May 28, 2009

Circle Searching

A few weeks ago Ross came home and told me about GAGLE - Gab and Give, Let's Eat! It's a women's giving circle based around dinner parties and check writing. I'm not sure what talk radio show he was listening to that he heard about this. Believe it or not, women's charity is not nearly as popular a topic on his radio as baseball or football. Go figure.

We got to chatting about giving circles and he says to me "I wouldn't mind being part of one...I'd write the check and you could go do the social part. I'll come to like the end of year party." Now not to say my honey isn't charitable but I've never heard him suggest we write checks to people. I'm the bleeding heart. He's more of a "you should pull yourself up by your bootstraps but if your home burns down, I'll pull you out" kinda guy.

As a side note, as I read The Daily Beast today, I realized this is pretty normal. We've talked about it at the office before but men and women have different motivations to give. Women want relationships and communtiy health. Men want to be the best. So is it surprising that I am the bleeding heart and Ross is more action baseed? Probably not.

Anyways, so Ross said that once the Team Black cause is met (ie we buy a house and fill it with a little bit of new furniture) a giving circle could be part of world. Well this thrilled me. I love the idea. I love the charity, community and common demoninator implied in it. It's really all the things I would look for in a church but without the personal conflict (for me) about faith. SWEET.

I looked online today for Austin giving circles. There's Impact Austin but its all gals. I found a statewide circle but its all for the arts. I have nothing against the arts but I'm personally more into education and health.

So how does a young couple who wants to be simultaneously charitable and social do this? Do I need to start a giving circle? I could do that but the last thing I tried to start, a book club, quickly turned into a very flexible wine club. Is Austin's cuture right for a giving circle? I'm inclined to say yes but maybe not. Maybe we should join the United Way's Young Leader's Society but then its UWCA deciding where the money goes. I mostly think UWCA does a pretty good job but I would like to be involved in the process. That's part of the appeal of a giving circle.

We're not quite ready to be notably charitable. Not to sound greedy or selfish, but for the moment, time is the only thing we can give in hefty contributions. Between YNPN and the Sam Bass volunteer fire department, we're doing about all we can do. We've got a few years for Austin to develop an appealing giving circle or network. Maybe the I live here, I give here campaign can get something going. Or a new branch of the United Way or the Austin Community Foundation. Whoever does it, I hope it happens and we can jump on board.

Otherwise I may have to do it myself.

1 comment:

Dorian said...

Clowe- ran across your blog. Unless rules have changed- your gift through UWCA's YLS may be designated. So give away :)

D