While researching how giving circles around the country are handling their grant making programs, I came across this example of grant innovation from a group called “Impact Austin” in Austin, Texas. A women’s giving circle very similar to Women United in Philanthropy, Impact Austin started a giving circle program for young girls, inviting them to experience the benefits of strategic philanthropy and grant making at a very young age.
We talked about this example a little bit at our recent Tea Gathering in May. Several of our members felt it would be a wonderful addition to our circle. The idea of introducing young women to the giving circle model may be the best way to ensure that circles like Women United in Philanthropy continue to be viable and impactful agents for change in the community for years to come.
Congratulations to Impact Austin for having developed and launched such a successful, innovative giving model. What do you think? Let us know on Facebook if you support WUIP starting something similar. Here’s a little bit of information from the GIRLS GIVING GRANTS page on the Impact Austin website:
“GIRLS GIVING GRANTS (g3) is the youth initiative of Impact Austin. We believe in teaching the next generation of women the importance of thoughtful giving. The purpose of g3 is to improve the lives of youth in our community through a grant-making process that relies upon cooperative giving, research and analysis.
“g3 is made up of young philanthropists – our daughters, granddaughters, sisters, nieces, and neighbors – who are learning to be generous and informed givers. g3 creates philanthropic opportunities for girls in the Austin area in grades 8th-12th, and provides up to 30 hours community service credit.
“HOW WE WORK
Each member of Girls Giving Grants (g3) contributes an annual donation of $100. We then combine all of our donations and award that sum in the form of a grant to a local nonprofit organization that we select.
“The g3 membership requirements are to be female, in grades 8th-12th, and to donate $100 each year. All of the $100 donations go toward the grant we award. Through our cooperative giving model, we are able to give more as a group than we could as individuals. Our grants will go to fund specific programs that directly touch and benefit the youth of our community.
“We are committed to running g3 like a business by keeping our total overhead costs to 10% or less of annual members’ donations. Separate funds are raised to cover administrative expenses.
“Our grant application process is designed to help us learn about needs in our community and the nonprofit organizations that serve those needs. As we review grant applications, we learn how to assess the capabilities and credibility of nonprofits. We evaluate proposed projects for feasibility, sustainability and importance to the community. We conduct due diligence reviews and site visits of our finalists. Then each g3 member gets one vote in choosing which worthy program will receive our grant each year.
Your participation commitment begins in October and ends in April when you give your grant to a local nonprofit. We meet twice a month on Sunday afternoons, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Plan to participate in other activities, such as conducting a site visit to a nonprofit finalist and attending the grant award event where you will announce which local nonprofit will receive your grant money. See our application for our membership policy.
“Community Service Credit
Through your participation with g3, you are eligible to receive up to 30 hours community service credit.”
For more information about Girls Giving Grants, visit Impact Austin’s website at: