AAPIP Voices

Flash Giving


Sharing the best practices and lessons-learned arising out of our National Giving Circle Campaign: Flash Giving

At the 2013 National Giving Circle Convening in Chicago, AAPIP experimented with a “flash giving circle” to celebrate the tradition of shared giving along with Asian Giving Circle’s 10 Year Anniversary. Anyone who donated during the event received one vote towards a Chicago area nonprofit. Votes were tallied, and at the end of the night AAPIP announced the organization that received the most votes. In just a few hours, we collectively raised $11,000 for Kan-Win!

Since then, several other giving circles put their own fun and creative twists on flash giving circles at their events, including Building More Philanthropy with Purpose (BMPP) in Minnesota, and Friends Doing Good (F.D.G.) and LOTUS Circle in California. We asked BMPP and F.D.G. to share what it took for them to throw a successful flash giving event:

  • Be clear why your circle is hosting a flash giving circle. Prepare and rehearse your message about why a flash giving circle can be an effective model. For example, a flash giving circle allows supporters/attendees to learn first-hand how giving circles work and raise awareness about the Giving Circle Movement. 
  • Have clearly defined roles and responsibilities for giving circle members to keep things effective and efficient. There are many moving parts to executing a successful flash giving circle.  Some roles to consider are: event facilitator, fund collectors and vote counters. 
  • Be Creative: Giving should be fun for giving circle members and participants! Does your group like to cook? Couple your flash giving circle with a dinner like BMPP’s “Pho the Good of All” or host a party with music, drinks, and awesome raffle prizes like F.D.G. F.D.G. found that the raffle prizes were a great incentive for attendees to participate and provided an opportunity for members to reach out to their network for in-kind donations, which served as prizes. During the event, each raffle ticket purchased counted as a vote towards one of four nominee organizations.    
  • Attitude is Everything: Maintain an upbeat attitude and have fun. People will be motivated to give if you’re having fun and the energy is high.

Other tips to consider:

  • Giving circles with a fiscal host should consider online giving tools such as Square.
  • Suggest a minimum donation but encourage people to give within their means.
  • Celebrate! No matter how much you raise, collectively we can have a greater impact than individually. Tell this story on social media by friending, thanking, and tagging those that contributed. It will make those involved feel special and generate interest for those that couldn’t attend and participate.