Giving Circles

Want a bigger bang for your charitable buck? Gather friends and pool your (shrinking) resources

Illustration by Jez Burrows for TIME

With the markets sinking, a lot of retirees may be cutting back on charitable giving along with their discretionary spending. But it's still possible to effect a philanthropic impact by organizing or joining a giving circle. Much like investment clubs, giving circles consist of a small group of friends who pool their resources and gather--often over a potluck dinner--to pick charitable causes to donate to. Such circles have become especially popular among aging boomers looking for a way to bring meaning as well as fun into their retirement years.

The number of giving circles in the U.S. doubled from 2004 to...

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