-Determine what type of causes you want to focus on, be they local, international or related to a particular issue.
-Research various charities that fall under your cause.
-Determine with your group how you will choose charities. Will you vote or will different members take turns choosing the charity.
-Determine with your group any ground rules, such as how often you'll meet and how much money members are required to give.
-Set up a separate bank account for the funds that will be raised. Talk to a certified public accountant about tax issues group members should be aware of.
-Document the decisions the group makes so it's easier for new members to know where the group is coming from.
-Have fun. One of the best aspects of giving circles is the camaraderie they provide for their members. Take advantage of that.
Some Giving Circles and Web Sites
The B'More Fund
Bread for the Journey
The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
Dining for Women
Full Circle Fund
Giving Circle of Hope
Social Justice Fund
The Women and Girls Fund
Washington Area Women's Foundation
Marsha Wallace, Founder of Dining for Women
Jessica Bearman, Deputy Director of Dining for Women
Linda Strup, Founder of Giving Circle of Hope