How to Grow your Giving Circle

Jan 24, 2023

This past month we ran a workshop called How to Grow your Giving Circle. Leaders of different Giving Circles shared their approaches and strategies for successfully growing their groups. We’ve compiled the key learnings, so you have techniques on-hand when thinking about ways to maximize the impact of your group.

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Bridget Conway-Taylor (leader of Black Trans Lives Thrive Giving Circle)

Black Trans Lives Thrive started in June 2020 and now has 300+ members and raised over $95,000 for organizations run by and for Black Trans Leaders.

Launch with legitimacy

  • Start by promoting your group on your own social channels to leverage your sphere of influence and established reputation
  • Make it easy for curious people to find out who you are by linking your Linkedin (and any other social channels) to your Grapevine profile
  • Recruit a group of initial members who already know you to establish trust from the outset and encourage this group to invite in their networks
  • Communicate clearly on your Grapevine page how people can participate in your group and any details around the purpose and values

Keep things simple

  • Plan ahead as much as you can!
    👉 Add admin task reminders to your personal calendar (open up voting, end of quarter donation push…etc)
    👉 Create a graphics template using a tool like Canva that you can easily edit over and over again
    👉 Create a calendar of key communications for the year ahead and design it around events like Giving Tuesday to leverage membership pushes at opportune times

Amplify your efforts

  • New members are your most powerful agents in growing your group because they’re on a new frontier of influence. Encourage them to bring in their family, colleagues and friends — this is the main way Black Trans Lives Thrive grew!
  • Figure out where your community watering hole is. This might be Nextdoor, Linkedin or Instagram — wherever your members are most active, target that place with your communication

Don’t be afraid to personally message your members with clear tasks around bringing in new people and sharing content. Bridget will have members share upcoming milestones on their social media to generate excitement.

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Jane Lee (Director of Growth Marketing at Grapevine)

Jane has helped to launch and grow over 200 Giving Circles in under a year.

Set achievable goals

Make your goals attainable for your members and yourself. You can easily double your group simply by having everyone bring in one new member. This is more feasible than putting all the responsibility to grow the group on a handful of people.

Post about your group on Nextdoor

Nextdoor is a social platform for local communities to come together and share information and news. Many leaders have reported getting 10-15 new members from posting on Nextdoor. It takes just a few minutes to post — here are some easy to use templates. Have your members make these posts as well to get even better results!

Leverage Linkedin

  • Start a Linkedin group or company page for your Giving Circle (see some examples here)
  • Do some cold outreach! Use your Linkedin connections & messages to reach out to your network with a personalized invitation. Here are some suggestions for what to say when reaching out.

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Corinn Ploessl (leader of Madison Professional Women for Good)

Madison Professional Women for Good has 130+ members and raised over $16,000 in under 4 months!

Talk to your place of work about sharing your involvement on their socials

Tag your workplace when posting about your Giving Circle on Linkedin or reach out directly to your HR/Social team. Having your company post about your involvement creates social proof and introduces your Giving Circle to a whole new network of potential members. Most companies want to support the great work of their employees!

Be active on Linkedin

A local reporter saw Corinn’s Linkedin post about Madison Professional Women for Good and featured it in the publication In Business. You never know who will see your posts.

Give your members flexibility

Switching between evening and morning events is a great way to be inclusive of various work schedules, child care arrangements and family commitments. Introducing a hybrid option also allows members to easily participate when they can’t attend in-person.

You can watch a full recording of How to Grow your Giving Circle here.

Check out our Member Recruitment Toolkit for even more ideas