Much research has been done on giving circles at a national level. Women’s giving circles, in particular, have been researched on. But what about Asian American giving circles? How are these distinct? What have some of the experiences been of starting a giving circle? For an increasingly diverse philanthropic population including growing numbers of Asian Americans, there is still very little research and data on philanthropy among Asian Americans.
The popularity of giving circles in the past 10 years has spawned a small but growing number of Asian American giving circles. Groups of Asian Americans, typically highly educated, urban young professionals, pool their funds together and collectively decide to give back to community organizations benefiting Asian American community organizations in cities across the United States. While Asian American giving circles are relatively small and give modest grants, what they do give is highly appreciated by Asian American communities.
The paper, Asian American Giving Circles: Building Bridges Between Philanthropy and Our Communities was presented at the 37th Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) Conference this November in Philadelphia by Andrew T. Ho, of Council on Foundations.
The research shows that these Asian American giving circles enjoyed enthusiastic responses from community organizations. They also faced many common challenges, including volunteers’ lack of time to devote to building the giving circle, leadership succession, attracting members not already familiar with philanthropy, and educating members about philanthropy. Asian American giving circles, as a vehicle for philanthropy, are effective for bridging philanthropy to the community. The potential for increased Asian American philanthropy is clear from demographic trends, but tapping into this potential remains elusive. More research is needed to further the knowledge of Asian American philanthropy in all its forms, in order to build a greater body of knowledge to benefit the philanthropic sector.
See also: Articles about giving circles on Asian American Giving:
Asian American Giving Circles in the Asian Pacific American Community for links and descriptions
See also: Resources on giving circles in general from the giving forum:
The Impact of Giving Together: A Snapshot of a Study on Giving Circles’ Influence on Philanthropic and Civic Behaviors, Knowledge, and Attitudes (PDF)
A short summary document with key findings and recommendations from the 2009 study on the effect participating in a giving circle has on a donor’s philanthropic and civic behaviors.
Giving Circles’ Influence on Members’ Philanthropic and Civic Behaviors, Knowledge and Attitudes (PDF, 1MB)
A 2009 study by Dr. Angela Eikenberry and Jessica Bearman, with research assistance from the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, on the impacts of participating in a giving circle on a donor’s engagement in, knowledge of, and attitudes toward philanthropy and civic life.
Giving Together: A National Scan of Giving Circles and Shared Giving (PDF, 742 KB)
2005 study documents and describes the range and types of giving circle-related activity nationwide, published by the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers.
Hosting a Giving Circle: The Benefits and Challenges of Giving Together (PDF)
An April 2008 analysis by the Forum of the relationship between giving circles and their host organizations; accompanies a handbook of tools for considerations when hosting a circle.
More Giving Together: The Growth and Impact of Giving Circles and Shared Giving (PDF, 1MB)
A broad study commissioned in 2007 by the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers of the characteristics, benefits, and impact of giving circles across the country.
More Giving Together: 2007 Brochure (PDF)
This short booklet by the Forum examines giving circles through stories, facts and information that inspire and educate (2007). Free to download; extra print copies are available.