December 14, 2020

Supporting Social Justice Through Giving Circles

By. Laura Hoffman, Program Manager, Fiscal Sponsorship Program

A nationwide wave of protests has generated an unprecedented number of donations to Black-led organizing groups, bail and mutual aid funds, and racial justice organizations. To inspire even more giving and to sustain giving over time, Amplifier, one of FJC’s fiscally sponsored projects, has been focused on providing resources and tools to organizations and people to inspire them to give.

Since 2014, Amplifier has helped launch over 125 giving circles, creating a community of educated, empowered, values-driven givers. A giving circle is a group of people who pool their charitable donations and decide together how to allocate the combined funds. Amplifier has learned that givers are transformed by being part of a giving circle: they have more meaning and purpose in their giving; they understand how they can most influence and create change they want; and they build meaningful relationships with others. The giving circle platform amplifies the impact an individual can have with their giving.

To confront inequity within philanthropy, Amplifier is leveraging its role in the Jewish community to ignite and uplift racial justice giving and working closely with diverse giving circles and giving circle networks through the United States. As a member of the co-design team, Amplifier played a key role in founding Philanthropy Together, a new initiative that diversifies philanthropy by developing leadership among giving circles led by people of color, women, LGBTQIA+ people, different giving capacities, youth, people in rural communities, religious minorities, and many, many more. Amplifier has also partnered with the Community Investment Network, a network of giving circles of particularly focused on strengthening African-American communities.

Diversifying philanthropy is a key component to building a more equitable society, explains Fisher. “Giving circles tend to be local, focusing on recognized leadership in their communities,” she says. “As giving circles become more diverse, we believe that more resources will be directed toward organizations led by people of color that might have been overlooked by traditional philanthropy.”

As a participant in FJC’s Fiscal Sponsorship Program, Amplifier uses FJC’s 501(c)(3) status to collect tax-deductible contributions and foundation grants. Supporters have included the Natan Fund, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, whose funding supported the building of the Philanthropy Together initiative.

For more information about giving circles, and opportunities to match fund giving circles led by people of color, please visit or email