Chrysalis’ Kaleidoscope Giving Circle, The Hammer Museum’s Hammer Collective and Visionary Women U35 have launched in the last year in Los Angeles, drawing entertainment industry execs.

Hollywood execs tend to not be asked to join the boards of nonprofits until they are fairly high up the career ladder. They are usually expected to write a large personal check each year as a donation to the organization and bring their wealthy friends to the table as well. That’s a high bar to entry for anyone more junior in their career.

So, how can twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings get involved with a charity in a substantive way that goes beyond regular volunteering? Join an associate board. Also called young patrons groups, these groups offer their next-gen members mentorship in philanthropic involvement, special events and other ways to make a difference, with lower costs to join. Three of the hottest associate boards have launched in the last year in Los Angeles, each drawing members from the entertainment industry.

Chrysalis’ Kaleidoscope Giving Circle
The nonprofit — known for its Butterfly Ball fundraiser, founded by actress Rebecca Gayheart — started its associate board, Kaleidoscope, last year. The aim is to grow the ranks of its supporters, helping in its mission to give employment training and job search skills to men and women who are homeless or who have been formerly incarcerated.

“One of the things we’ve discovered is that as an organization that’s been around a long time, for 34 years, it’s not surprising that our board of directors and many of our supporters have grown up with our organization,” says Chrysalis CEO Mark Loranger. “We recognized that we need to make sure we are relevant to all the supporters in our community including folks who may be earlier in their careers or younger than our more traditional supporters.”

The group now numbers 13 members and fundraising events thrown by Kaleidoscope have included trivia nights, wine tastings and dinner parties. Alex Jones, who works in digital distribution at entertainment company A24, joined Kaleidoscope a couple months ago after hearing about the group from a friend who works at Chrysalis. “I was blown away by their work with homelessness and I wanted to become involved in my community and help tackle a problem,” says Jones.

Members, who also include Grace Oathout, an associate producer with Tripod Media, are required to either give or raise $500 to join. Says Loranger, “For our traditional board of directors, you have to write a large personal check, and that’s a huge barrier for many people. For us, this is a long-term play. It takes time for folks to be groomed and get ready for leadership positions like being on a board of directors. Some of these folks might become board members, others might become donors, but all of them are going to talk to their neighbors and families about the work that they do and that’s the bigger picture.”

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