Hi! My name is Leslie and I've actively been involved in community service most of my adult life. Over the years, I've donated to many worthy causes, worked and volunteered for dozens of nonprofit organizations, large and small, and have always felt that local grassroots efforts are the most inspiring.
To me, it just makes sense to "give where you live" because there's so much need, if you just take a look around. And you don't have to look far. In my opinion, taking a hands-on approach to giving makes for a more rewarding, personal impact on the lives of those less fortunate and has made me appreciate my own blessings even more. Plus, I love hanging out with my friends!
About 10 years ago, I read an article about a [new] philanthropic concept called Giving Circles. It described a group of women friends who decided that instead of going out to lunch once a month, they would have a potluck and pool the money they saved and give it to a needy cause. The idea lingered in my mind and motivated me.
I had a wonderful group of friends that I enjoyed seeing regularly and I decided to suggest the concept to them - by pooling our relatively small individual donations, we could have a much larger impact and learn about our community in a fun and meaningful way, all while enjoying our usual get-togethers. Turns out, it was the easiest pitch I've ever made. All 10 women responded favorably and our giving group called "GiVe" (link to their individual page) was born. We were enthusiastically off and running!
Since then, our group, “GiVe”, (we could never decide on a more creative name, haha!) has donated more than $50,000 to our local community through this hands-on giving approach. We donate to both sanctioned nonprofit organizations and individuals in need. We do what we want and we don’t like rules! It's never been so easy and enjoyable to do so much "good."
The structure of the group has helped me to maintain and strengthen my friendships with women who are important to me. I have learned and experienced so much alongside smart people with varied opinions and approaches and I celebrate my good fortune in being with these women.
The goal now is to make it easy for others to form their own Giving Circles through Givetogether.org. Let’s form a network of giving circles with our original group, GiVe, the first group to register. Now, it’s up to you. Why not Start a Circle that works best for you, your friends and colleagues?
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!