There is a giving movement sweeping the country, and it’s making quite an impact. Giving Circles are groups of philanthropic individuals who pool their money and make donations to various non-profits of their choice. They can be as casual as friends who meet once a month for coffee and donate small amounts to local non-profits all the way up to full fledged organizations with 501 (c)(3) status who make donations in the thousands every year.
You can read up on Giving Circles at the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers; This group did a fantastic survey in 2009 regarding the significance of Giving Circles which can be found on their website.
Drop by Vivanista, a fantastic website on fundraising and charity and read their article on Giving Circles.
Consider starting a Giving Circle in your own community, or if you would rather join an already exisiting Circle, visit GivingCircles.org to find a circle