This is the final edition of the Start A Giving Circle series.
The 1st edition talked about the steps you need to launch a giving circle.
The 2nd edition discussed the ground rules and infrastructure in place to run your giving circle.
The 3rd edition provided some thoughts on how to grow your group.
That brings us to the final edition:
Maintain Your Giving Circle With Formal Evaluations
Over time, things have a habit of changing. This is both good and bad. It’s good to acquire new experiences and develop more effective and efficient ways of running your giving circle. It’s also possible that over time, you may drift a bit from your original intention. It’s also possible that there are areas that are in need of improvement. The day to day activities of running a giving circle is not the best way to take a good look at the overall health and direction of your giving circle. For those reasons, I recommend that every six months, you and your giving circle’s leadership conduct a formal evaluation of your giving circle.
Survey Your Members
In preparation for your review, survey your existing members and get their opinions on what is going well and what could be improved. This is important for at least two reasons. One, your members may have great insight that will help your group improve. Two, when members know that their opinions are wanted, valued, and listened to, they will have a sense of ownership and involvement with the giving circle that makes them more likely to stick around and participate. And you want members to stick around and participate!!
With the completed membership surveys, the leadership should complete a thorough review of your giving circle. Here are the items I review with my giving circles during our evaluations.
- Review group’s activities. Do they make sense for the direction the group is going? Do we need to add or change group interactions?
- Is the group’s vision still clear?
- Review group’s dynamics. Is the group healthy and getting along well?
- Review donations. Are they consistent with the group’s mission? Are they having the desired impact?
- Review membership numbers. Do we need to recruit more members? Is the group losing members?
- Review New Member procedures. Are new members becoming active members of the group?
- What’s working well? What’s not working well?
- How are our organization nomination and selection processes working? Are organizations properly vetted?
- Are we doing a good job promoting our successes?
- How could we have a greater impact?
- What do our members say they want to see happen?
- How is our leadership election and succession working?
- Are our finances in order?
- Are we maintaining records of group activity?
- What are action steps for next 6 months?
Your biannual review should end with an action plan on what activities and actions to focus on in the next six months to make your giving circle even better.
Best wishes as you start your giving circle, and as always, you are welcome to contact me with any questions.