In the spring of 2007, several local women worked together to establish an exciting new program to support the health care needs of women and children and to celebrate the growing impact of women as philanthropists: the Women’s Giving Circle at the Pacific Communities Health District Foundation. The giving circle features two major components:
Each participant donates an equal amount to a fund, which is distributed to projects that benefit women and children within the scope of patient care provided locally by Samaritan Pacific Health Services. The beauty of the Women’s Giving Circle is that it is donor directed, which means the participants develop fund distribution criteria, investigate projects firsthand and award funds personally. Participants in the circle do this via a steering committee with the support of staff at the foundation.
Education and celebration events
Based on the needs and interests of participants in the Women’s Giving Circle, the group gathers at least once a year for an educational opportunity regarding health care and philanthropy, to vote on fund distribution to projects and to meet with previous recipients. The event is designed to educate, empower and inspire.
Women’s giving circles have grown in national popularity in recent years and are well suited to the unique giving patterns of women. Similar to investment clubs, giving circles provide members with the opportunity to pool their funds, learn about the funding choices available, and collectively decide how the funds are best used.
Our local Women’s Giving Circle has a steering committee, which provides the initial screening of the proposals and makes recommendations to participants prior to the annual vote. The funds may be designated for a specific program, patient service area, or equipment purchase. All donations remain local.
Women’s Giving Circle participation is open to anyone interested in supporting the health of women and children in our community. The annual contribution is $250 and, as allowed by law, is fully tax deductible as a gift to the Pacific Communities Health District Foundation.