New 'Giving Circle' Organisation Seeks To Raise Funds For LGBTIQ Causes

SameSame, 08 December 2016

For the first time in Australian history, members of the Australia’s LGBTQIA+ community will benefit from a focused and coordinated funding initiative, bringing together members from the queer and philanthropic communities.

Organised by organisation The Channel, the drive’s mission is to change the way Australians experience gender and sexuality for the
better, through philanthropy.

The initiative is now live, and has started accepting donations from its first round of Founding Members, each of which moves the group towards their ambitious goal of granting $100,000 to LGBTQIA+ communities in need by the end of 2017.

Traditionally, a giving circle is a group of individuals who pool their donations and decide on a not-for-profit or community program to give to.

They also serve as a conduit to increase both awareness and engagement in the issues funded. In some instances, members also choose to contribute their time and expertise.

Only around 10 are in operation in Australia to date.

Anyone can join as a Member of The Channel, with the option to make a monthly donation of $25, $50 or $100, according to their capacity to give.

Potential recipients of the funds raised are identified through Members’ own research, networks and promotion. All members get one vote as to where grants are distributed.

Board Director, and LGBTIQIA+ political leader, Neil Pharaoh, said it was a great opportunity to turn contributions from the LGBTQIA+ community into meaningful projects and outcomes.

“It is a fantastic and innovative way to encourage philanthropy, and support a variety of LGBTQIA+ projects,” he said.

The Channel is a community-lead initiative with plans for membership to comprise of LGBTQIA+ community members and allies. A primary goal is to bring young people and those with diverse backgrounds to philanthropy.

The Channel’s Founder Georgia Mathews said the group was born out of a recognition that there is great social change work being done in the Australian queer community, but funding is very scarce.

“There’s not a lot of data on LGBTQIA+ giving in Australia. However, in the States, for every $100 awarded by foundations only 28 cents go to LGBTQIA+ issues. That’s less than any other minority group,” she said.

The Channel will also play an advocacy role within mainstream philanthropy, build engagement with community through events and campaigns and educate Members about effective giving and the LGBTQIA+ focus area.

You can find out more and sign up as a Member of The Channel here.