Meet WFCO’s Four Giving Circles
A Gift That Keeps on Giving
Since WFCO announced the addition of a new giving circle in August 2018, the Sisterhood of Philanthropy Impacting Needs (SPIN), community response has been a gift that keeps on giving. Several more have launched, will launch soon, or are in initial planning phases.
For decades, giving circles have provided like-minded donors a space to multiply their philanthropy. They pool their dollars, decide where to give the money, and learn together about community, philanthropy, and impact.
“As a philanthropic institute, developing new giving vehicles is an important part of WFCO’s current strategic plan,” said Renee Ferrufino, vice president of development. “Giving circles make philanthropy more accessible and connect donors to new communities. They also allow The Foundation to touch more issues and have greater impact.”
Perfect for regional or affinity groups
Renee notes that giving circles are perfect for regional or affinity groups, such as the members who make up The Community Chest – a group of friends who survived the challenges of breast cancer.
“Having The Women’s Foundation host our giving circle was a no-brainer,” said Ruth Rohs, co-founder of The Community Chest. “It was important to us that WFCO was founded by women for women.”
Each separate giving circle makes group decisions about whether to co-invest with The Foundation or fund other interest areas. They also determine minimum financial contribution, requirements for membership, and process for grantmaking.
Beyond Our Borders
Beyond Our Borders is a group-advised fund held at The Women’s Foundation of Colorado (since 2000) and is also considered a giving circle. It promotes equity and social justice through educational, economic, and social opportunities for women and girls in global settings who have few resources or personal agency to participate fully in society. There are currently 38 members.
Membership: Members donate at least $2,000 per year, or if they are under age 40, at least $1,000 per year. Accepting new members.
The Community Chest
In May 2019, nine women who survived the challenges of breast cancer diagnoses started The Community Chest. Their mission is to share their strength, thankfulness, and desire to build a more connected and empowered Denver community for women and girls. The founding members include: Christine Benero, Jen Darling, Kathryn Harris, Kasia Iwaniczko-MacLeod, Lisa Hill, Sarah Lehmann, Ruth Rohs, Tamra Ward, and Marla Williams.
Membership: Members donate $1,000 annually. Accepting new members and donations. Breast cancer survivorship is not required.
Sisterhood of Philanthropists Impacting Needs (SPIN)
SPIN is an African-American women’s giving circle empowering and positively impacting marginalized women and girls in our community. There are currently 11 members.
Membership: Members donate at least $400 per year. For more information, contact Co-Chair LaRae Scott-Jennings, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women’s Impact Investing Giving Circle (WIIGC)
The Women’s Impact Investing Giving Circle is the first giving circle in the country to invest directly in women entrepreneurs. Impact Finance Center partners with WFCO to offer members education in governance, social ventures, due diligence and deal creation.
Membership: Members donate $2,000 or more per year. WFCO will start a second cycle of the giving circle in 2020. Email Colleen LaFontaine, director of development, at email@example.com.
Start your own giving circle
If you are interested in learning more about any of WFCO’s giving circles, or starting your own, contact Kristina Vaio, development officer and events manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-285-2967.
WFCO is matching any new giving circle opened in 2019 with $2,500.
Photo credit: McLeod9 Creative