Karen Keating Ansara | New England International Donors | 29 March 2018
Based on my life-changing year in the TPW Cohort Program, I helped found an international philanthropy network for philanthropists, grantmakers, social investors, and advisors called New England International Donors (NEID). Nearly ten years later, that project has born much fruit.
We started with a landscape scan, presented during my TPW strategy presentation, of other global funding networks, including Pangea, a substantial global giving circle co-founded by TPW member Linda Mason (TPW 2001–2002). Drawing from their lessons, NEID now holds about 40 educational and social events a year and has just realized my dream of running Global Giving Circles.
In 2017, our first Giving Circle included 19 women members and awarded $70,000 to four grantees that enhance education and economic opportunities for women and girls in Africa. This winter we launched another Circle on Women and Girls. Alongside it, we have initiated a Circle on Climate Change Mitigation. Each Circle meets monthly for six months with the goal of presenting grants to NGO staff at NEID’s November Gala.
What have we learned?
First, starting each circle with a personal reflection on the topic has been critical to creating a spirit of collaboration. As Krista Tippett, public radio host of “On Being,” recently wrote, and I paraphrase: “You can argue with one’s ideology, but not with one’s lived experience.” Second, men will join giving circles, especially with a male chair or co-chair. Thirdly, a matching grant to the Circle can greatly increase members’ contributions and sense of impact.
I would love to learn from other TPW members with experience participating in giving circles. In particular, how can persons participate virtually?
NEID is led by a highly engaged Steering Committee including Sasha Chanoff of RefugePoint, who recently presented on the Refugee Crisis at TPW’s Annual Retreat. TPW members Sylvia Brown (TPW 2006 – 2007) and Nancy Farese (TPW 2011 – 2012) are also NEID members.
For more information about NEID and a calendar of events see: www.neidonors.org
Karen Ansara (TPW 2008 – 2009) makes grants to end global poverty primarily in Haiti. She chairs the Steering Committee of New England International Donors (NEID). In 2010 Karen co-founded the Haiti Fund at the Boston Foundation, now the Haiti Development Institute (HDI). She serves on boards or advisory boards of the Millennium Campus Network, MCE Social Capital, Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, and the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University.