Giving circles workshop planned

The merging of Wild Rose Foundation with another provincial grant funding program has community groups concerned that government support will shrink, so they are looking to the public for help.

The merging of Wild Rose Foundation with another provincial grant funding program has community groups concerned that government support will shrink, so they are looking to the public for help.

Rene Michalak, program manager with Volunteer Red Deer, said giving circles, which have been successful in the United States, may be one way to develop stable sources of local funding. So Community information Referral Society has organized a two-part public workshop on giving circles on June 9.

A workshop from 1 to 4 p.m. will look at the mechanics of giving circles. A workshop from 6 to 9 p.m. will focus on how to cultivate the giving circle relationship.

The cost to attend is $35 per workshop, or $60 for both. The deadline to register is June 5.

Giving Circles are basically people gathering together, in small to large groups, to pool their money and volunteer time to a cause they support.

“It’s something that was done decades ago and we just haven’t continued doing it because we’ve received funding from outside organizations like the Wild Rose Foundation,” Michalak said.

In April, the province announced that Wild Rose Foundation would combine with Community Initiatives, which supports project-based initiatives in areas such as community services, senior services and arts and culture.

A government review of community investment programs recommended streamlining grant programs.

Michalak said giving circles are not meant to compete with formal organizations like the United Way or other smaller community groups that raise money for different causes.

Giving circles are just opportunities to bring community-minded individuals together, he said.

“It’s not exclusive. Anyone can participate in it. People from all walks of life, all different sectors.”

Michalak has faith that people are ready to give despite tough economic times.

“When the need is there, people typically give sometimes more than times when we’re not in a recession.”

For more information on the workshops, call CiRS at 403-346-4636 or go to

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