The Poverty Busters Giving Circle
Welcome! I’m excited to meet you, because I know you’re a little like me. We both care about people and want the world to be a better place.
- Do you feel like your donation is too small to make a difference?
- Do you wonder what happens to your donation after you make it?
- Are you too busy to research a charity before you donate? Maybe you even wonder what to look for and where to look when researching a charity?
You are not alone!! I used to feel the same way. Throughout my life, I have donated to help animals, the environment, the homeless, the poor, the Food Bank, the Red Cross and more. You name it, and I’ve probably sent them money. Like many others in today’s economy, the few dollars I had left at the end of the month for philanthropy weren’t making a significant difference for the causes I cared most about– until I discovered the power of giving circles
Donate through a Virtual Giving Circle!
Our donations will help people…. IF they go to the right charity helping the right people in the right way. But how are you supposed to have to the time, energy, and knowledge to figure that out?
In a virtual giving circle, we pool our small donations with the donations of other people who care about the same cause. A giving circle is your donation team, and our donation committee researches charities nominated by you and our other members, then sends you the results. Then you vote on which charity you think is going to make the biggest difference.
It is possible to know that you’re giving to the right charity, that your donation is going to be used in the right way and that it will make a big difference, AND you can do it with relatively little time and money when we do it together!
I joined this giving circle because the idea of empowering people to improve their lives sounded really appealing. Driving home from work I often see people begging along the exit ramps of the interstate and I never donate with the idea that I would much rather donate to an organization that enables people to improve their lives themselves. This giving circle allows me to do that. I love talking with this great group of people each month and making educated choices, collectively, about where to donate our money. Because of this change gang, I know that my money is going to an organization that will use the it judiciously towards ending poverty.
10 Reasons To Donate to Charity Through a Giving Circle
- You Make A Bigger Impact on the Charity
- You Make a Bigger Impact on the Problem
- You Choose a Better Charity
- You Save Time
- You Have Permission to Say No to Other Donation Requests
- You Get Peace of Mind that You’re Giving Back
- You Won’t Have To Worry About the End of Year Donation Rush
- You Enjoy Donating More
- You Donate More (But It Feels Like Less)
- You Discover New Charities
- Bonus Reason! You’ve planned for emergency donations.
We pool our small donation with the donations of lots of other people. As a result, our donation will be much larger than what we could do or wanted to do alone. A larger donation means that the charity has more money to do their important work.
We incorporate education into our giving circle activities, so that our donation committee can research organizations and the programs they’re implementing for efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability. We work hard for our money and we want our money to work hard, too!
Not all charities are created equal. Some are doing amazing work, maximizing every dollar spent, and making a huge impact on the problem. Others struggle with organizational efficiency, have high operating costs, paying large salaries for fund raisers and CEO’s, and, in a few circumstances, committing fraud and embezzlement.
You can give as much or as little time to this as you want. You might decide to be on the donation committee or not. You’re just one person with a busy schedule, but when lots of people come together to support the same cause, you leverage the time of all our members. You can always feel great about how you donate while you focus on your work, your family, and your friends.
How many requests do you get for a donation? I’d say I have 3 emails every day, one or 2 that arrive in snail mail every week, one or two Facebook friends running a marathon a month, and mountains of requests during the holidays. But I know that I donate through my giving circle, because I can be confident that my donation is making the biggest impact possible on the causes that I care about, so I can politely decline. What a relief!
Before I joined a giving circle, I would really want to donate money. But I was busy, and I never could find the time to make the donations that I wanted. I would always have a little voice in the back of my head reminding me of my guilt and that I needed to give back more! But now, I know exactly how and how much I’m giving. I feel good about it, and that little voice in my head has nothing to say!
December is the largest month for donations, that means charities send out massive amounts of requests for donations. If you’re like me, I would know that I needed to donate this year, so I would flip through the catalogs, read the requests, and make the difficult choices about where and how much I could donate. It’s kind of like putting my expenses together for my tax returns. Sure, I could do a little every month, and then it’s nice and easy. But instead I sit down in March and spend hours going through my paperwork.
A giving circle can be your annual charitable donation plan. You know how much you’ll be donating. You’ll know that the charities will be well chosen. And if you want to give more at the end of the year, then you can choose to browse those catalogs or to send more to a charity we’ve chosen in the past. An end of year charitable donation is your choice to pursue or not at your pleasure!
I speak with people all across the country about their giving circles and they all tell me the same thing: a giving circle is a profoundly rewarding way to donate money. It’s more fun, because you’re sharing the experience with other people like you who care about the same cause that you care about. The relationships and friendships created in a giving circle are a big reason why many people across the country continue to participate in giving circles year after year.
