GIVE Model

GIVE Model for Diversity in Philanthropy™

Philanthropy has long been a tool for individuals and organizations to make a positive impact in their communities and around the world. However, critics frequently implicate traditional philanthropic models of perpetuating inequalities and failing to address the root causes of social issues. To address these challenges, a new model has emerged – the GIVE model developed by Linsey Mills, managing consultant of The Callinz Group.

The GIVE model stands for Grow, Invest, Volunteer, and Empower. It emphasizes the importance of a holistic approach to philanthropy, incorporating financial contributions and active community engagement to drive sustainable change. But what sets the GIVE model apart is its focus on diversity and inclusion in philanthropy.

At the heart of the GIVE model is the belief that philanthropy can and should be more inclusive, reflecting the diverse communities it aims to serve. Inclusiveness means diversifying the philanthropic sector and ensuring that the communities and causes supported reflect the full spectrum of human experience.

To achieve this, the GIVE model encourages individuals and organizations to take a multi-faceted approach to philanthropy, incorporating four key elements:


The first step in the GIVE model is to grow, which involves investing in education and capacity-building to help individuals and organizations develop the skills and resources they need to make a meaningful impact. Growing might include providing training on fundraising, grant writing, or community organizing, as well as mentorship and networking opportunities.

However, the GIVE model also emphasizes the importance of growing diversity within the philanthropic sector. Diversity means actively seeking out and supporting individuals and organizations from underrepresented communities, including people of color, women, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people with disabilities.


The second element of the GIVE model is to invest, which involves making financial contributions to support causes and organizations that align with your values and goals. However, the GIVE model encourages donors to take a more strategic approach to giving, focusing on long-term impact rather than short-term fixes. A strategic approach might involve:

  • Supporting organizations with a proven track record of success.
  • Investing in innovative solutions to social issues.
  • Providing multi-year funding to help organizations build capacity and sustainability.

Additionally, the GIVE model emphasizes the importance of investing in communities directly rather than relying solely on top-down approaches.


The third element of the GIVE model is to volunteer, which encourages actively engaging with communities and causes to drive change from the ground up. This step might involve volunteering your time and skills, serving on a board or advisory committee, or working directly with community members to understand their needs and priorities.

However, the GIVE model also recognizes that volunteering can be a double-edged sword. While well-intentioned, volunteer efforts can sometimes perpetuate harmful power dynamics or reinforce stereotypes. To avoid these pitfalls, the GIVE model encourages donors to approach volunteering with humility and an openness to learning from the communities they seek to serve.


The final element of the GIVE model is to empower, which involves working to build sustainable solutions that empower communities to take ownership of their futures. Empowerment might include providing resources and support to help communities build their capacity and infrastructure or working to amplify the voices of underrepresented communities and create space for them to lead the change they want to see.

However, the GIVE model also recognizes that empowerment requires a willingness to give up power and control, which means actively working to dismantle systems of oppression and create more equitable systems that give all communities a seat at the table.

As the world becomes more diverse and interconnected, the importance of diversity and inclusion in philanthropy is becoming increasingly evident. Research shows that diverse teams and organizations are more innovative, productive, and effective at problem-solving. By incorporating diverse perspectives and approaches to philanthropy, the GIVE model can drive more impactful and sustainable change.

Diversity and inclusion in philanthropy are essential not just from a moral or ethical perspective but also from a strategic one. As philanthropic organizations look to solve complex social issues, they must understand the needs and priorities of the communities they seek to serve. By incorporating diverse perspectives and experiences, philanthropic organizations can better understand the nuances of complex social issues and develop more effective solutions.