The economic prosperity of the 1990s, along with the coming of age of the US baby boom generation, led to new types of philanthropy at the turn of the new millennium. This case tells the story of The Hestia Fund, a "women's giving circle" based on innovative philanthropic concepts. Hestia was not a registered nonprofit, nor a private foundation; its 40 members held that all funds donated should be on a "pass-through" basis. Each year the fund spent all it took in and passed the funds on to nonprofit organizations-with decisions as to recipients based on a collective decision-making process.
This case describes The Hestia Fund's growth and evolution, as well as raises key questions about its future direction, including the issues of its long-term structure, sustainability, membership, and purposes.