When I waited until the end of the year to choose where to donate, invariably I had less to donate than I would have liked. The end of the year happens right after Christmas after all! So, I would look at my budget and squeeze in what I felt I could do and maybe a little more, because I felt I should. With a giving circle, charitable giving is part of my monthly budget just like my other monthly expenses. Setting it up to be a little at a time means that overall, I’ll give more money than I would have done at the end of the year, but it feels like less!
There are over 1 million charities in the US. How many can you think of right now? 10? 20? Maybe 50? It’s easy to get in a rut and only see the same few charities, but there are lots of great charities doing great work, and you’ll discover ones across the country that you would otherwise never hear about. It’s fun and exciting to learn about these charities!
We set aside a small portion of our donations into an Emergency Relief Fund. When a natural or man-made disaster occurs, any member can request those funds to help relieve the immediate suffering of people impacted by that disaster. Now, you don’t have to watch a disaster on T.V. and wish you could help. You can actually do something about it!
I joined the the poverty busters giving group because we have been incredibly blessed throughout my life with enough food to eat, the ability to work and earn enough to raise our two children, education them and see them blossom into wonderful caring adults. I would like to help in even a small way others to have the opportunity to succeed as well.
How Does It Work?
You pool your $25/month donation with the other members of the giving circle. After joining, you’ll get access to our community website and instructions for nominating and voting for charities. For more information about how we work, review the Frequently Asked Questions.
Wait, $25/month… I don’t know if I can do that!
Let me introduce you to the Build the Giving Muscle program.
Sometimes, it’s not easy to start at $25/month. So, we created the “Build the Giving Muscle” program. The first month, your credit or debit card is charged $1, then the next month, it’s $5. The next is $10, then $15, then $20, and then, finally it’s $25. So, in six months, you work up to $25/month.
Most people find that their budget naturally works it way around donating $25/month when they work up to it slowly. In just six months you’ll find that supporting your favorite cause is so easy you won’t even have to think about where to find the money.
The drawback to donating less than $25 is that you won’t get to nominate charities for us to consider or vote on which charity we donate to until you’ve reached the $25/month level.
Like most, I have always given to different organizations and charities. With Change Gangs, I find that by having an organization nominated and researched by a fellow member, I am better at directing my donations to organiztions that are directly involved in breaking the cycle of poverty. As a ‘gang’ we get a chance to nominate an organization that will be the recipient of our pooled donations and as a group, decide which organization receives our quarterly donation. Doing it together has the advantage of being able to make larger donations and to make a greater impact.
Worry Free Guarantee
What if?? Whatever your what if, there’s no need to worry about joining. There is NO joining fee, and if in the first 30 days, you decide you don’t like your giving circle for any reason, we’ll refund your donation.
After 30 days, we’ve probably already donated your donation to a great charity, so we won’t be able to refund your donation, but you can cancel at any time. And any future donations will be immediately cancelled.
Ready To Make A Difference!
Donating is an act of love. It’s your desire to make an impact on the world, your hope that you’ll leave this planet a little better than you arrived, your need to give more than you’ve taken. Whatever reason you donate, a donation is an act of love.
And it’s good for you!
- Donating reminds you that even as bad as things are, there are others who have it worse than you.
- Donating reminds you that you can do SOMETHING. You are not just a passive victim of circumstance. You have POWER to impact the world.
- Donating reminds you that you are not alone and that you are connected to everyone and everything on this planet.
- Donating reminds you that you have more than you think and helps you be grateful for how much I have.
- Donating is good for your soul, and the right time to do something good for your soul is NOW!
There is no better time than today to start donating to help pets!
But while donating starts with our hearts, GOOD donations happen because of our heads. And the giving circle helps us do that! Our donation committee researches charities nominated by you and our other members, and then sends you the report. Then you vote on which charity you think is going to make the biggest difference.
Start making small donations that make a BIG difference!
I’m looking forward to welcoming you to your giving circle!
p.s. It is possible to know that you’re giving to the right charity, that your donation is going to be used in the right way and that it will make a big difference, AND you can do it with relatively little time and money when we do it together!
p.p.s. Not convinced yet? Here are my three favorite quotes that say it better than I possibly could.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
Past the seeker as he prayed came the crippled and the beggar and the beaten. And seeing them… he cried, “Great God, how is it that a loving creator can see such things and yet do nothing about them?” God said, “I did do something. I made you.” Sufi Teaching
Yet Another Quote
“What we think or what we know or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.” John Ruskin