Sage - Giving Circles

Meet three of our Sages who have initiated a giving circle to "adopt a climate activist."

Recently, three innovative baby boomers in Southern Oregon spearheaded their own giving circle to financially support three young advocates who are investing time and energy to advance a carbon fee and dividend policy in Oregon. As one of the donors says, “We get as much back as we give, maybe more. That’s how real reciprocity works – it’s always a two way giving/receiving exchange. They’re doing this work and we can’t, but we can support them to do it with some cash.”

Giving circles are an increasingly popular strategy to encourage friends, colleagues, and family members to pool funds in support of an important cause. Together, Eric Sirotkin, Jeff Golden and Will Wilkinson of Ashland combined funds to adopt their own activist with Oregon Climate – an innovative nonprofit group working to help Oregon become the national leader in effective climate policy. A relatively small monthly financial contribution from the Ashland team’s giving circle frees these passionate campaigners to devote more of their time to the earth. In return, members of the giving circle receive monthly updates from their “adopted” Oregon Climateer about what they’ve accomplished together.

But it doesn’t stop there. These Oregon investors are also leading efforts to encourage others to invest money in the "adopt an activist" concept, redirecting money that would otherwise be spent on lattes, expensive cable service, etc. Remarking on their approach, Wilkinson said, "So many people want to give to charitable causes. That becomes easy when you just change your spending a little, from unnecessary stuff to supporting activists who are totally dedicated to co-creating a better world."

Whether you are focused on tackling climate change, strengthening education, or creating new jobs for young adults, giving circles are a powerful strategy to support any cause that benefits younger and future generations.

Giving Circles Trio

Above: Three Oregon Climateers funded by the “adopt a climate activist” program.
“We’re grateful every day for the financial support that makes it possible for us to pour ourselves into this work that’s so vital for all of us, especially our children’s children. Thank you!"
Camila Thorndike, Oregon Climate

Giving Circle Tips:

  • Start with reviewing monthly expenses to see where you can re-direct a few dollars every month from waste to activism.
  • Make a monthly commitment and small is better, so it doesn’t burden you.

Eric Sirotkin, Jeff Golden and Will Wilkinson are SAGE peer-to-peer advisors. Contact any of them with questions.