What’s Informing Us

This December, Talent Citizen’s learning has focused on National Giving Month, recognized in many philanthropy and nonprofit spaces. Our approach was to think critically about structures and factors impacting giving including exploring ways that philanthropy can be democratized and become more community centered. As we experience this holiday season, we hope these readings and resources are as interesting and informative as they have been to our team.

Resources we are finding especially relevant and informative this month are:


Philanthropy Together | Making the Case for Giving Circles

The document helped us learn about the need for philanthropy to adapt to global challenges by turning inward and embracing a more inclusive, community-focused approach. Giving circles and collective giving are a transformative force in philanthropy, engaging grassroots donors and collectively raising significant funds. It has the potential to democratize philanthropy, promote equity, and strengthen community relationships, offering a flexible and efficient way to address various challenges faced by community foundations and other nonprofits.

Dayton Daily News | Giving circle works to support Miami County charities

In Miami, there’s a giving circle revitalization of Give Where You Live (GWYL) of Miami. Initially modeled after the 100 + Women giving project, which aims to support local charities, the GWYL of Miami County launched in 2015 and attracted over 100 members who each donated $100 quarterly, contributing more than $181,000 to county charities by 2020. However, the pandemic brought serious challenges, with virtual meetings leading to a drop in membership and donations, so the steering committee is now implementing procedural changes and inviting charity representatives for live presentations to revitalize the initiative and supporters’ buy-in.

IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy | Women’s Philanthropy Institute

We wanted to share this great resource and direct readers to the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University (IU). The Institute aims to enhance the impact of women’s philanthropy by conducting and disseminating research that explores how gender influences giving behavior. More importantly, the Institute leverages the growing wealth and influence of women to create a more just, equitable, and healthy society. We appreciate the intersectional and diverse lens of their work—be sure to check out this year’s Black Women Give Back honorees.

Stanford Social Innovation Review | What’s Love Got to Do With It? Returning Philanthropy to Its Root

This thought piece by Tulaine Montgomery, co-CEO of the venture philanthropy organization New Profit, uplifts the need to return to the original concept of philanthropy as a “love of humankind,” and the adoption of more inclusive, community-focused philanthropic strategies. Montgomery advocates for philanthropy led by love, highlighting the transformative impact of bold, visionary actions that were often unappreciated in their time through historical examples like Madam C.J. Walker and Charles Garland. She proposes a love-based approach that values proximity, unrestricted funding, coalition-building, prioritizing people over programs, and fearlessness to overcome current challenges and create a more equitable world.