FAMILY, WE ALL GROW DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS YET OUR ROOTS REMAIN THE SAME.
Seeds for Community Investment Network (CIN) were first sown in 2003 when a series of conversations about philanthropy with young African Americans communities were conducted across the American South and sponsored by The Ford Foundation. The discussion centered on pressing social challenges, civic engagement and giving back.
Community Investment Network inspires, connects and strengthens African Americans and communities of color to leverage their collective resources and create the change THEY wish to see.
Community Investment Network (CIN) was established to support and encourage the development of “giving circles” and other collective giving models.
What is a Giving Circle?
A giving circle is a group of individuals who pool their personal time, talent and treasure to address social issues in their communities using thoughtful giving strategies.
CIN is a forum for philanthropists committed to transforming their communities.
WE ARE PHILANTHROPISTS
LOOKING AT PHILANTHROPY DIFFERENTLY
Spotlighting Our Circles, Our Narratives
Community Investment Network is achieving more with our initiatives than ever before. We work on many exciting projects to help improve the lives of others, and are very proud of the progress we continue to make. Learn more about what we do, who we help, and how we work every day to promote positive change.
BRIDGE SOCIETAL GAPS FACED BY BLACK MALES
One Step at a Time
A Legacy of Tradition (ALOT) decided to focus their grant making on the high number of school suspensions among Black boys in their county’s public schools. At the time, Black students composed 20.2% of the student population, but were 75% of all school suspensions. They learned that most students were being suspended for petty infractions and not violent behavior, such as fighting or carrying weapons to school. As a result of concerted community wide efforts, the school system implemented a new policy that required any student facing a long-term suspension (of 10 days or more) to be reviewed before a task force resulting in long-term suspensions dropped by 36%.
SOCIAL CHANGE PHILANTHROPY BY BRINGING TOGETHER COMMUNITY LEADERS WHO CARE ABOUT THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL WELL-BEING OF COMMUNITIES OF COLOR IN ASHEVILLE AND WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA.
Reinforcing our Commitment
CoThinkk’s initial goal to cultivate diverse opinions to accelerate change, support creative innovation, and build valuable konnections and knowledge. “CoThinkk” was coined to describe a process built upon the premise that adopting co-thinking allows individuals, organizations, institutions and sectors.
A part of this process included advocating for the giving circle model and its potential to break down barriers, and building trust and strengthening relationships between African American and Latinx leaders. Through a shared, collaborative, and collective agenda CoThinkk went through a process to prioritize its focus areas, landing on economic opportunity/mobility, education, and leadership development. Along with grants to leaders of color working in Asheville and Western North Carolina, CoThinkk has mapped out a vision to accompany grant money with volunteer time and access to the resources and skill sets of the membership.
EMPOWER BLACK WOMEN AND GIRLS
I Be Black Girl Gives, Omaha, NE — Founded in 2018, I Be Black Girl Gives was established to empower Black women and girls to invest in the community in meaningful ways that create impact. Any social projects (does not have to be a 501c3) can apply for funding up to $7,500 as long as 75% of the recipients are Black women and girls and the program is Black women/girl-led. The giving circle’s inaugural grant cycle generated nearly $50,000 and funded six programs
BUILDING COMMUNITY THROUGH THE ART OF QUILTING
Finding the Common Thread
The Heritage Quilters Giving Circle, Warrenton, NC — Founded in 2001, Heritage Quilters focuses primarily on youth and education. Circle members welcome and introduce new teachers and school staff to active and knowledgeable community members steeped in Warren County history and culture. They also work annually with the schools and local 4-H youth, using quilts and quilting to teach math skills, team work, and American History. Through grants, the circle provides a scholarship to a college-going high school senior and provides two grants to local community organizations to support youth field trips. Uniquely, Heritage Quilters maintains a historic African American home in Warrenton as a space for the giving circle and other groups working on youth and education issues and concerns to convene. The circle participates in local festivals to heighten awareness of Warren County’s cultural assets, traditions and community history. Since 2008, Heritage Quilters has encouraged philanthropic giving at the grassroots level in partnership with the Community Investment Network, a national organization of giving circles of color.
THE GAME CHANGING "GEH"
Making a Way
The ASIAN WOMEN GIVING CIRCLE (AWGC) is the first and largest giving circle in the nation led by Asian American women. While working through her fundraising challenges, Hali Lee remembered the Korean community tradition of the geh. A geh is a shared saving circle in which community members would contribute money into a pool, and people would take turns taking home the money to support entire their families or to start small businesses.
Lee, who shared a geh circle with her close friends, decided to take the concept and use it for philanthropic initiatives. In 2005, Lee invited 10 friends together to raise money for what she hoped would be a game-changing geh, and the Asian Women Giving Circle (AWGC) was officially born.
Helping The Community
SPIN (Sisterhood of Philanthropists Impacting Needs) is a philanthropic giving circle, housed at The Women's Foundation of Colorado, of Black women in the Denver community who leverage their collective strengths in order to positively impact marginalized women and adolescent girls in their communities.
SPIN brings together women of varying perspectives, backgrounds, and unique skill-sets who are passionate about making a difference through charitable contributions, community service projects, and civic engagement activities.
"We are each other's harvest; we are each other's harvest; we are each other's magnitude and bond."