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Aussie Giving Circles on the Rise

23 October 2012 at 9:21 am
Staff Reporter
Giving circles and collaborative giving groups are catching on as a vehicle for fundraising in Australia, according to a co-founder of Impact100 in Western Australia, James Boyd.

Staff Reporter | 23 October 2012 at 9:21 am


Aussie Giving Circles on the Rise
23 October 2012 at 9:21 am

Giving circles and collaborative giving groups are catching on as a vehicle for fundraising in Australia, according to a co-founder of Impact100 in Western Australia, James Boyd.

The organisation is assessing its worth as it celebrates its first anniversary. Impact100 WA was set up to gather at least one hundred people to donate $1000 each annually and then to pool their contributions to make large impact grants to WA-based projects that are collectively chosen by the donors at an annual grant dinner.

“On the 31 October, Impact100 WA’s inaugural year will be celebrated with an annual dinner. At the dinner donors will vote for the recipient of a $100,000 grant following four presentations by four local charities,” Boyd said.

“There is national interest in the progress of Impact100 WA with talk of Impact100 groups forming in Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide.

“Local community foundations and regional communities in WA are also looking at the concept to grow their fundraising capacity, community engagement and the education of donors on community issues. Impact100 WA is keen to share its experience over the last 12 months and offer support to similar initiatives around the country.

“At the same time, we are seeing an increasing number of donor circles being formed around particular cause areas. These donor circles are enjoying particularly success in the arts, where groups of donors are working together to make a specific difference,” Boyd said.

“While the social side of the groups is important, its the ability for individual donors to see the specific impact they have had which is significant. A group gift can achieve things beyond what many donors could achieve on their own.

“The impact of collaborative giving in Australia has enormous potential to grow philanthropy generally in this country. Its enjoyable to give as a group, its more powerful to give as a group, and as we take part we learn about the cause areas that really connect with us as individuals.

“While we become more aware of our interests, we also begin to see how we can have the most impact – because that’s what we are all after – if we give money we want to know its going to make a difference.”

Australia's first Impact100 giving circle and the rise of social entrepreneurs in Australia will be discussed by a selection of speakers at Swinburne Philanthropy Alumni's final events for 2012 in November in Melbourne. 

“At this event I intend to share the journey of Impact100 WA and provide as much support as I can to encourage more collaborative giving initiatives to take hold across Australia.”

James Boyd is currently the WA Manager, ArtSupport Australia. He will be accompanied at the Swinburne event by Seri Renkin, of Angel Investor Network, Melbourne, who will share her experiences of participating in a formal giving circle.

Both Boyd and and Renkin have researched and written about giving circles, and in 2011 James was an FIA Perpetual Scholarship recipient researching collaborative giving in the US. While in the US, James discovered the Impact100 giving circle model, and helped launched an Impact100 WA – the first of its kind outside of the US.

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