People With Disabilities
And Their Families Will Benefit From Anonymous Monadnock Region
‘Giving Circle’ Gift
Contact: Sharon Keeler
UNH Media Relations
April 5, 2005
DURHAM. N.H. -- People with disabilities and their families in New
Hampshire will benefit from an anonymous gift from a group of people
in the Monadnock region.
The “Gone Giving Circle,” through the N.H. Charitable
Foundation, recently awarded the Institute on Disability at the
University of New Hampshire a $41,000 gift to expand its work in
The Institute on Disability/UCED (IOD) at UNH was established in
1987 to provide a coherent university-based focus for the improvement
of knowledge, policies and practices related to the lives of persons
with disabilities and their families.
According to Mary Schuh, associate director of the institute, no
one knows whom the people are who awarded the generous gift.
“I received a call from a man named Rick who said the Gone
Giving Circle was interested in a potential gift,” Schuh said.
“He wanted to know, if someone were to make a donation, what
would the institute use the money for. And he wanted the information
within a couple of hours.”
Giving circles are a type of “social investment club,”
whereby individuals join together to leverage their philanthropic
efforts. In the same way that venture capital supports innovation
in the business world, giving circles use a model of "venture
philanthropy,” infusing nonprofits with financial and intellectual
capital. Joining or forming a giving circle provides individuals
a hands-on opportunity to explore and collaborate with others who
share the desire to make focused, social investments with impact.
Schuh went to work gathering a bit of history about the Gone Giving
Circle to see where its charitable interests lie. She then put together
a proposal with several ideas for potential funding.
Two days later, she heard that the organization had decided to award
the institute $41,000.
The first gift, $10,000, will be used to expand the N.H. Leadership
Series, one of IOD’s cornerstone programs. It comes with a
matching gift challenge.
The N.H. Leadership Series was launched in 1988 and has graduated
more than 500 people. Through the program, individuals with disabilities
and their families gain the knowledge and skills necessary for advocating
with service providers. They learn how to use the legislative process
to achieve change, and how to organize communities to support inclusion.
The Leadership Series enhances their ability to change laws, persuade
schools and businesses to include individuals with disabilities,
and educate communities about the importance of welcoming and including
The Gone Giving Circle awarded the IOD an additional $31,000 to
use at its discretion. According to Schuh, the money will be used
to develop and grow existing programs.
Schuh and IOD Director Jan Nisbet said that the Gone Giving Circle
has made a lasting impact on the institute beyond the gift. It has
encouraged IOD staff to begin their own giving circle.
“We have a history of fundraising and each year make a gift
to an organization,” Schuh said. “But this year we decided
to start our own giving circle. It’s a nice way to strengthen
our internal community and each time we meet we will contribute
a bit toward the pot.”