Collaborative Philanthropy: SheGives Takes A Lead


SheGives Cited for Its Role on the Leading Edge of Collaborative Philanthropy


SheGives’ innovative model is turning heads! Jeff Poulos, executive director of Associated Grant Makers, mentions SheGives in a recent article about the evolution of philanthropy stating, “SheGives… [is] challenging the status quo of philanthropy – or pushing the boundaries of the sector.” There has been a huge emphasis over the past few months highlighting collective solutions to critical issues. As philanthropy evolves the “option to go it alone seems like setting oneself up for failure, rather than positioning oneself for the best chances for impact and success,” Poulos says.

SheGives’ mission to increase considered and informed giving to effective nonprofits, by bringing together committed donors, is on the cutting edge of this idea of collaborative philanthropy. In July, SheGives Founder and President, Kirstan Barnett spoke at the AGM Annual Meeting about the importance of connecting donors to effective nonprofits in a manner which un-complicates the diligence process and is efficient, both for donors and the nonprofits they are supporting. James Canales, of the Barr Foundation, also spoke to the importance of this during his presentation saying, “In today’s complex environment, it will be our ability to collaborate—not just with other foundations but also with government, industry, and nonprofits—that will lead to greater effectiveness in philanthropy.

Launched in September 2013, SheGives is a private foundation that connects dynamic, inquisitive, committed donors to a portfolio of diligenced and diverse nonprofits around Greater Boston. We provide relevant research and data about our portfolio and access to nonprofit leadership in intimate settings to inform the giving of our members. Our members give as individuals and also as women who direct the giving of a foundation or donor-advised fund. Each member contributes to SheGives at an amount that makes sense for her (above a minimum) and then ultimately, each member determines how much, and to which, of the nonprofits on our slate she wants to direct her giving. She elects whether to be anonymous during all or any phase, or whether/when to identify her name or that of her foundation or DAF.

SheGives has pioneered a new model of philanthropy that leverages the time-consuming diligence process of evaluating nonprofits in order to inform giving by its 90+ members, and also leverages the impact of its members’ giving. Its mission is to encourage giving to nonprofits whose operations, finances and impact have been considered so that effectiveness is rewarded. The nonprofits in its portfolio were selected with the goal of finding nonprofits that are examples of effective work in their respective areas.

SheGives Members have found that a key benefit to membership is not only the ability to learn about a portfolio of eight extraordinary nonprofits in an engaged but discreet (and potentially anonymous) way, but also to discuss and compare notes honestly with other donors.

As an additional element of its commitment to collaborative philanthropy, SheGives is exploring partnerships with other foundations around Greater Boston to leverage their expertise in various giving areas for SheGives’ next slate of nonprofits. Stay tuned.


SheGives Black Circle Logo[2]

SheGives connects committed, inquisitive, engaged donors with a slate of diligenced nonprofits in the Greater Boston area. We provide members with relevant data about the nonprofits in our portfolio and an opportunity to meet directly with our nonprofits’ Executive Directors and senior staff in small settings that promote in-depth q&a’s and, ultimately, informed giving. Giving is personally driven, but because we give side-by-side our collective impact is greater. See a list of the vetted nonprofits selected for our slate here.

SheGives Cited for Its Role on the Leading Edge of Collaborative Philanthropy

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