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New giving circles initiative can boost your philanthropy
By Chris Barnett / January 3, 2017 /   Loading Disqus...
We are offering up to $5,000 in matching donations to encourage Rhode Islanders to come together to support their favorite causes. Under our new Giving Circles Initiative, up to six applicants who agree to recruit a group of friends, family and others to contribute to local nonprofits will be eligible for the matching funds. The deadline to apply is Jan. 31.

We know that giving is a very personal decision. And we know that relationships and peer networks are often influential. By offering to match their contributions, we hope to encourage Rhode Islanders to tap in to their networks of family, friends, and neighbors to participate in this collective form of philanthropy.

Giving circles are groups of people who pool their donations and decide together how to distribute them. They typically have a shared interest or connection, but it is not required. The groups select their own members, goals, and giving levels. Giving circles may choose to focus on a specific cause, geographic location, or community, but cannot formed solely to benefit a specific nonprofit organization.

The initiative is meant to inspire philanthropy throughout the community and to provide an opportunity for groups of people that might not otherwise come together around a fundraising effort. Our goal is to build a culture of philanthropy in Rhode Island by increasing giving activity and engagement.

We will provide up to $5,000 in matching funds for up to six Giving Circle groups. Applicants must identify the potential members of their giving circle and agree to spend at least one hour per week for one year to managing their group. Only donations to Rhode Island-based, federally tax exempt nonprofits are eligible to be matched.

Participants will be selected based on their demonstrated leadership, the extent that the membership is representative of the state’s diverse population, and the feasibility of their plan.

In addition to the matching grants, we will offer recipients a communications and fundraising tool-kit, staff support and meeting space. 
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