GCHopeLogoThis is the second of four blog posts from Joan Kasprowicz and Diana Katz, co-founders of the Giving Circle of HOPE at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, celebrating its 10th anniversary this season.

During the early years (2004-2006) of the Giving Circle of HOPE, the Human Services Coalition of Fairfax County morphed into the nonprofit coalition NonProfit NoVA, an affiliate of the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington. The GCH joined that coalition with the intention of learning even more about the nonprofit world that we were funding and the service projects that we were supporting.  The relationships we built there were instrumental in giving us valuable insights into the potential impact of our giving.

Every step we took inside and outside of the GCH led us down the path to become a different type of philanthropist:
  • Evaluating grant applications made us familiar with organizations, projects and clients and helped us build a team of experienced evaluators
  • Service projects connected us to the neighbors that we wanted to serve
  • Networking connected us to the pertinent institutions in government, nonprofit, and private industry
  • Being a donor-advised fund at CFNV gave us a connection to private giving, and a powerful and effective partner and host
We became more engaged, more knowledgeable, more strategic, better connected, and, hopefully, more effective philanthropists.

Strategic and collective giving, which is one of the Giving Circle’s founding goals, is taking a different direction in 2013. We now use the knowledge we gained to expand the search for new solutions or new approaches to alleviate problems in our community. With a  “catalyst network” in place, creating positive change is attainable.

Next, read about the GCH’s discovery and venture into the new wave in philanthropy.