Social investment networking also known as “crowdsourcing” is a form of shared giving that helps provide donors with significant impact from their gifts and includes them in a network of like-minded members who care about their community. The impact of their gift is created by soliciting contributions from a large group of people thereby providing larger more impactful grants to organizations who focus on specific issues in their community.

The concept of shared giving is not new — raising money from many donors during a weather disaster to help those in a specific community who are in need is one of many examples. There are approximately 400 Giving Circles documented nationwide focusing mostly on local community needs.

Today’s donors view their gifts as an investment in their community. In exchange for their gifts, just like an investment in a business or in the stock market, donors want to see “returns” and in philanthropy, that means “impact.”

What did their gift accomplish? How did they make a difference in the lives of other members in their community? How efficiently was their investment managed?

Organizations that provide the right answers to these questions usually have a higher percentage of repeat donors.

How do we continue to increase philanthropic giving and create greater impact in South Florida’s LGBT community? It’s easy — encourage more donors to join us at the table. How do we get them to respond to the invitation? Not so easy — but introducing them to giving circles focused on our local LGBT community that provides communications describing the impact of their gifts is a good start.

Our Fund has now created new giving programs targeting two distinct donor markets. The first program is called “iGIVE Society” and targets a select group of philanthropists who make a significant minimum annual personal commitment of $1,500. Their support provides specific general grants for non-profit organizations serving the LGBT community in South Florida and funding for the program activity and operations of Our Fund.

Members are considered an integral part of Our Fund, provide feedback in our work and are recognized at Our Fund events, in our annual report, receive invitations to exclusive donor receptions and become part of a charitable society that increases the effectiveness and impact of their gifts.

The second new gift-giving program is called “iGIVE Network” which targets new and younger donors and introduces them to local philanthropy. Members of this giving program can make a credit card gift of $10 to $120 per month into a pooled Fund administered by Our Fund that also supports organizations serving the LGBT community in South Florida and the programs and operations of Our Fund.

Grant recommendations will be coordinated by a leadership team of donors in this program selected by our Board of Directors and the members will be recognized at special events, in our annual report, and receive invitations to exclusive quarterly iGIVE Network receptions, where they can get to know each other and learn more about our community’s needs and the organizations that this group will support.

The operating support you provide directly to your favorite non-profit organization is crucial to their success and as long as they are accomplishing your charitable goals, their work is deserving of your continued support. Helping our LGBT community through a gift-giving program like iGIVE, provides Our Fund with the flexibility to shift financial support where it is needed the most and creates a stronger impact. Both strategies should be included as part of your philanthropic plans.

For more information about iGIVE, visit www.our-fund.org/igive.

Our Fund is a tax-exempt non-profit organization with a mission to promote a culture of philanthropy by uniting donors with organizations supporting the LGBT community. Focused on expanding philanthropy in South Florida and working to develop stronger non-profit organizations, South Florida’s only LGBT community foundation has been established to help build endowments that support donor’s charitable interests including organizations providing services throughout the LGBT community.