Giving circles are made up of individuals who pool their resources and then decide together where these resources should be distributed. They also include social, educational, and engagement aspects that seem to engage participants in their communities and increase their understanding of philanthropy and community issues.

This report presents data from a study to understand the impacts of participating in giving circles on members’ philanthropic and civic behavior, knowledge, and attitudes. Philanthropy is defined here as giving money and other resources, including time, to aid individuals, causes, and organizations. Civic describes areas related to government’s roles and responsibilities, political and social values, and engagement in the community and political process. Beyond exploratory research to understand the overall giving circle landscape and motivations of members, and a number of case studies on specific types of giving circles, insufficient research has been done to understand giving circles’ impacts on members.