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The bulk of research on giving circles comes from North America over the last 20 years. More recently scholars have turned their attention to other parts of the world.  Here is a small selection of republications that has helped shape our understanding of collective philanthropy, by pioneering researchers. More comprehensive lists can be found in the reference sections of my working papers. Most of the papers listed here can be downloaded by clicking on the reference.

North America

Eikenberry: Giving Circles: Philanthropy, Voluntary Association, and Democracy, Indiana University Press (2009)

This is probably the only book published on giving circles and summarises much of the early research carried out by Eikenberry and colleagues in the US. Copies can still be found on Amazon.

Bearman: A handbook for giving circle hosts: Tools and resources for developing and sustaining giving circles. Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers. (2008)

One of a series of seminal 'how-to' reports describing the giving circle phenomenon and offering practical advice for individuals and philanthropy intermediaries.

Collective Giving Research Group: The Landscape of Giving Circle / Collective Giving Groups in the US (2016).

This comprehensive study marks a renaissance of scholarship in American collective giving and a major update since the first studies ten years earlier.


Eikenberry, A. M., & Breeze, B. (2015). Growing philanthropy through collaboration: The landscape of giving circles in the United Kingdom and Ire- land. Voluntary Sector Review, 6 (1), 41 - 59.

Probably the first study to document giving circles in UK and Ireland. A conference presentation from 2014 summarises the study is found here.

Eikenberry, Brown & Lukins: A Study of the Participation in UK Giving Circles (2015).

This research documented the outcome of a Fulbright Scholarship and built on the landscape study. The conclusions support similar work in North America and Asia that conclude the positive impact of giving circle membership on an individual's 'donor journey'.


Boyd & Partridge: Collective Giving and its Role in Australian Philanthropy. Creative Partnerships Australia (2017).

This is the first major enquiry into giving circles focused exclusively on Australia.  It provides data allowing comparison to membership of giving circles in other geographies.

My own research on giving circles has focused on Asia and can be found on the Research section of this website.


Franklin and Bearman led an initiative to study giving circles as a global phenomenon. Their webinar presentation from December 2020 outlines key findings from the two-year study can be downloaded here.

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