Giving Circles: What They Are and Why They Work
Generosity is contagious.
At The Generosity Trust, our mission is to empower, encourage, and facilitate Christian Generosity for the glory of God and the advancement of his Kingdom.
One of the ways we do this is through local Giving Circles. Each Giving Circle is made up of like-minded individuals with a shared vision to bless the Chattanooga area through generosity. By collaborating with others, donors pool their dollars to give with greater impact. In recent years, four Giving Circles directly benefiting the Chattanooga area have been initiated by The Generosity Trust. By the end of 2023, these Giving Circles have granted over $390,000 to local charities.
One of the key components of these specific Giving Circles is accessibility to anyone who has a heart for generosity. Participants commit a minimum monthly donation (usually $50) to the giving circle, knowing that it will be combined with gifts from others to make an even greater impact. Although each Giving Circle has a different strategic focus, the mechanics remain essentially the same. Periodically throughout the year, members decide collectively, either virtually or in person, on the organizations that will receive funding.
Most of the groups also host social gatherings throughout the year, providing opportunities for members to build relationships and deepen their connections with each other and the community.
The Benefits of Joining Others to Give Together
Giving through these Local Initiatives comes with several benefits.
First, by pooling resources together, members make a far greater impact than they could on their own, increasing their giving power and support of our community.
Second, since each Giving Circle has a specific mission, members use their knowledge of the community to identify area non-profits that are addressing specific needs, then encourage the organizations to apply.
Third, by joining together with other givers who are passionate about living generously, overall giving is increased.
Finally, those who are not Giving Circle members who believe in the mission of one of our Giving Circles may also contribute, trusting in the wisdom and community knowledge of the members. It’s a partnership of trust.
An Overview of The Generosity Trust’s Giving Circles
In a short time, Giving Circles have become a significant way to make a communitywide impact. And this is just the beginning. Opportunities to participate in other collaborative giving efforts are just around the corner. Please take a few minutes to explore the current giving circles and their unique callings.
Young-Givers Circle, established in 2019
The Young-Givers Circle is for young professionals and leaders in Chattanooga who are committed to redefining generosity and inspiring whole-life giving.
Their vision is to increase generosity through education, engagement, and giving circles to impact God’s Kingdom and meet the needs of others in the Chattanooga area.
Each member commits to giving $50 a month towards the fund. Members meet quarterly to review applications and make grants. The Young-Givers Circle also hosts social gatherings and Lunch & Learns throughout the year for people interested in learning more.
The Giving Circle has granted over $78,000 since its inception in 2019. To view the list of grantees, click here.
Unidos en Compasión, established in 2021
Unidos en Compasión is for anyone who cares about and is committed to blessing those in need in Latino communities throughout the Chattanooga area.
Unidos seeks to be the hands and feet of Jesus by identifying critical needs in the Latino community, meeting those needs through church benevolence programs and non-profits serving Latinos throughout the area, and cultivating generosity and compassion in the community.
Each member commits to giving $50 a month to transform lives and inspire hope together. Members meet quarterly to review applications and make grants.
In just two years, Unidos has granted over $35,000 to non-profits and churches serving Latino families. To view the list of grantees, click here.
Stepping Into Generosity, established in 2021
Stepping into Generosity is for women of all ages who give together to support local ministries and non-profits serving women and children in the Chattanooga area. This is an opportunity for women who are passionate about generosity and desire to respond to the things that break God’s heart.
Members review applications and vote on grants annually. A monthly donation of $50 gives you one vote, and a monthly donation of $100 gives you two votes. Votes may be shared among family members and friends.
Stepping into Generosity has given a total of $175,000 in grants to a number of local ministries and nonprofits, including Cry for the Broken, Momentum Network, Women’s Renew, and more. To view the list of 2023 grantees, click here.
Sharing God’s Goodness, established in 2022
Sharing God’s Goodness is a group of men and women committed to supporting small area ministries and non-profits that are African American-led or meeting the needs of African-Americans.
For years, the strength of neighborhood networks surrounding African American churches in Chattanooga has been evident. Many have stepped in to establish and help smaller ministries, yet many of them remain significantly underfunded. This group believes this fund can make a significant difference in the lives of those served and those in service.
By the end of the year, the group will have granted $87,000 to ten small local Christian ministries serving the African American community. To view their list of 2023 grantees to date, click here.