The Transition Network


The Power of Collective Giving

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Learning from Others for Positive Impact

In April, we shared the results from the Giving Circle member survey and announced the Giving Circle’s membership in Philanos, a national network of women dedicated to supporting collective giving organizations like ours. Both the survey and Philanos provide direction and resources to enable us to better deliver on our mission as the philanthropic arm of TTN Philadelphia.

From the Giving Circle’s humble beginnings in the homes of founders Mary Klein and Ethel Weinberg, and inspired by their vision, our role in TTN and Philadelphia has grown – through increased membership, larger grants and by educating TTN members and our community about the many challenges facing Philadelphia women, children and youth. Our direction was confirmed in the 2021 member survey. Based on our members’ desire to learn more about our grantees and Philadelphia needs, we held a “Meet and Greet” with our 2021 grantees (Tree House Books and Why Not Prosper), piloted an in-person visit for Giving Circle members to the Urban Tree Connection farm (our 2020 grantee), and are introducing other initiatives to provide opportunities that complement our primary role – supporting our Annual Grants to Philadelphia nonprofits.

Believing in the value of learning from best practices, we are happy with our new relationship with Philanos. Philanos was originally founded in 2009 in Seattle under the name 'Women’s Collective Giving Grantmakers Network'. Quite a mouthful! Women from thirteen similar groups from around the country came together based on the premise that regular communications, learning and sharing of best practices would strengthen and accelerate the burgeoning women’s collective giving movement. The organization grew from 13 founding members to 80 affiliates and, in February 2020, WCGN was rebranded to  Philanos -- Accelerating Philanthropy through Women's Collective Giving, Our benefit? The Giving Circle shares in the resources, learning, and connection through webinars, national conferences, virtual discussion groups, website and communications tools. We benefit from, and share, best practices and innovative solutions. Our Philanos affiliation helps us to grow our impact right here in Philadelphia.

It is exciting to now be part of a network of strong women whose philanthropy can make a difference in the world. We are committed to continuing to listen to our members, and to learn from those around the country with differing experiences, on the ways to engage our members and harness the power of collective giving in our own backyard.

It’s not too early to renew your Giving Circle membership ... or join if you haven’t yet!

The fruits of our collective philanthropy culminate each year in May at our Annual Voting Meeting when we choose the nonprofit organizations that will benefit from our grant(s). This year, for the first time ever, we awarded two grants of $25,000 each to two deserving nonprofits – Tree House Books and Why Not Prosper. By pooling our resources, to impact the lives of Philadelphia’s underserved women, children and youth, we realize the power of collective giving!

Education. Our mission, however, is not complete without supporting education. Through many of our programs TTN members hear directly from individuals who have experienced hunger, poverty and homelessness. As a result, many Giving Circle members share their time and talents, which is another form of collective giving that engages our members and adds to the educational component of our mission. What does this look like? Here is a sampling of events held recently to raise awareness of important issues in Philadelphia: 

Poverty and Homelessness in America – Philadelphia, a case story (June 9, 2021)

Thank you to the 136 generous individuals who registered for and supported our annual fundraiser – YOU made it a HUGE SUCCESS. Recognizing it is not only shelter, but education, healthcare, job opportunities, .... Sister Mary Scullion, co-founder Project HOME, and moderator Renee Chenault Fattah discussed the root causes of poverty and homelessness. And, we were inspired by the story of Bonita Prichette, who shared her Project HOME success story. The power of learning supports our collective power to make a difference.



Meet & Greet our 2021 Grantees (June 22, 2021)

Each year we have the opportunity to take a deeper dive into the causes represented by our new grantees. This year we took that first step on June 22nd via a “Meet & Greet” directed to Giving Circle members and others who hadn’t had an opportunity to hear from our grantees during the grants process. In a virtual zoom event, Michael Brix (Executive Director) helped us better understand the literacy needs in the north Philadelphia neighborhoods served by Tree House Books, and explained how our grant would help them work to improve access to books. Reverend Dr. Michelle Anne Simmons (Founder, Chief Executive Officer) told us about the programs Why Not Prosper is implementing to help formerly incarcerated women transition to productive lives in our community and expressed gratitude for how our grant would support these efforts. These two very different organizations, while addressing different issues, are both building a better Philadelphia.


