Each year, after consulting with area stakeholders and Giving Circle members, the group selects a community issue to examine. The annual topic reflects both the emergent needs of the Seacoast community and the personal interests of our membership. Through reading materials and guest speakers selected by the Learn committee, the Giving Circle's Board members learn about each cycle's particular topic at the monthly meetings.
After ascertaining a broad overview of the issue, including current trends and local needs, the group targets a more specific area for investment. For example, in a previous giving cycle we learned about the seniors-at-risk and subsequently narrowed our focus for giving to "providing non-medical support to help at-risk seniors age with dignity in their homes."
Several times a year, the Giving Circle's Board members also convene to study topics that will enhance the group's skills and knowledge of the non-profit sector, philanthropy, advocacy and volunteerism.