A New Way To Give: Empowered, Proactive & Collaborative

Natan is a giving circle. Natan members pool their charitable contributions and decide together where the pooled funds should go. They select a grant committee to sit on and bring 100% of their contribution with them into the budget of that committee. Their contribution is then leveraged and amplified by the contributions of other committee members, and together, over the course of the annual grant review cycle, committee members learn from experts, review grant applications, interview finalists, and make allocations decisions.

Like all giving circles, Natan enables people to give in a proactive, thoughtful, empowered way - taking a strategic approach to investing in new ideas to tackle the issues that matter most to them, rather than simply responding to fundraising requests.

Watch Natan's Executive Director, Felicia Herman, describe the concepts of empowered philanthropy and collaborative giving.

After seeing the powerful impact that giving circles could have on both members and grant recipients, Natan launched Amplifier in 2014, the product of a year of co-design work with dozens of partners, generously supported by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.  Amplifier provides the infrastructure needed to build a giving circle movement: online and in-person training and support to help anyone, individual or institution, to start and sustain a giving circle inspired by Jewish values, at any level of funding and focusing on any issues.  

Giving circles are on the upswing - increasingly understood as a tool for empowered philanthropy, civic engagement, community-building, and education.  Research continually demonstrates that giving circle members give more, give more strategically, and engage more deeply in their communities than non-giving circle members.

Learn More:
More Giving Together The Impact of Giving Together Giving Circles in Cross-Cultural Context

Giving circles are also a tremendously powerful tool for building community – for strengthening members’ personal, professional, and philanthropic networks. Through their consensus-based decision-making, they also model the importance of philanthropic partnership and collective impact, reinforcing the truism that no funder, no matter how large or influential, can solve social problems on his or her own.

In a Jewish context, giving circles provide an excellent access point to Jewish life and a way of exploring and strengthening members’ Jewish identities. They bring people together around the Jewish values of tzedakah (philanthropy) and tikkun olam (repairing the world), creating caring, generous communities of people who think deeply and act strategically about the challenges facing the Jewish world.

Why Should You Join Natan?

YOU decide where the money goes. The Natan board underwrites Natan’s operating expenses, so 100% of your membership contribution goes to the grant committee you join – whichever one most resonates with your philanthropic interests. From setting the committee’s strategy to determining which non-profit organizations or social entrepreneurs your committee supports, you have the opportunity to shape all stages of Natan’s allocations process.

You know where your money is going. All of Natan’s grant decisions are based on a rigorous review of written grant applications and in-person (or video) interviews with organizational leadership. When you and your committee decide to make a grant, you’re doing so based on extensive information about an organization’s finances, history, leadership, experience, and impact.

The wisdom of the crowd. Members bring their professional expertise and personal experience to the decision-making process, and all allocations decisions are made collectively. You don’t need to be an expert in the subject at hand - instead, you leverage the diverse experiences and knowledge of your fellow committee members.

It's more fun than giving alone. Natan is a professional, personal, and philanthropic network, a community of successful young professionals, mostly under age 45, who enjoy spending time together and learning from and with each other. Our grantmaking is complemented with a robust calendar of events – salons, screenings, community service, and social events – that strengthen our community.