Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen is founder and chairman of SV2 (Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund) and Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS) and author of the best-selling book “Giving 2.0: Transform Your Giving and Our World.”
During the holiday season, many of us sit at desks with a pile of mail solicitations, writing checks, sealing envelopes and checking charitable giving off our seasonal to-do lists. This might provide an immediate high, but these activities fail to generate the immense satisfaction we could be getting from continuous giving. Instead, one way to give throughout the year — strategically and collaboratively, leveraging small pools of money and making your time matter more — is through a giving circle.
Giving circles bring individuals together to give collectively, maximizing the financial, intellectual and emotional bang for every philanthropic buck. They help individual givers to become proactive rather than reactive and to practice structured rather than informal giving. Giving circle members, by virtue of collective action, are constantly learning and improving their group’s giving decisions.