The Omaha Community Foundation presented an interactive session on collective giving at the Young Professionals Summit on March 3. Grants were made to three nonprofits in real-time during the session.

Hillary Nather-Detisch began by introducing collective giving circle trends and drew upon the work of local giving circle expert and UNO professor, Dr. Angela Eikenberry. Sarah Gilbert then reviewed questions that funders ask when reviewing proposals and helped attendees understand how to be more strategic with their giving.

Next, Kali Baker ran the interactive part of the presentation. Participants broke into three interest groups (Reaching At-Risk Youth, Helping Adults in Need, and Creating Sustainable Communities), and each group reviewed three proposals from small, local organizations that are addressing community needs in those areas.

The Omaha Community Foundation had opened a charitable checkbook account for this giving circle with an initial deposit of $1000. The Young Professionals Summit added the proceeds from the pre-party event at Nomad (tips and beer sales), as well as all of the speaker gifts from the day of the Summit. In all, we had $1,939 to give away.

After the participants had a chance to discuss the proposals, they voted on which nonprofits would receive grants. Each group voted for one proposal, resulting in the following three grants of $646 each: Edmonson Youth Outreach Learning Center, Intercultural Senior Center, and City Sprouts.

Deciding these grants was not the only takeaway of the day. During the session, it emerged that almost half of the people in the room were interested in serving on a nonprofit board or committee. Our nine applicants had listed current opportunities on their boards, from finance to market strategy to public relations. We are eager to hear reports of matches made and a new generation of young professionals becoming active in board service.

We thank the Young Professionals Summit, for their contributions to the pool, and the people that came and participated in the giving circle!