Start a Giving Circle with Legacy Foundation

Giving circles are a meaningful way to engage in local philanthropy. They can help you meet new individuals who share your passions or deepen your current relationships. Many giving circles are created by friends, family, neighbors, or colleagues (generally 10+ members) who pool their charitable dollars and decide together which causes and charities to support.

How Legacy Foundation Supports Giving Circles

  • Assist in establishing goals, structure, mission and grant criteria.
  • Organize site visits to help donors get to know potential grantees.
  • Perform due diligence on charitable organizations.
  • Share the giving circle’s work with Legacy’s audience.
  • Manage administrative needs: cutting grant checks, filing tax returns, sending donor acknowledgements, and more.
  • Provide a venue to discuss broader issues related to philanthropy, such as prioritizing community needs.
  • With an endowment fund, Legacy will invest your funds for growth. Requires $10,000 minimum fund balance.

Steps to creating a giving circle!

Gather Your Members

Ten is a good number to start. Make a list of friends or colleagues who share similar passions.

Identify Your Common Purpose

Many giving circles are formed around a particular identity (religion, gender, professional association, ethnicity, etc.). This may help direct your focus area for grantmaking. Encourage the group to be specific about the issues you want to address.

Discuss Details

Collectively decide your goals and structures, such as group name, membership amount, how often you want to meet, and leadership structure. (Legacy Foundation can provide guidance in these areas.)

Contact Legacy Foundation

Create a Donor Advised Fund (DAF), where the circle can hold its money. This allows members to make their contributions tax-deductible and removes the administrative burden from the group. Giving circle members would still advise where to make grants.

Setting up a Giving Circle Fund at Legacy Foundation

We’re here to help. Contact us with your questions.

Erica Fizer

Donor Engagement Director