Giving Back: GiVE 365

Giving Back: GiVE 365

Philanthropy sometimes can seem like an ivory tower, out of reach to those who don’t have significant means; however, becoming a philanthropist doesn’t mean you have to be high-powered or wealthy to make an impact. In fact, the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis has ensured that anyone, no matter where they are in their philanthropic journey, can have the opportunity to give back through its giving circle, GiVE 365. Established in 2010, GiVE 365 is an initiative of the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, formed from the desire to make philanthropy more accessible to the broader population.


The concept is simple. Members give $365—a dollar a day—to make our community better. When members join GiVE 365 their financial contribution is pooled together with those of the other GiVE 365 members to create a collective impact. As an initiative of the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, oversight and administration of GiVE 365 is fully supported by the Foundation. This allows every dollar donated to be allocated directly toward the grant process, whether it funds the endowment for future grant-making or supports the annual grant-making pool for that year. Each Fall, the community is invited to submit a grant theme idea; and, once all submissions are in, GiVE 365’s Advisory Team puts together a slate so members can vote for their favorite theme. “We encourage members to keep themes broad enough so that a wide array of nonprofits can apply, but also narrow enough so that everyone feels that they are collectively working toward the same purpose” notes Community Foundation of Greater Memphis’ Director of Grants & Initiatives, Elizabeth Warren. This year the grant theme is Pathways to Success: programs that provide workforce training and career development.


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Although the heart of GiVE 365 is the grant-making process, membership allows for a multitude of additional opportunities to get plugged into Memphis area nonprofits and the community at large. Regular events are held throughout the year ranging from the purely social and fun, to hands-on site visits and volunteer opportunities with grantees, along with plenty of educational opportunities in between. From the educational side of things, the goal for members is two-fold: 1) to take a deeper dive into the grant theme and Memphis’ most pressing challenges, and 2) to focus on learning about Memphis nonprofits’ missions and efforts.


Since its inception, GiVE 365 has granted a total of $558,590 to 62 different nonprofits across the Mid-South. Today, GiVE 365 is 250 member households strong, which amounts to just under 400 Memphians who are actively getting to know and supporting nonprofits in Memphis. An ever-increasing membership base and endowment of $618,000 ensures the program’s sustainability and continued growth into the future. 


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Those interested in learning more about GiVE 365 can find updates via GiVE 365’s Facebook at GiVE 365 Memphis, Twitter @GiVE365Memphis and website at In addition to their online channels, GiVE 365 is hosting its Annual Fall Welcome Party for current and prospective members from 5:30-7:30 pm on October 24th at Century House. Those who are excited about Memphis, looking for ways to get engaged, and are curious to learn more are encouraged to attend.


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