Giving Circle Reflects Diversity in Philanthropy

DSC_0372_Mala Thao spkg at AFP Diversity Event 12 04 14AFP Minnesota’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee launched its first event with an insightful discussion lead by Mala Thao, the co-founder of the Hmong Women’s Giving Circle. About 15 individuals attended the free breakfast Dec. 4 which was open to AFPMN members and non-members. Among the many topics she touched on, Mala spoke of her inspiration to create a giving circle made up of Hmong women based upon giving traditions in the Hmong community.

Mala was inspired to begin a Hmong Women’s giving circle after attending donor events and noticing a lack of people of color in attendance. When she asked about it, she was told people of color don’t give. “That’s not true,” Mala said. “We’re a very giving people.” The Hmong community gives in ways that may not fit the traditional definition of philanthropy, such as investing in a young couple’s life when they get married, Mala said. Through its lifecycle, the Hmong Women’s Giving Circle had 15 members and raised $25,000 for community organizations that impact Hmong women and girls.

Stay tuned for information in the next few months about the Diversity and Inclusion Committee’s next event.


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