Top 5 Inspiring Moments from Sara Lomelin’s TED Talk on Giving Circles

Sep 20, 2022
Sara Lomelin giving her TED Talk.

Today, the CEO of Philanthropy Together, Sara Lomelin’s TED Talk on giving circles is live, and we couldn’t be more excited! Philanthropy Together is a longtime partner of Grapevine; we built the Global Giving Circle Directory together as a way for anyone to find a giving circle anywhere, launched a Giving Circle coach program and have collaborated on myriad other trainings and events. Our CEO and founder Emily Rasmussen had the opportunity to attend the TED conference with Sara and see her talk live (you can read all about Emily’s experience here).

This talk is a milestone moment for the giving circle movement. Check it out below.

Sara Lomelin's TED Talk.

The full talk was insightful and inspirational but here are 5 moments that we felt were particularly wonderful.

[Philanthropy is] joyful, collaborative, and intentional, and transformative…I’m here to show you the powerful possibility that exists in ALL OF US to be philanthropists–no matter your age or wealth, no matter where you live or where you’ve come from.

Sara Lomelin

This is why we started Grapevine. Everyone can be a philanthropist. It should not be gated to only those who have status or millions of dollars. Giving circles amplify the giving of one individual, so even if you can only give a few dollars, this increases quickly when you come together with your community. No matter who you are or what you’re passionate about, you can find your community and make a difference.

Strong democracy needs strong discourse…in a giving circle, it’s not about me or YOU, it’s about US, TOGETHER.

Sara Lomelin

We created Grapevine with the mission of democratizing philanthropy. We believe that anyone can give anywhere and that coming together, we can make a greater impact. We love the giving circle model because it gives communities the chance to come together, foster meaningful relationships, and give to causes that they find meaningful.

For any philanthropist–it should never be about parachuting INTO a community to save it, but acting alongside in partnership…they don’t need to be SAVED, they need to be TRUSTED.

Sara Lomelin

Giving circles are all about relationships. Not only relationships between the members, but between the giving circles and nonprofits as well. When giving circles gather around a common cause, they learn about nonprofits doing good in those areas. They get to know the nonprofits more intimately and then they choose which nonprofit to donate to, trusting the nonprofit to serve the community with their support.

Philanthropy literally means “love of humanity” - giving with an abundance of heart. We can all be radically generous in so many ways beyond the money. Life-changing things happen when we look at philanthropy beyond just money. Because all the money in the world isn’t going to save us. But beloved communities will.

Sara Lomelin

Giving circles aren’t just about giving. Donating money to a charity is helpful, but creating a community around giving is infinitely better. Communities that come together around collective giving are doing more than just donating their money, they’re donating their time and talent through volunteering and are engaging their networks to support nonprofits and each other above monetary value. Collective giving means that the community is the foundation of the group, not the money.

When we shift the power of philanthropy into all of our hands we shift who gives, how we give, and ultimately, what gets funded. Giving by, for, and with the communities we represent is the future of philanthropy and each and every one of us belong in this movement.

Sara Lomelin

Plenty of important causes are underfunded, particularly causes for women, people of color, and the LGBTQIA+ community. We built the Grapevine Giving Circles Network to launch new groups in areas and around causes where they don’t yet exist so that people could easily come together to connect and support a shared cause or local community as a group.

Be sure to watch and share Sara’s full TED talk video to help us create as large an impact as possible!

Join us for a conversation with Sara Lomelin on October 5 (12pm ET / 9am PT), where we'll dig deeper into the themes in her TED Talk. Grab your spot here.

If you want to become part of the giving circle movement, click below to join or start your giving circle on Grapevine today!