Women’s philanthropic leadership is on the rise around the globe! I had the honor to appear with my friends and colleagues as part of Empatthy’s virtual conference, “Boosting Women’s Philanthropy in Ibero-America” on March 19, 2021, as well as participate in several masterclasses on how to start a giving circle during this past week. I was excited to receive an invitation from Rosa Madera with Empatthy, a graduate of Philanthropy Together’s Launchpad For You program.

It was such a delight to partner with Rosa, Juan Carlos Diaz Bilbao, Jeannie Sager, Carmen Stevens, and the incomparable Sondra Shaw-Hardy. Congratulations to the…


Jeffrey Lambert of the Venture County Community Foundation received 10,000 new donors from their work doing emergency response due to local fires in Ventura and COVID relief efforts over the past three years and wanted a way to engage those donors more deeply.

Ari Rosen, from the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston, wanted to engage more young adult donors and donors who care about racial justice.

Sara Leuben joined the Minneapolis Foundation as the new Director of Collective Giving and was charged with launching programs that reflect the racial and economic diversity of the Twin Cities.

In Germany, Michael Alberg-Seberich…


“I am passionate about making a difference in my community, but I don’t know where to begin.”

This is one of the most common refrains we hear from new participants in our Launchpad For You program, a five-week virtual training program for individuals interested in starting their own giving circles. For so many of our participants, Launchpad For You is an initial entry point into philanthropy and a first step toward a lifelong journey as a philanthropist.

Launchpad For You Summer 2020

One of those participants, Alayah Glenn, entered Launchpad For You’s inaugural cohort as a passionate social justice advocate who was unsure of her…


Launchpad For You Fall 2020 // Philanthropeeps Cohort

We have made it through a tough year together.

As sobering as 2020 has been, ushering in a world pandemic, social isolation, staggering death rates, spotlighting racial killings and inequalities, and a polarizing political divide among our nation, the inspiring silver lining is that we did not bow out. We did not give up.

We got things done!

We rose up and called out for positive change. This year had its moments of tears, fear, devastation and silent struggle, but moreover, it has unveiled the power and creative resolution that resounds in our communities when we pull together our collective talents, resources and hope.


Latino Community Foundation | Photo Credit: Bryan Patrick Photography (2018)

Each year as families prepare to celebrate the year-end holidays, organizations are getting ready for the busiest time of year for giving. I, for one, am excited to see a much-needed shift in giving trends this year.

Despite increases in overall giving levels, philanthropy has seen troubling giving trends in recent years.

While overall rates of philanthropic giving have increased, the percentage of Americans who make small and mid-sized donations (up to $999) has declined to its lowest levels in two decades, dropping 4% in 2018. While the growth in total giving is good news, this trend reveals an increasing…


At a time when it can seem as though our country is more divided than ever, it’s invigorating to connect with creative people working tirelessly to unify our communities rather than divide them. I was among hundreds of artists, changemakers and social justice leaders in the philanthropy and arts sectors, including activist and poet Hanna Drake, arts activist and writer Shanai Matteson, theater artist and playwright Marty Pottenger and many more of the art world’s movers and shakers at the 2020 ArtPlace Summit celebrating the arts and investing in them to make our communities better, fairer places to live.

Launched…


The Community Investment Network (CIN)’s annual conference truly was a Homecoming! It felt so good to virtually gather with hundreds of leaders in philanthropy including writer and philanthropist Melanie Brown, Rev. Eugene Cho of One Day’s Wages, civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, and more of the world’s most influential social justice leaders to discuss philanthropy as a tool for community problem-solving.

Founded in 2003, CIN aims to inspire, connect, and strengthen African-Americans and communities of color to leverage their resources to create the change they wish to see. I’m always excited to see what CIN has planned each year for…


In the middle of March, I got a call with an offer for my dream job: leading Philanthropy Together, a new national organization to grow and strengthen the giving circle movement. It felt like the perfect time for a new beginning, but just a few days after accepting it, I found myself sheltering in place from COVID-19 with my two teenagers and college son who had just flown in from New York City that morning. And it has been a whirlwind ever since.

For the first month on the job, while adjusting to a messy house and seemingly endless Zoom…

Sara Lomelin

Executive Director at Philanthropy Together • Connecting people through the power of giving circles

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store