Giving Circle

Program 54 • 29 mins


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Named for the Greek Goddess of the Hearth, The Hestia Fund is an informal giving circle located in Boston, where forty women members get together each month to debate where to give their charitable donations. The group then explores and visits organizations that share their focus. The women commit for three years, and each gives $ 5000 per year. Hear what motivated founder Susan Priem to start the fund, how the other women view their roles, and how they hope to promote social justice through fostering and supporting after-school programs–the current focus of the fund. We’ll also go on a site visit to an organization they support known as My Town, in which inner city youth conduct tours of local historical sites. This program offers a fascinating model for small scale charitable giving that makes a difference.


  • Why would a group of women start a charitable “giving circle?”
  • What difference does it make to give one’s money collectively?
  • How does a giving circle differ from the structure of a large foundation, where only the interest will be given away?
  • What satisfaction do members gain from visiting community organizations that are candidates for grants?

They come, they want to know, they want to get to know your program, and they want to get to know you and they want to know what you really need….The Hestia Fund allows you the opportunity to really dream a little bit, and say what you really need. Not what you think Hestia wants to hear that you need, but what could really make a difference in your organization and what could really allow you to have the impact that you want.”

—Karilyn Crockett, Executive Director of My Town, an organization supported by The Hestia Fund


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