Urban Solutions to Tackle Hunger (June 24, 2021)

Luckily the skies cleared for a small group of Giving Circle members to visit the Urban Tree Connection (UTC) neighborhood farm, a hidden ¾ acre farm in the middle of a residential neighborhood in one of the poorest areas of the city. Of special note is that the farm exists to serve a community that is otherwise marginalized in so many ways. Our guide, assistant farmer Yarrow, was knowledgeable, smart...and stylish! We learned quite a lot! Our gracious host,

Executive Director Noelle Warford, runs an extraordinary operation and we all felt privileged to experience a small part of this remarkable urban creation. UTC was the Giving Circle’s 2020 grantee.


As you see, throughout the year we come together, working side-by-side, pooling our resources, to impact the lives of Philadelphia’s underserved women, children and youth. A gift of $200 or more permits you to become a Giving Circle Voting Member, which gives you the opportunity to help select our final grant recipients at our Annual Voting Meeting in May. It also permits you to participate in multiple events hosted by the Giving Circle, and, most importantly, to become part of a community dedicated to supporting vulnerable women, children and youth in our city. To donate CLICK HERE and type TTN at the Philadelphia Foundation website. To volunteer contact us at: This is the power of collective giving, in all of its forms!

Giving circle 2021 grantees

After an inspiring Grants Cycle, we are excited to announce that Tree House Books and Why Not Prosperhave each been awarded $25,000 as our 2021 grants recipients! 

Tree House Books

Michael Brix, Executive Director, Tree House Books, reinforced the impact the grant will have in realizing their vision to make sure that every child has access to books and every opportunity to fulfill their dreams and explore their passion.

With this grant, The Giving Circle of The Transition Network is investing in the community-empowering work Tree House Books does through our Literacy and Access to Books programs. We will be able to put more books into homes, free book shelves in community centers, and launch our new bookmobile initiative, the Traveling Tree House. We’ll also be ready to expand and relaunch our Literacy programs for kids and teens.” Michael Brix, Executive Director, Tree House Book


Why Not Prosper

Reverend Dr. Michelle Anne Simmons, Founder & CEO, Why Not Prosper expressed her gratitude for the grant and how it further enables their commitment to providing a “hand up” through its programs and services that support women in their re-entry efforts from prison to community.

We are thrilled to be a recipient of a grant from TTN Giving Circle. In fact, we are overwhelmed with gratitude. The ripple effect of your grant funding will not only help formerly incarcerated women to become self-sufficient and thrive, but it will also enable them to be the solid foundations upon which their families are built. Strong and flourishing communities come from strong and flourishing family units. When we address the needs of women reentering the community from the prison system, we are also helping to meet the needs of the children that were left behind from their incarceration.”  Rev. Dr. Michelle A. Simmons, Founder & CEO, Why Not Prosper

The 2021 Grants Cycle was unprecedented – a record number of Giving Circle members (128), a record number of Grants Committee volunteers (30), and our first-ever awarding of TWO grants for a record $50,000, at $25,000 each. The Grants Cycle is an extremely fulfilling process!  Both Tree House Books and Why Not Prosper further the Giving Circle’s mission by working to improve the lives of women, children and youth in Philadelphia. This is why we exist.


Want to Do Good and Make Someone Else Feel Good?

Send a Tribute Card, created to support the Philadelphia Chapter TTN Giving Circle. It’s a personal and heartfelt way to say Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary, Happy Holidays, Thank You, Congratulations or Sorry for Your Loss. 

All funds raised will help the Giving Circle’s mission to improve the lives of women and children in Philadelphia. 

The cost is $25 for a packet of five. To purchase, contact Lori Krain


About Us

Please join us. The TTN Giving Circle is the philanthropic arm of TTN Philadelphia. We are a dedicated group of individuals who pool our giving dollars to support our mission to improve the lives of women, children and youth in Philadelphia. Passionate about making a difference, Giving Circle members not only pool giving dollars, but also conduct educational programs and other initiatives to raise awareness of the significant needs in the city. We also use our annual grant review process to learn and raise awareness of the areas in most need of assistance. Members understand that this method of collective philanthropy increases the impact of each dollar given. This is the POWER OF COLLECTIVE GIVING.

