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  • Writer's pictureResource Movement

Toronto Giving Circle Launch

Updated: Jun 1

This spring, Resource Movement will host its first ever Giving Circle -- an opportunity for 10 RM members to build their fundraising and donor organizing skills and raise money for grassroots social justice organizations in Ontario.

Over the course of the 2-month Giving Circle, members will set fundraising goals, engage their communities, and raise money for impactful Ontario-based groups. Along the way, they will be be supported through bi-weekly workshops with the other members of the circle.

Giving Circle workshops will include:

  • Giving Circle backgrounder, and fundraising goal setting

  • Fundraising training & troubleshooting

  • Learning about leading social justice groups in Ontario

  • Celebration of success & reflections on learnings

Think this sounds cool? Want to learn more and join in? Fill out this form by April 18 to let us know you're interested. For folks interested in learning more of the details, read on!

What’s a Giving Circle?

Basically, a Giving Circle is a way to get a group of folks together to fundraise for important causes, while building fundraising skills, and learning about local groups that are tackling issues you care about.

Where will the money raised be donated?

The money will be donated to Groundswell Community Justice Trust, a funder of progressive social justice organizations in Ontario. These are just a few of the reasons why we’re excited about giving to Groundswell:

  • Governance & Project Selection: Groundswell is led by a board comprised of social justice leaders and organizers, which will help to ensure that organizers who are engaged in movement work have a say in the decisions about who and what gets funded.

  • Systemic social change focus: Groundswell provides grants to groups led by people directly affected by discrimination, criminalization, and exploitation, and who work to build the power of their communities to change these conditions. For instance, in 2016, Groundswell gave to the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, the ODSP Action Coalition, and Grassy Narrows Youth Organization -- organizations working to build power in communities.

  • Community Reputation: Groundswell has been funding progressive social change organizations since 2011, and has invested significant time and energy into building strong relationships with social movement groups.

For more information on Groundswell, take a look at their website.

What if I don’t personally have much money to donate? Is there an expectation that I raise a certain amount of money?

There is no expectation for how much you raise, and this giving circle is open to folks from all class backgrounds. The giving circle will likely include include folks with high incomes and low incomes, as well as folks with no inherited wealth and folks with significant inherited wealth. The Giving Circle will offer us all the chance to sharpen our fundraising skills, and to learn how to fundraise our networks (be they networks with significant wealth, or networks with less wealth). While some members of the Giving Circle may have the opportunity to raise more money from their networks than others, all contributions will be celebrated equally.

What if I don’t know anything about fundraising?

Again, no worries! One of our workshops will be a fundraising training, during which we’ll cover topics like: developing your list of ‘funding prospects’, developing ‘your ask’, identifying ways to approach different fundraising prospects, and more. We’ll also make time in our third workshop to troubleshoot our fundraising, learning from each other what’s going well, and what’s not -- and making improvements together!

Where will the four Giving Circle meetings be hosted?

They will be hosted in Toronto, likely at the homes of the folks participating in the Giving Circle, or in the meeting rooms of local community spaces.

What is the time commitment for participating in the Giving Circle?

All in, likely about 20-30 hours from May 1 - June 31. We will host four workshops, each of which will be about 3 hours long. Between meetings, its expected that you will be actively fundraising your networks, seeking to meet the fundraising goal you set for yourself during the first meeting.

I don’t live in Toronto, can I still participate?

Yes! If you’d like to participate in the Giving Circle, but you don’t live in Toronto, we would be happy for you to participate in the meetings via video-conference. We have the tech to make that happen.

I’m in! How do I get involved?

Fill out this form by April 18, expressing your interest. After April 15 we’ll get in touch with you to discuss your participation in the Giving Circle.

I have a question that you haven’t answered here, how can I get it answered?

Email and ask away! Jon and Bronwyn, the two RM members organizing the circle will get back to you as soon as we can with an answer.

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