On November 15th, the Greater New Orleans Foundation, in collaboration with four community partners,* will launch the first-ever, 100% online giving circle. Dubbed “The Neutral Ground,” members of this giving circle will explore issues relating to race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation—and their intersections.
The twenty-five giving circle members will contribute $200 each, and these contributions will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Greater New Orleans Foundation to create a pooled fund of $10,000 from which giving circle members will award grants.
Members will meet, engage in intergroup dialogue, and discuss potential grantees on The Neutral Ground website. (To see a mockup of the site, click here.) Topics explored will likely include immigration, gay/straight issues, the special multicultural character of New Orleans, black/brown issues, and race in the age of Barack Obama.
Non-New Orleanians and New Orleanians in the diaspora are welcome to participate! If you’re interested in joining the giving circle, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The time commitment is November 15, 2010, through Cinco de Mayo, 2011. This is a virtual giving circle, so members will meet online rather than in person. Members of the public are welcome to participate in the online discussions.
For those of you wondering about the name of the initiative, in New Orleans the “neutral ground” is the broad strip of grass dividing the opposing lanes of any street or avenue. The Neutral Ground giving circle is based on an idea originally conceived by Diana Campoamor, President of Hispanics in Philanthropy.