The Aspire to Give® Blog

If you are somewhat familiar with philanthropic terms, you may have come up with “giving circles” as a way to give in your local hometown to address some need that is important to you. In this blog, we will dig deeper into giving circles as both an object of our giving and as a tool for smart giving. Before clarifying giving circles of the heart and head, we need to review some fundamental concepts of smart giving. In this blog, we will incorporate basic concepts to share with you the two different types of giving circles.

There is much to think about when it comes to giving—when it’s time to travel on the road to smart, intentional giving—some may find it best to turn to a trusted guide for help along the way. At Aspire to Give, it is our mission to educate and equip donors with the knowledge and tools to give generously because they feel they must give.

To help you as a giving heart expand your understanding of what your personal giving journey could be, we’d like to introduce you to Aspire—a trusted guide in her own right. Aspire is the very being of a giving heart.

As a donor advocate, I'm continually surveying the philanthropic landscape for new tools and techniques for smart giving. If we are to be good stewards and impactful givers, then we need to adapt to change, whether that change is from technology, tax legislation, family, or other modifications. We want to give back, make a difference, and to serve something greater than self. For many with regards to their financial giving, it is family first and then their favorite charity or impact investment. The giving of our four gifts from our wheelhouse, no matter what the gift, provides us with purpose and meaning.

Life is a journey—and we are all on it. While it does vary for all of us, there are common threads that connect us all. We are all in this together and one of the greatest common threads is the inherent need to give—the desire to transcend—to give to others with complete selflessness.

Recently, the International Association of Advisors in Philanthropy held their national conference in Washington, D.C., from May 22 through May 24. I have always considered it very important for professionals of any kind to continue professional development by attending conferences and outside events to help them broaden their knowledge, hone their skills, and become more effective and impactful. In attending the annual conference in Washington, D.C., I was not disappointed! I came away with three major reflections that are certainly worth sharing. These are:

To transcend ourselves and to give to family, friends, those in need, or our community with intent, there is an underlying conversation that we must have either with ourselves or with the help of others. It’s a conversation that will ensure our giving is effective, brings meaning to our lives, and can be as impactful as possible.

We all have varying degrees of gifts to give, but there are common threads that weave the giving blanket together—time, talents, ties and treasure. These are the elements that we each have in our wheelhouse of giving. Deciding how and when to disperse these personal gifts of giving will vary as much as the individuals doing the giving. Therefore, a certain amount of reflection is required to even step onto the ball field and a certain level of commitment is required to pick up the bat.

How intentional are you with your giving? In other words, have you given any thought to those receiving your generosity? The purpose of this blog is to help you become more intentional by outlining the three beneficiary categories of your giving heart—whether that be the giving of your time, your talents, your financial resources, or your connections you have with others that can help facilitate a greater impact for social good.

Often times in our charitable giving, we don't give much thought to the finer points. We might not know who to give to, how much to give or whether our gift is actually having an impact. In looking more closely at our overall giving—smart, impactful, focused, and intentional giving—it is more complicated than it seems at first glance.

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If you are interested in learning more about Aspire to Give®'s pursuit to advance philanthropy through donor-focused education, social innovation, collaboration, and advocacy, please reach out to Greg Doepke:

The thoughts and opinions expressed in this blog are not representative of the views of ACG Advisory Services, Inc. or the Actuarial Consulting Group, Inc. of Midlothian, Virginia. Each client and prospective client agrees, as a condition of precedent to his/her/its access to Aspire to Give®’s website to release and hold harmless ACG Advisory Services, Inc. and Actuarial Consulting Group, Inc., their officers, directors, owners, employees, and agents from any and all adverse consequences resulting from any of his/her/its actions and/or omissions which are independent of his/her/its receipt of personalized advice from Aspire to Give® or Gregory W. Doepke.