Since its founding in 2013, the TTN Giving Circle has provided more than $135,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations in Philadelphia. Based on the generosity of our members, we plan to award an additional $50,000 in 2021, through two grants of $25,000 each. 

To learn about the nonprofit organizations we have supported, read about our past recipients.

The TTN Giving Circle is also working to increase the scope and diversity of our grant applicants. We believe that organizations that prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) create environments that respect and value individual differences. Inclusive organizations foster cultures that reduce bias and make decisions better able to address systemic inequities. We are committed to equity, diversity, collaboration, inclusiveness, transparency, and accountability.

The TTN Giving Circle is overseen by an Executive Council. The Executive Council defines the Giving Circle’s vision, strategic direction and oversees its general management and operations.  Meet the Executive Council here.  The Executive Council includes five Committees, described below under “Volunteer”, that you may find of interest if you have the time and would like to volunteer your time.

The TTN Giving Circle is pleased to be a member of PHILANOS, a national network dedicated to supporting collective giving organizations. Our Philanos membership will provide us with useful information on Giving Circle activities, trends, issues, and best practices.


Thank you for your interest in The Giving Circle! Together we are working hard, by pooling our resources, to impact the lives of Philadelphia’s underserved women, children and youth. That is the power of collective giving!

We encourage you to think about The Giving Circle as a philanthropic choice, separate from the benefits membership affords. We are pleased to accept gifts at all giving levels

For those joining us for the first time, a gift of $200 or more permits you to become a Giving Circle Voting Member, which gives you the opportunity to help select our final grant recipients at our Voting Meeting in May. It also permits you to participate in multiple events hosted by the Giving Circle, and, most importantly, become part of a community dedicated to supporting vulnerable women, children and youth in our city.

To our current members, if you have not yet done so, please renew your membership now, and invite your friends to join you. 


All contributions made in 2021 will support our 2022 grants cycle. Please note that The Philadelphia Foundation, a community Foundation, administers our donor program and provides us with our 501C3 status

To make your gift by check, please complete this Donation Form and make your check payable to The Philadelphia Foundation. Send it to: TTN Philadelphia Giving Circle, 2401 Pennsylvania Avenue, Unit 15C51, Philadelphia, PA 19130. The check and donation form will be then forwarded to the Philadelphia Foundation. 

To make your gift by credit card, join us now with ONE EASY CLICK!

When you make your gift by credit card, you will receive an acknowledgment from The Philadelphia Foundation in a few minutes. Please forward the acknowledgement email to us at:

Thank you, and we look forward to see both new members and old throughout the year!



The power of our Giving Circle is the generosity of our membership, including those who share their time and talent to ensure our impact in Philadelphia. Regardless of how much time you have to share, one of our committees will be happy to accept your helping hand. Please join us. 

TTN Giving Circle Committees:

Grants Committee – reviews the grant applications, plans and conducts site visits for potential finalists and recommends the final applicants for vote among the Giving Circle membership. The Grants Committee meets between JAN – MAY, and requires a commitment to a number of meetings needed to fulfil the review cycle. The 2021 Grants Committee is filled. To support the 2022 grant cycle, please contact the Giving Circle at the email below.

Development Committee – dedicated to increase the number of new members and donors, retain its existing contributors, and encourage higher levels of giving. It works most closely with the Membership Engagement Committee to welcome new members and create a rewarding experience for its full membership.

Membership Engagement Committee – recognizes the value of our members, building relationships with our growing membership and donor base, and working most closely with the Development Committee.

Program Committee – organizes and conducts compelling educational programing to further the TTN Giving Circle’s mission to our community through our understanding of the challenges facing women, children and youth in Philadelphia. 

Public Relations Committee – designs and implements communications that build awareness of the Giving Circle’s activities and achievements, drives attendance and engagement, and educates the broader TTN community on the needs of Philadelphia’s women, children and youth.

Help us harness the Power of Collective Giving! 

To learn more, contact and one of our committee leads will get back to you.


Contact Carol Cunningham, Giving Circle Chair, at

Material from, 15:00:55 July 26, 2021.
Copyright © The Transition Network 2021