A Guide to Choosing Nonprofits for your Giving Circle Funds

Determining which organization to give to can be a difficult task, even when your group is cause-focused. While defining your group's purpose, mission, and goals helps to narrow down your choices, value setting ensures that the causes and organizations you give to are aligned with your group’s vision and intended impact.

Value Setting Activities

Ask your leadership team or group members to answer the following questions:

  1. If you could leave a group ‘legacy’ behind, what would that be?
  2. How does your group want to be remembered? What behaviours? What accomplishments?
  3. What key themes can you identify from these answers? Which are the most important?

From the last question, you should be able to discover a few words that will then become your core value. Identify anywhere from 3 to 9 words that both you and your group feel best reflects you all, your purpose, and the impact you seek to make.

Aisha Alexander-Young (CEO of Giving Gap) on how to approach this conversation:

Aisha Alexander-Young (Giving Gap)

It's leaderships responsibility to constantly deliver the message that every grant you reward is winning.

— Faith Boettger (Founder of the giving circle Social4Good)

Some of the dynamics you can expect around nominating nonprofits and how to approach these challenges as leaders:

Faith Boettger (Social4Good)

Searching for Nonprofits

Below you will find resources on where to begin your search for nonprofits to give to!

Borealis Philanthropy

Borealis is a social justice philanthropic intermediary working to resource grassroots movements for transformative change.

Bold Solutions Network

Using an inclusive, equitable model and due diligence process, Lever for Change creates customized challenges to scale solutions to significant social issues, which have included early childhood, gender inequality, access to economic opportunity, and climate change. Rigorously evaluated finalist projects and their teams become members of the Bold Solutions Network. Projects are searchable by topic, geography, and populations served. Lever for Change can also provide curated lists upon request and make introductions to Bold Solution Network members.

Charity Navigator

Charity Navigator provides donors with free access to data, tools, and resources to guide philanthropic decision-making using a rating method.

Horizon Forum

The Horizon Forum fights the problem of hate-funding and extremism in philanthropy.

Giving Gap

Giving Gap exists to advance racial equity in giving and mobilize positive action for Black lives by connecting people to causes they care about.

Giving Compass

Focused on communities most impacted by oppressive systems in the U.S., their nonprofit directory highlights grassroots organizations, BIPOC- and LGBTQIA-led nonprofits, and social justice efforts that often receive the least amount of funding but are closest to the solutions.


You can search for nonprofits that other groups have supported. In the search bar, you can look based on cause, location, and more. We also have an entire page of resources for you to look at.

Great Nonprofits

Great Nonprofits offers a free and easy-to-use platform to share and collect reviews and stories about the communities that nonprofits serve.


GuideStar has the most complete, up-to-date nonprofit data available that you can filter by:

Zip code, State and/or City

Seal of Transparency, Subject, and Diversity

Revenue, Number of Employees


JustFund is a nonprofit grantmaking solution for funders to move money more quickly to grantees.

Philanthropy Together

A place to browse resources for inspiration, models, and guides to help you successfully launch and sustain your giving circle


Demystifying philanthropy.


Idealist has a directory of over 125,000 nonprofit organizations that you can filter by:


Issue Areas

Org Type*

*link defaults to nonprofit org type given that our platform exclusively offers support in distribution to nonprofit organizations

Watch the entire recording of our panel Identifying nonprofit partners: What to consider when deciding who to fund below:

Identifying nonprofit partners: What to consider when deciding who to fund