The Giving Circle

A Giving Circle is one way Inner Visions can help raise money for community improvement projects that are being led by residents of Cleveland or East Cleveland.

What is a Giving Circle?
It is a form of Speed Philanthropy

How does a Giving Circle work?
• You attend a one- hour meeting and bring $25.
• At the meeting if you want to apply for funds you can put the name of your project in the box at the sign-in table.
• Three project names will be pulled from the box.
• The three people who submitted the projects will each be given 5 minutes to talk to the group about the project and 5 minutes for the audience to ask questions.
• Then everyone votes by filling out a secret ballot.
• The top vote getter will receive all the money that is collected that evening.

It’s that simple.

Things to keep in mind
• Anyone who is willing to pay a minimum of $25 dollars can come vote for one of the projects. People are free to give more than $25 if they wish.
• The more people you invite, the larger the pot of money will be.
• The winner of the money will be expected to attend the next giving circle meeting and share how the money was used for their project.

Thanks to everyone who came to the first Inner Visions Giving Circle. It was a new and exciting experience. For those of you who couldn't make it I'd like to share the outcome of the meeting.

Three people presented their projects to the group. The first person to speak was the very brave Darterius Anaton. He is entering the 7th grade and is a very accomplished gardener He is acquiring land from the Land Bank and was requesting funds to buy chickens, a coop, and bee keeper supplies and equipment. He wants to expand his garden and share his bounty with his neighbors.

Yvonne Pointer requested funds to help put on a Back to School Festival to support neighborhood kids and provide them with much needed school supplies. This is a yearly event that low income families have come to rely on. Yvonne has helped put on this festival for the past several years. The funding she had counted on in the past is not available this year.

La Shaunda Lee requested money for her new business start-up called I Want M.O.R.E. which stands for My Own Restaurant Experience. She bought a gutted food truck. Her plan is to build out the food truck and then provide people with the opportunity to be trained to operate their own food truck restaurant.

It was a very tight race! La Shaunda won $2,060 She informed me that she will take the title for the truck next week. She has already purchased a brand new refrigerator for the truck from the Habitat ReStore. If you come to our next Giving Circle you will get to hear what else she was able to accomplish with the funds.

The generosity of this group was overwhelming. Many people contributed more than $25. One person gave an anonymous gift of $500. Both Darterius and Yvonne were given some financial support by attendees who believed in their ideas.

I am grateful for the insightful feedback that was shared on the evaluation forms. I plan to implement these suggestions at our next event. Many people vowed to help the presenters with their projects For this reason our motto is "Small Bucks for Big Change."