Natan is a giving circle. Very simply, this means that members pool their charitable contributions and decide together where the pooled funds should go. Natan is also the driving force behind Amplifier: The Jewish Giving Circle Movement, a field-building project that helps anyone - individuals or institutions, at any giving level, funding any types of issues - start and sustain a giving circle.
Giving circles are on the upswing. Increasingly popular among younger and other previously underrepresented donors (e.g. women, racial and ethnic minorities), giving circles are an ideal mechanism for people who want to engage with their philanthropy in a hands-on way, especially within a peer community of other givers. They are ideal for people who want to give proactively, informed by research and with tools for measuring the impact of their giving.
Infinitely customizable by issue area, contribution amount, and demographics of members, giving circles offer an experiential education in strategic philanthropy: a chance to proactively decide what sort of change the group's members wish to make in the world and then to solicit applications from and award grants to organizations and individuals working to make that change.
And they work! Recent research has demonstrated that giving circle members give more, give more strategically, and engage more deeply in their communities than non-giving circle members.
Giving circles are also a tremendously powerful tool for building community – for strengthening members’ personal, professional, and philanthropic networks. Through their consensus-based decision-making, they also model the importance of philanthropic partnership and collective impact, reinforcing the truism that no funder, no matter how large or influential, can solve social problems on his or her own.
In a Jewish context, giving circles provide an excellent access point to Jewish life and a way of exploring and strengthening members’ Jewish identities. They bring people together around the Jewish values of tzedakah (philanthropy) and tikkun olam(repairing the world), creating caring, generous communities of people who think deeply and act strategically about the challenges facing the Jewish world.See more