About the Mappy Hour Racial Justice Giving Circle (GC1): Summer 2020


About: This giving circle is at its core a learning platform for those that want to dive deeper into both understanding and addressing the systemic issues of racism in the U.S. through the lens of the leaders and organizations that are directly addressing specific issues ranging from environmental justice to civil rights.

What is a Giving Circle?

Learn | Share | Discuss | Act

A giving circle is a form of participatory giving. The goal of a Giving Circle is to convene a group of people with shared values so we can pool our resources and make a collective grant. The length and depth of the Giving Circle process also enables us to see ourselves as lifelong funders, to think critically about how we can support change in the world, and to share and learn about important organizations fighting for racial justice.

Individuals each make a financial contribution to participate. The circle as a whole spends weeks assessing and understanding a variety of organizations and how our group grant will enable long term impact. At the end of the process, we as the circle will make one grant based on a group vote.

To be clear: we are not deciding on the worthiness of individual organizations. All of them are equally important and necessary. The goal of the Giving Circle and the process is to figure out where a very specific amount of money – depending on total donations in this scenario – can create the most impact. (We also will not so secretly encourage you all to make additional donations to the organizations that were not officially chosen as the grantee.)

Why Should I Join a Giving Circle?

  • You want to not only make a donation but dive deeper into the problems the grantee is addressing
  • You want to think critically and learn more about systemic issues (more on this month’s focus below)
  • You want to learn more about grant making and or get engaged in long term giving (no matter how much you have to give)
  • You want to meet other cool cats and kittens that share your values

*We are also looking for people who would like to join as leaders and facilitators. If you are interested, please email mappyhour@outdoorfest.com. Thanks!

How does the Mappy Hour Giving Circle Work?

The Why

This Giving Circle (we’ll call it Giving Circle #1 or GC1) is being formed to directly address the underlying systems that enable racial injustice in our country. It is one response to the recent murders of black Americans including George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. Our goal is to provide a group answer that can serve both as education and action.

Here’s how this works

  1. You read and agree with our why outlined above.
  2. You register
  • The minimum donation is $50 – though if you want to give more you can!
  • Mappy Hour is covering all credit card fees, meaning 100% of your donation goes to the non-profit.
  1. You attend each of the circles meetings and contribute by spending time researching and learning about each organization, communicating what you’ve learned, and listening to others opinions respectfully.
  2. If you are able to, you continue to support the selected non-profit long term through fiscal resources, volunteering or other capacities you have!
  3. We will do our best to provide a follow-up email in 6 months with updates on how the organization is doing, (if possible) how the grant is being used and how we can all continue to support the organization.

We are also looking for circle members who are willing to engage in understanding the issues and systems at play more deeply. To that end, we’ve included an ally guide for non BIPOC members at the bottom of this page. There’s no due date on these calls to action, we just ask that you start.

How can I join?

  1. Register here: https://mappyhour.org/events/2020/06/giving-circle-multiple-dates
  2. Once registered you will receive a welcome email with the Zoom link and a few resources on Giving Circles in general.

If you can’t make it but still want to donate you can paypal contact@outdoorfest.org

What’s the schedule?

Each meeting is scheduled to last one hour. We will also keep the Zoom Rooms open for those who would like to remain afterwards to continue discussion.

JUNE 10 | Meeting 0

Info Meeting. This is where you learn more about this program and figure out if it’s for you. This is also a great time to suggest organizations you think should be included in the list of consideration. You can also submit ideas/suggestions here (shoutout to #MappyHourChi’s Dietrich Hunter for creating this form!)

JUNE 17 | Meeting 1


  • We will decide as a group what are impact priorities are. For example, we’ll have to tackle the question: immediate relief or long term system change?
  • Next, we will split up into working groups. You will each meet your “pod” who you will be working close with for the duration of the circle.

JUNE 24 | Meeting 2


  • Meeting 2 is about really getting to know a few key organizations and the specific work they’re doing and issues they’re addressing.
  • You’ll work with your pod to research 1 – 2 of the organizations on the master list
  • Together, you’ll create 1 page brief for each organization

JULY 1 | Meeting 3


  • Each pod will share their briefs with the rest of the circle
  • Discussion
  • Vote
  • All donations will be given to 1 non-profit

JULY 8 | Meeting 4 (OPTIONAL):

Optional – you will also receive an email

  • Reflection
  • Next Steps as a circle or as individuals (tips on starting your own giving circle!)
  • Idea share

How to Add Organizations to the List

Whether or not you’re participating in the Giving Circle officially, this part is open to ALL! We want to hear your favorite local organizations who are leading the charge in demanding and creating racial justice in the country - this could be focused on anything from democracy to education to environmental justice. Note: does not need to be a 501c3!

:arrow_right: Submit the organizations information via this Google Form by June 17th at 5:00PM ET

:asterisk: IMPORTANT: The form does not need to be 100% complete.

We know this is a tight timeline so make sure to include as much as you can (and the essentials like organization name, website & mission).

The Giving Circle will be using this list as a jumping off point to dive deeper into the organizations and work to fill out the profile of each organization more completely. The more information you include, the easier it is for the circle so it’s all appreciated. Our #1 goal is to get as many community ideas as possible before next Wednesday.

:email: To share this opportunity, we recommend checking out this form letter as a framework:


Since when does Mappy Hour do Giving Circles ?

Since now.*

*We’ve also facilitated a number Pop Up Giving Circles around the country with grants being issued to: SheJumps, Stoked, Trust for Public Land, and The Cottonwood Institute

What is your specific expertise here?

We want to be upfront and honest that although we have run giving circles before we are not professional grant makers. We are also not professional civil rights activists and will be working alongside all of you to dive into and learn about each organizations work. It might be messy, there may be people who are brand new to this work, we want the circle to honor that.

What if I’m busy those nights?

You can still donate! And we will be doing this again so stay tuned. Also, see below on how to start your own Giving Circle.

Mappy Hour is all about loving the great outdoors – will you be choosing organizations that specifically address outdoor recreation?

Not neccesarily. We will have outdoor specific organizations included on the initial list and the Giving Circle will make that decision together.

Additional Resources

What if I want to start my own Giving Circle with a more intimate group of people?

We get that!

⮕ Read: How to Start a Giving Circle

⮕ Read: Grant making with a Racial Justice Lens

What if I don’t have $50 right now or want to learn more about actions I can take?

As promised above, here is an ally resource guide (which we discovered via @BrownGirlsClimb):