Abundant Community Initiative – Giving Circles

What is it?

A Giving Circle mobilises a few families to give directly and top up the income of a family with lesser means to a minimum level required to provide stability, coupled with a circle of support to meet ad hoc needs, and even longer-term aspirations.

A group of around 5-7 families can commit to providing a minimum income to a family who needs it, for a period of time to bring stability to their lives.

For example, if a single mother with 2 kids is earning $1500 and the minimum income standard is $3000, then the giving circle tops up with $1500, meaning $300 per participant if there are 5 in the giving circle. This is similar to a community-contributed minimum income where financial responsibility is distributed across the giving circle. This way, money is given directly to families.

In addition to financial support, the circle can also provide other forms of non-monetary support and can meet once every 2-3 months for this purpose. This will be a facilitated process where the family articulates their ad hoc needs and longer-term goals, and circle members can volunteer to help in other ways, such as sending the kids to school, or fixing the light bulb.

There may be longer-term goals such as trying to get a better job or going back to school and the circle can offer advice or connections. Refer to this link – https://www.community-circles.co.uk/ for a model of how this works.


Refer to this link for more information on this initiative: http://wiki.socialcollab.sg/index.php/Abundant_Community_Initiative.

Possible Approach

While there’s a draft guide on how to start and facilitate Giving Circles, there will be unforeseen circumstances and considerations that has to be ironed out. For example, how will recipient families be identified and recruited, how Giving Circles are matched to them; how will givers be onboarded and each session to be facilitated.

The objective is to learn how to do it well by actually doing it. By participating in an actual Giving Circle, we can then collectively co-create a recommended set of guiding principles or suggested processes for others to start Giving Circles themselves.

Everything is open for re-design, from the name of the initiative, to the structure and processes. The co-design process itself will be structured via a dynamic form of decision-making using consent, which will balance the respect of everyone’s individual views with a sense of what the collective desires.


We are pleased to partner with the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) on a Giving Circles pilot. NVPC’s Giving Circle aims to bring hope and support to families that are facing challenging times.

How this Giving Circle works:


  • Sign up as a Giving Circle member to journey with and support a family in need. You can sign up as an individual or as a group of up to 10 friends!
  • Attend a compulsory onboarding session to meet your circle members and discuss and co-design details of the circle together.


  • Pool your time, talent and treasure to support a family in need.
  • Meet up with your Giving Circle to hear updates and any upcoming needs that the family you are supporting might have.


  • Together with your fellow circle members, journey with and empower the family you are supporting for a minimum of 6 months.

Find out more about how you can play a part in making a positive impact in the lives of families in need: https://www.giving.sg/giving-circles