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IN THE MEDIA

How 'giving back' fits into plans for transition

January 16, 2020

It is in this spirit that the Philadelphia chapter of The Transition Network (TTN) started its Giving Circle in 2013.  As a grassroots effort by a small group of members, the Philadelphia TTN Giving Circle was founded to raise awareness of the social problems in our community and to help have an impact on solving those problems. Co-founder Mary Klein, has variously described the giving circle experience as “rewarding”, “interesting, “exciting”, “amazing “ and “rich”.
 
So, what is a Giving Circle ? A Giving Circle is based on the simple premise that by pooling their giving dollars, like-minded people can increase the impact of their charitable donations. Our Philadelphia TTN Giving Circle has a dual mission. First, we make grants to organizations whose work improves the lives the lives of women and children in Philadelphia. Secondly, we aim to raise our own awareness of the many social problems affecting this group and to share that awareness with the rest of the Philadelphia TTN chapter.
 
Since our inception we have donated over $100,000 to organizations benefitting women and/or children in Philadelphia.  Annual grants have ranged from the first, $10,000 to assist youth aging out of foster care, to $25,000 to our most recent recipient, PA SeniorLAW Center, which provides legal representation and social services to low income seniors seeking custody of grandchildren whose parents are unable to care for them.  TTN member participation and donations have grown annually, allowing us to have a greater and greater impact for  women and children in Philadelphia.  We are particularly proud of those grants that have served as catalysts for greater support from larger donors.
 
Belonging to our Giving Circle has many rewards.  On the most basic level we enjoy the feeling of “doing good”, but there is so much more.  Our current grant amount of $25,000 enables us to fund worthwhile projects that would not have gotten done without our support.  We get to see the impact on our grantee from the excitement and gratitude they express when receiving the grant, as well as into the future when we can see the impact our money has made on improving the lives of its recipients.

Reading grant proposals raises our awareness of the many pressing needs in our community and making site visits gives us the chance to meet the many amazing people who work hard every day to meet those needs. Finally, we enjoy the camaraderie of the women we work together with to choose the best grantee.
 
Starting a Giving Circle can be a simple way to increase your individual impact on your community, through the collective giving.  Based our experience, our Giving Circle has planted seeds of awareness and supported positive change among women and children in Philadelphia.  Could your community benefit from a TTN Giving Circle ?