Podcast: Mid-states Shared Gifting

When money and competition are closely associated, the idea of sharing a gift may appear foreign. Gifting circles, however, play an active role in many cultures, allocating resources in a way that fosters abundance and generosity.

In the Mid-States region of the U.S.—a big area between the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains—a group of Waldorf Schools has been meeting since 1985 to share highlights and challenges, study associative economics together, and ultimately allocate grant funds bequeathed by Elise Ott Casper. RSF administers the gift, although funding decisions are left entirely to the members of the Mid-States Shared Gifting Circle.


Participants of the Mid-States Shared Gifting Circle in 2015 at the City of Lakes Waldorf School

In this podcast interview with Mary Christenson, development director of the Pleasant Ridge Waldorf School and active member of the Circle since 1995, she explains the process of shared gifting, it’s connection to the ideas of Rudolf Steiner, and how it challenges traditional roles in philanthropy. Shawn Lavoie, development director of Youth Initiative High School and Circle member since 2015, joins her for the interview.

This podcast was recorded at the WDRT studios in Viroqua, Wisconsin.

This podcast was recorded at the WDRT studios in Viroqua, Wisconsin.

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