The Giving Circle of HOPE, a philanthropic club founded by Reston women in 2004, will celebrate another year of giving and grant distribution at its second annual Big Give on Nov. 9.
Representatives from area nonprofit organizations will pitch their projects at the event, which will take place at Refraction Reston (11911 Freedom Drive) from 6:30 – 9 p.m. Attendees will vote on which program to support.
The organization selected three nonprofits to present their ideas: Fairfax CASA, an organization that works with abused and neglected children referred by the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court; BRAWS, which provides women in shelters with undergarments and feminine hygiene products; and NAMI Northern Virginia, a local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
GCH says the event marks the culmination of this year’s grant-making season. In a press release, organizers said they hope the event will empower the community to embrace the power of collective giving.
“Understanding the needs of the underserved in Northern Virginia and making a difference with a small philanthropic investment collectively creates positive change. This event gives a voice to the issues, while also providing a transformative impact through the community we create among ourselves and those we serve,” said Cyndi Shanahan, GCH’s governance chair.
The keynote speaker is Catherine Read, a strategist and advocate for DC-area nonprofits, according to the release. In 2007, Read launched Creative Read Inc., a consultancy that helps professionals use online marketing and social media to grow their businesses.
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased on the organization’s website. Voting members do not have to buy tickets to attend.
Reston’s Giving Circle of HOPE is preparing for its Empty Bowls event, the non profit’s largest annual fundraiser.
Each year since 2008, The Giving Circle of HOPE has hosted about 600 guests to Empty Bowls, which raises awareness of food insecurity and raises funds for nonprofit partner Food for Others.
Empty Bowls takes place on Friday, April 8 at Floris United Methodist Church, 13600 Frying Pan Rd., Herndon.
Tickets are $25 for adults in advance; $30 adults at door; $15 for children under 12.
Admission gets you a handcrafted pottery bowl to keep, along with a dinner of delicious soup, bread and desserts. There are also entertainment and raffle prizes.
Food for Others helps more than 2,000 people each week receive free groceries and fight hunger.
“The Empty Bowls event benefits Food for Others by building a healthier, stronger, and a more caring community,” Roxanne Rice, executive director of Food for Others, said in a release. “It is a wonderful opportunity to have local artists and some of the area’s finest chefs have their work appreciated, while making a difference to people in need.”
This year, 18 Girl Scout troops from Reston, Herndon, Oak Hill and surrounding areas, will help at the event, but volunteers are still needed.
The Giving Circle of HOPE is a Reston-based group where members donate a minimum of $365 a year. The group then offers grants of up to $7,000 to small nonprofits in the area. Last year, the Giving Circle gave away nearly $60,000 to worthy causes.
The Giving Circle, formed by four Reston women in 2003, has expanded greatly since then. The group gave away more than $73,000 to local groups doing good works in 2014. Since its inception the Giving Circle of HOPE has given out over $740,000 to organizations in Northern Virginia.
In order to be eligible for a grant, groups must be nonprofit; have an organizational budget of not more than $2 million; meet the Giving Circle’s mission to create positive change in Northern Virginia by directly benefiting people in need (such as low income, disadvantaged or under-served0; and serve populations in Northern Virginia.
Read more about grant eligibility and preferences on the Giving Circle’s website.
This year, the Giving Circle is introducing a pilot program for capacity building grants as well. To be eligible for a capacity building grant, groups must have a project in mind with specific with clear goals, objectives, and measurable outcomes; be located in Northern Virginia; and have a full project or CBE budget of no more than $70,000.