Seeding the Future of the Collective Giving Movement with the Grapevine Giving Foundation

Aug 25, 2023

We launched Giving Circles on Grapevine in 2020 to support and accelerate the growth of the Giving Circle movement. Giving Circles - a form of collective philanthropy where a group of people come together based on geography or aligned interests and pool their resources for charitable giving - have existed in communities across the U.S. since the 1980’s. 

Giving Circles and the collective giving movement have been growing quickly in recent years, with the number of Giving Circles tripling since 2007. As of five years ago, it was estimated that nearly 2,500 Giving Circles had engaged 150,000 donors and given away $1.29 billion to nonprofits. 

Grapevine exists to support this movement and make it easier for like-minded people to come together to connect around shared values and interests, pool their resources, discover nonprofits they care about, and scale their impact together. Our platform provides the charitable and social infrastructure to build and run a Giving Circle (or join an existing one) in one place while automating the administrative, legal, and accounting overhead. To date, we have facilitated charitable giving of over $25M to more than 2,800 small, local nonprofits across the country from over 55,000 Giving Circle members! And we’re just getting started.

The Grapevine Giving Foundation

In fall 2022, we launched the Grapevine Giving Foundation, 501.c.3 public charity (EIN #87-2389502) organization associated with Grapevine. Previously, we worked through a fiscal sponsor to manage the administrative and grantmaking efforts associated with running a Giving Circle. Now we can work through our own foundation, which results in a faster, smoother process for grantmaking and grant receiving. 

Beyond facilitating charitable donations, the foundation will enable us to help jumpstart new Giving Circles, further train leaders, build community capacity to facilitate and adapt these new Giving Circles to their own context and purpose, and support the learning and experience for new members.

We’re also excited about the Grapevine Giving Foundation for its potential to support the broader Giving Circle movement by helping to raise and distribute philanthropic gifts to provide seed funding, donation matches, fellowships, and more support for Giving Circles. We want to continue to support, scale, and amplify the collective giving movement in order to accelerate its role in democratizing and diversifying philanthropy. Our foundation is an important vehicle for doing this work. 

That’s why we’re rolling out a new initiative where Giving Circles launched by Grapevine and directly supported by our growth team will allocate 50% of each new member’s first donation to the Grapevine Giving Foundation. Subsequent donations will go to the nonprofits chosen by your Giving Circle, but this initial gift to the foundation will go a long way in supporting our work to scale the broader movement. 

Grapevine launched over 200 new Giving Circles in 2022, and the foundation will play a crucial role in helping us to launch thousands more by the end of 2024. The seed funding generated from new Giving Circles will help us continue to launch and support new groups and deliver on our commitment to building a more diverse, community-driven, and collaborative future of philanthropy. Specifically, we plan to: 

  • Democratize and diversify the philanthropic sector by inviting and supporting a broad range of people to get involved in the Giving Circle movement. 
  • Collaborate with partners like Philanthropy Together and others to recruit, train, and support diverse leadership teams to facilitate Giving Circles across geographic and cause areas.
  • Expand understanding of philanthropic best practices.
  • Catalyze a culture of belonging among Giving Circle members by fostering connection and collaboration along shared values and goals. 
  • Facilitate a broader sense of communal purpose, support, and connection events and learning opportunities. 
  • Amplify the impact of Giving Circles with donation matching funds, which have a multiplier effect that can cause ripples of impact throughout the sector over time.

Grapevine engaged more than 12,000 new Giving Circle members in 2022 who collectively donated $700,000. We expect this level of impact to grow, as 2023 is already outpacing 2022 while Grapevine works toward its goal of moving $100 million in donations from Giving Circles on its platform. Your initial gift to the Grapevine Giving Foundation is an integral part of fostering the growth and development of new groups in our network, as well as in amplifying our shared efforts to grow collective philanthropy and community-driven impact. Thank you!