What is the Aurora Women’s Giving Circle and how does it work?
The Aurora Women’s Giving Circle is a group of motivated women who pool their resources, work collaboratively, and through a democratic process grant money to one or more worthy organizations supporting women and girls in Greater Hartford.
Individuals who sign up to participate each contribute $500 (this can be paid in installments). Half of that sum is earmarked for the grant making pool of funds and the other half is used in direct support of Aurora’s mission. During scheduled meetings, members will work together to discuss objectives, identify potential grantees, learn how to evaluate grant proposals and finally, decide which proposals to fund.
Membership is one year in duration and consists of 4-5 meetings throughout the year. At the end of the year, participants may opt to renew membership in the circle, or to simply use their new understanding to become more effective donors to the organizations they support.
What will I get out of it?
The group dynamic of a giving circle provides social networking, leadership development, peer support, personal engagement, learning opportunities and the chance to collaborate with other women who share your values.
“Participating in the Aurora Women’s Giving Circle enlightened me to the issues and challenges faced by women and girls in my community. Equally enlightening was to learn of the amazing heroes that work hard to address these issues and offer a brighter future to those in need.” -Lori Pennito, 2017 Women’s Giving Circle member
Giving Circle Grantmaking
The 2018 Giving Circle voted to award a $6,500 grant to Girls for Technology, a Hartford based organization whose mission is to inspire and increase girls’ interest in STEM through educational enrichment programs and partnerships with area business leaders. Funds from the Women’s Giving Circle will support a bi-monthly Math and Science Academy serving up to 100 low-income girls from Hartford’s North End.
The 2019 Giving Circle voted to award a $5,500 grant to Strong Girls Camp at the Albany Avenue Branch of the Hartford Public Library. This six-week summer program will serve 25 Hartford girls and offer them lessons in gender inequality, body image, building self esteem and intersectionality. The program addresses the social and emotional obstacles young women face and helps them to overcome them and express themselves.
Join the Giving Circle
The 2019 Women’s Giving Circle focused on the emotional, social and academic needs of teen girls. We kicked off on April 23 with Dr. Meera Viswanathan, Head of School at The Ethel Walker School, who offered an inspiring and informative overview of the current culture that exists for teen girls and the vast changes, particularly through the advancement of technology and emergence of social media, that have taken place over time. Giving Circle members learned about this topic, heard from local organizations serving this population, reviewed and discussed grant applications, and voted to award a grant to an area nonprofit. The winner was the Hartford Public Library’s Strong Girls Camp at their Albany Avenue branch for summer 2020.
We’ll get started again in the Spring of 2020. Complete the ENROLLMENT FORM and return to the Aurora Foundation or submit your name through the link below.