…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 Are We?

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. We aim to increase awareness around girl and women-oriented AIF programming and build meaningful relationships with professional peers based on these shared values of giving back and female empowerment.

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 the service of unlocking and bolstering women’s potential.

AIF’s holistic interventions across education, livelihoods, and public health work to reverse this discrimination and cultivate gender equity on the ground in India.

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 AIF’s female empowerment projects. With a minimum of 25 members, we will have a sizeable investment pool. The circle meets quarterly, with a combination of online and in person gatherings. We will rely on the frontline experience and vast infrastructure of AIF to design and execute intervention efforts on our behalf.

Join us today!

Interested in joining our Circle? Please email your chapter for more details.


Membership differs by chapter, please contact your chapter for membership details.

Chapter Contacts and Leads 

  • Tri-State Chapter
  • New England Chapter
  • Chicago Chapter 
    • Contact: Pat Hanrahan, Events Director, Chicago, chicago@aif.org
    • Chicago CoH Leads: Garima Nahar, Jasma Ghai, and Rajita Narain
    • Membership Payment Link: Chicago Chapter 



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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