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Growing philanthropy through collaboration: The landscape of giving circles in the United Kingdom and Ireland

Autores/Participantes : Angela Eikenberry, Beth Breeze

Recent efforts to grow philanthropy in the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland have focused on increasing the number of donors and size of donations, rather than on developing new methods of giving, despite this latter approach sharing the same objective. This article explores the rise of one such new vehicle – giving circles – defined as groups of individuals who donate money and/or time and have a say in the distribution of these resources. Scholarship on giving circles has largely focused on the United States (US), yet they are found increasingly in other parts of the world. The article focuses on how giving circles in the UK and Ireland are structured and administered; how and why they are formed; their key activities; typical characteristics of members; and why people join. It concludes by noting distinctive characteristics of giving circles in the UK and Ireland and setting out a future programme to further understanding in this area.

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Copyright Voluntary Sector Review 2015