Our History

Seeds for generous giving were sown in The Giving Circle's founders long before it began. Over many years, the influence of Bible studies, friendships, fortuitous connections with giving champions, generosity modeled by friends and relatives, and nudges of the Holy Spirit all played a part in the formation of The Giving Circle.

Co-founder, Susan Patton, reflects on how The Giving Circle began.  "The tragedy of suddenly losing my husband  in 2003 catapulted me to 'figure out' how to give by necessity. He had always handled all things financial in our family, especially giving."

At the suggestion of a financial advisor, Patton attended a women's conference on charitable giving, where she first learned about giving circles.   God began to impress on her heart the message of 2 Corinthians 8:7:  "...see that you excel in this grace of giving."  

"When I returned home and mentioned the giving circle idea to my good friend, Susan Kelton, she was equally excited about it," Patton recalls.  "So much so that we began to meet and pray about forming a giving circle in Nashville,   We visited a Christian women's giving circle in Tucson and witnessed them giving away thousands of dollars to Christian ministries. It was so inspiring!"

The two Susans invited two of their good friends, Ellen Anderson and Pam Ferriss, to join them in launching The Giving Circle.  The first meeting was in March, 2008, and the first grants were awarded in January, 2009.  Since that time....

-The Giving Circle had given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Christian ministries.

-The average grant amount has more than doubled.

-Membership has doubled.

-Over 100 Christian ministries have applied for grants,

-Grants have supported ministries as far away as India and Cambodia.*

However, since the launch of The Giving Circle, the mission has remained the same -- to have a larger impact on Christian ministry by pooling our resources together.  This concept continues to be a persuasive, powerful, and conclusive one.    Join with us!


Susan Patton

*Be sure to view the Grants tab on this website to see The Giving Circle ministry grants.