Giving2Grow began as a conversation between friends. Founder Jennifer McDowell heard about Giving Circles from some out-of-state friends, and was surprised when she couldn’t find any back home in Pittsburgh. She poked around and talked to several people who had started giving circles elsewhere. A visit to the founders of Anne Arundel Women Giving Together (www.givingtogether.org) in Annapolis, MD sealed her resolve to start one here.
Lisa Turbeville Markowski, Lea Anderson and Joyce Salls joined in soon afterwards. After a long series of discussions with local community foundations, they decided they could move faster and be more effective on their own.
After two years of planning, and the formation of a Pennsylvania non-profit corporation, Giving2Grow was launched with an open organizational meeting on a frigid night in December, 2013. Twenty-eight women attended—about twice the expected turnout! Word spread, and the mailing list quickly doubled, then quadrupled.
By the end of 2014, less than a year after signing their first member, Giving2Grow had grown to 61 Founding Members!!! Since members renew annually, the number fluctuates, but has increased every year.