving circles, are thoroughly discussed in Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen’s “Giving 2.0: Transform Your Giving and Our World.”
The term “venture philanthropy” was coined by John D. Rockefeller to describe the philanthropic capital that private foundations can risk for society’s benefit. In a venture philanthropy model, venture philanthropy staff identifies and vets promising nonprofits, then uses pooled donations for multi-year grants that aim to build an organization’s internal capacity.
Giving circles are another form of collective philanthropy that actually eliminates the venture philanthropy intermediary and provides a direct giving experience for the donors. Members of giving circles pool contributions, then teach themselves and each other about what works in philanthropy. Giving circle donors decide as a group how, when and to whom their grants will be awarded.
There are many advantages to these shared giving models. You can learn philanthropic skills from other donors, engage with the organizations you fund, access a network of like-minded donors, make friends, and pool your funds for greater impact.