Building donor trust in Colombia through giving circles
TFN International's Colombian affiliates, Evaluar Consultores and Azai Consultores, hosted their second "giving circle" crowdfunding event on the 15th July 2021, raising over 26 million Colombian pesos (or £4,900) for three local not-for-profit organisations, triple the funds raised at their debut November 2020 event. We sat down with Evaluar directors, Viviana González and Carolina González to discuss the emergence of giving circles in Colombia.
Evaluar Consultores is a small, family-run company created 40 years ago to provide monitoring and evaluation services to organisations running social impact projects in Colombia and other Latin American countries. They are currently in the middle of an innovative programme of work to prepare the ground for the emergence of community foundations in Colombia.
Our aim is to provide a good environment to promote and create community foundations. This includes creating trust between donors and NGO beneficiaries, and creating a culture of giving that is inclusive, no matter what a person has to offer - Viviana González, Evaluar Consultores
Changing attitudes to giving in Colombia is particularly challenging - it is not a country where people regularly donate to social causes outside of emergency appeals. The legacy of internal war and government corruption has lowered public trust. Social investment has tended to be top-down, led either by international NGOs or philanthropic individuals with specific personal interests.
Giving circles are helping to change these perceptions. This form of social investment is bottom-up, led and informed by community needs, whether that's finance or something as practical as seeds for farming. The donor audience at the events are encouraged to give what they can and these resources are pooled together to achieve a greater impact. No matter their background - whether they can donate 20 pesos or 1 million - they are treated the same.
Following training by The Funding Network's UK team, Evaluar Consultores, in partnership with Azai Consultores and other allies, decided to trial a number of giving circles in order to provide emerging foundations with a proven and practical event model that can be leveraged to raise much needed capital and resources to support social initiatives.
The July event, SolidariDAR 2.0, brought together friends, families and private businesses to raise much needed funding and in-kind support for three small, volunteer-run non-profits tackling social mobility, women empowerment and wetland ecosystem restoration. For one of these organisations - Fundación Grupo Banco de Semillas - this was the first time they had ever received dedicated funding.
Giving circle events give non-profits visibility and a platform where, in just a few minutes, they can receive the funds they needed with minimal effort. After the second giving circle event in 2021, one of the funded projects fed back: "You can not imagine how many times we have knocked on doors and not received any funding. At the giving circle event, in just 10 minutes we received what we needed!" - Carolina González, Evaluar Consultores
Giving circles are growing in popularity in Latin America. Un día para Dar Colombia - the equivalent to UK's Giving Tuesday - has been inspired by this success and are planning their own crowdfunding event in November 2021.
About our international work
The Funding Network lends its unique, tried and tested live crowdfunding model to civil society organisations with shared aims (our ‘affiliates’) who are working at grassroots level in communities across the globe. We have affiliates in 20 countries from Brazil to New Zealand and provide ongoing training and funding to drive community transformation beyond our borders.
Find out more about our international work here.