When we thought about coming up with a new program that would help you put your money to work in the community, we settled on CommonWealth because we knew the idea of giving together was the best way to help you make the biggest impact–now and in the future. How exactly is it going to do that? Here’s what we think:
Giving together harnesses the power of an already-generous generation of donors
Long gone are the days when giving was something you do only once you’re “established.” Giving is something we’re accustomed to doing regularly, no matter what–raising and giving money these days is often as easy as joining Kickstarter or texting the Red Cross.
A recent report on younger donors shows that 75% are already giving–the majority of these donations in 2012 were less than $100, though nearly 40% were $100-$700. 70% of younger donors solicited donations from their friends, family and coworkers, too.
When we settled on a $250 buy-in for CommonWealth, we knew it would be both within your reach AND and challenge–but also that the combined pool of funds would be enough to mean something big to you and the organization that receives it. By giving together, we send the message that the power of the next generation of donors lies in the way we work together.
Giving together will change you and your world for the better
We’re not recreating the wheel with CommonWealth–which is based on the giving circle model–but we chose the structure because we know it will have a big impact on you and your community. What’s a giving circle? It’s a form of philanthropy that has existed for generations by bringing together groups of people to pool their money and make decisions about where it goes. Giving circles have provided a way of “leveling the playing field” of philanthropy in the way that they empower people from all levels of wealth and background to put their money to work in a meaningful way in their communities. That means more people giving and more people involved in the conversations about where money goes–which all sounds great to us.
Even as important, giving circles are a tried and true way to develop smart, engaged donors who are connected to their communities. A 2009 survey on the impact of participating in giving cirles looked at 41 current and past members of 26 giving circles of various types, sizes, and identity groups across the U.S. It found that giving circle participants give more and give more strategically because of their experience–they also report that they are giving to more diverse organizations, largely because they feel empowered and comfortable branching out and researching organizations on their own. When Seattle Works says we want to prepare you for a lifetime of community engagement, this is just the kind of gumption want to help you develop!
Ready to give together?
So, by giving together, we’ve told you you can multiply your impact, make a statement about the collective giving power of your generation and get the skills you’ll need to make smart giving choices for the rest of your life. The only thing we have left to say is–what are you waiting for?