…a commitment to giving back is a thread that runs through women’s lives. Giving is a tremendous source of fulfillment as you discover how to best put your time, talent, and treasure to work to make a difference. It’s also a reminder of how much we can learn from each other that can help us grow our impact.

— Pamela Norley, President, Fidelity Charitable

A giving circle of women philanthropists coming together to impact the lives of girls and women in India

Globally, there are 155 women funds in six continents with total assets of $500m. According to Barclays Wealth’s study, “Tomorrow’s philanthropists,” women give an average of 3.5% of their wealth charitably compared to 1.8% for men. While the relationship between women and philanthropy has always been strong, it has not been very visible. At the initiative of Farida Kathawalla and Nirmala Garimella from our New England chapter, the American India Foundation is pleased to announce the Circle of Hope to bridge this gap and empower women to be philanthropic leaders.

Who We Are?

We are a giving circle of women philanthropists in the United States, who want to invest their time and money behind social and economic development projects to positively impact the lives of girls and women in India through the American India Foundation. Circle of Hope is a Giving Circle—a form of shared giving and social impact philanthropy.

Why Circle of Hope?

We believe that human potential is ubiquitous, but the opportunity (especially for girls and women in India) is not equal. We will foster a generous environment to build the values of citizenship, advocacy, and justice in service of unlocking women’s potential.

While many of the most effective and sustainable anti-poverty initiatives start with women and girls, the Circle of Hope both recognizes and focuses on gender equity on the ground in India. American India Foundation’s holistic interventions across education, livelihoods, and public health reverse the trend of discrimination to deprivation of opportunities and empower girls and women to achieve their potential.

How it works

In the spirit of a giving circle, we will pool our contributions and engage in collective decision-making on the allocation of our investment funds to a project(s). We will have a minimum of 25 members. This will provide us the benefits of a sizeable investment pool, while also allowing for a close-knit community and efficient management. We will rely on the frontline experience and vast infrastructure of AIF to design and execute intervention projects on our behalf.

Join us today!

Click here for the Circle of Hope factsheet

Interested in joining our Circle? Please email us at circleofhope@aif.org


  • $1,000 directly invested in the Circle’s chosen program (100% deductible).
  • $100 operating costs
  • American India Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) organization.

Donate today

All communication to AIF will be funneled through the Circle of Hope national program lead, Nirmala Garimella (circleofhope@aif.org) to Chapter leaders

Chapter Leads

  • New England – Farida Kathawalla, Nirmala Garimella and Alankrita Narang
  • Chicago – Masha Sajdeh, Rumki Dutta, Jasma Ghai
  • San Francisco – Samira Khan and Keyuri Shah


Digital Equalizer

Support an all-girls high school with science kits through the Digital Equalizer program to provide hands-on, experiential learning experiences to students in order to help them improve their grades and retain knowledge.

Market Aligned Skills Training (MAST)

Support AIF’s livelihoods program aimed at vocational training of rural women, with a focus on widows, and help them become independent, overcome poverty and lead a life of self respect and dignity.

Empower women from economically and socially deprived communities to become entrepreneurs through the MAST+E (Entrepreneurship) project, thereby creating jobs and sustainable livelihoods in these communities.

Maternal and Newborn Survival Initiative (MANSI)

Support maternal and child health in rural India through MANSI, which equips villages with a trained community health worker (ASHA orSahiya) to provide home-based care to identify and manage maternal and neonatal illnesses.


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