Current AJF Giving Circle members: Strengthen AJF

What is a Giving Circle?

Giving circles are groups of people who come together to pool their charitable donations and decide how to allocate them. They are versatile communities that enable members to explore their passions, impact their communities, and explore Jewish values. In doing so, individuals are better informed, more engaged, and have a heightened awareness of the issues and strategic vision of the charity or institution. The ability to scale up the impact of each individual’s contribution is incredibly powerful. Giving circles are an opportunity for both traditional and new philanthropists to learn, engage in discussion about critical issues facing the Jewish community and its organisations, and intimately know the organisations that you support. Furthermore, donors know their funds are having a greater impact than they might do alone, through the leverage of giving together. By giving collaboratively, the next generation of givers will be more informed and have a stronger engagement with their Jewish community.

Giving Circle Spotlight

Kindness Circle: Jessica Sepel and Kira Brandt

In 2021, two friends were looking to make a difference in their community and energise their friends to become active leaders in community giving. With the help of AJF, they inspired 15 women from 25-65-years-of-age to come together and form the Kindness Giving Circle, with the mission to give more thoughtfully and passionately to those in need. Their diverse financial capabilities make coming together as a group extremely powerful as they know by pooling their donations they can make a more powerful and positive change to a cause or program, the alternative a meaningless donation or not giving at all. The women have bonded over their shared value of acting with kindness/chesed and have been galvanised to incorporate service work into their giving circle experiences.

Royal Children’s Hospital Circle: Shelley Kline

What I love about a Giving Circle is that it gives a group of people an opportunity to pool their resources and join together to create a positive difference in the world.  The members of the Giving Circle share similar values. The experience is valuable for the givers as much as the beneficiaries. It is educational, empowering, social, fun and a strategic means of giving. This form of philanthropy embraces accountability and entrepreneurship. It broadens the boundaries of what’s possible for individual givers as well as for the grantees. A giver is no longer limited by their own individual capacity and a grantee isn’t confined to seeking funds from larger donors.

In 2018, a baby, two young children, and a very busy life, the concept of Giving Circles had been on my mind. I just needed to find the right time. I felt inspired and arranged to meet the Australian Jewish Funders (AJF) for some advice. The best recommendation I received was to join forces with someone else to form a Giving Circle. Working together halves the number of people you need to approach, and it reduces the amount of work you need to do. So, I found a friend to join me and together we planned to find 5 or 6 couples for our Giving Circle.

I have always been passionate about children’s health, so I met with someone on the Board of the RCH Foundation and she was very excited about the idea of a Giving Circle aligned with them as it had never been done before. I had conversations with families who are so grateful for the outstanding treatment they received at RCH and were very impressed with the cutting-edge research taking place at the hospital. They wanted to give back and donate, but they felt their funds would be too insignificant to make an impact. They had no idea how their small support could make a difference. We sought some strategic advice from AJF and together we explored what our goals for the year were. We broke it down and discussed what we want the members to be thinking, feeling, and planning for the completion of the Giving Circle. This was effective support and we really appreciated their perspective and guidance.

Doesn’t matter how big or small. Giving Circles are fun, social, educational and create a meaningful impact.

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