Starting a Giving Group in Your Community

Looking for Community Change? Try a Giving Group

More than ever before, people are wanting to get involved in giving and helping. In their communities, in schools, in politics.


So often, philanthropy isn’t centered around one’s town or one’s community. While giving always feels great, sometimes we want to feed that change into our own towns, cities, or schools.

Have you ever thought about creating your own nonprofit? Forming a 503 (c)(3) organization is a lot harder than it sounds. Legally, there are a ton of hoops to jump through—many involving the IRS. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still take direct action in your community. Right now, many people are asking to get involved and help—more than ever before.

There’s an easier way to start change in your community—to get involved in causes that matter to you, your friends, your family or church group.

Start a giving group!

While the modern giving group is a new idea, it’s based on a well-worn concept: people with shared values forming benefit societies to help alleviate some burden or difficulty. It’s a structure for members of the group to support each other in times of need—say one member becomes unemployed, or has a new child and needs assistance with childcare. It’s a way for a group of people to make their collective needs known.

Modern giving groups are similar: a group of activist-minded individuals getting together to support causes and initiatives they care about within the community—and make a bigger impact as a group.


You’ve already built the structure for a giving group, you just don’t know it. I’m sure you and your friends get together on a regular basis to have fun, gossip, talk about your concerns and what you would like to change in your community.Why not get your usual group together, and use your collective resources to do some good for others at the same time?

Here are some giving group “starter” ideas:

  • Decide together on a local charity to support. Everyone in the group makes a donation to that charity.
  • Everybody pitch in to a central “pot” of money and have a lottery for the group who will receive it.
  • Create your own idea for a project, and everyone in the group contributes to making that project a reality!

The climate is asking people to get involved now.

Getting involved doesn’t always have to involve money! If your group of friends doesn’t have a lot of cash to spare, consider donating your time instead!

Volunteers are the backbone of every nonprofit organization. Most work can’t get done without them. Nonprofits are always needing your help!

Here are some great volunteer ideas:

  • You could get together with your buddies, and you all spend a day with Habitat for Humanity.
  • Or try a couple’s day, something that wives and husbands can do together. A great way to hang out with your friends and accomplish something you can all be proud of.
  • Sort clothes for a shelter. Or for the animal lovers, try volunteering with your group at an animal shelter. It’s more fun together!

You don’t need to wait for your company to organize something. Plan a work day yourself! Get involved before crisis strikes.

And when you’re done, you have a great new thing to talk about—and a wonderful experience to reflect on while you decide what charitable activity to do next!

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