Being a small, non-profit service organization is hard.


We're here to make it a little easier.

Cairn is Louisville’s first public giving circle. What’s a giving circle you ask? It’s a pooled fund that individuals can give to to make their small donation have a big impact. 

This giving circle in particular will be distributed monthly to small, local organizations that focus on human dignity and serve people on a grassroots level.

To get the ball rolling,  Douglass Boulevard Christian Church will give $500 every month in matching donations at a 1:2 ratio. So you give $10, it turns into $15. Then 99 other people give $10 and the small organization has a $1500 check that makes a huge difference to their programming *and* there are 100 people who know more about their work.

Even better. You can sign up to be a monthly donor and make a difference across the city all year round. Think about it as another Netflix account, but instead of movies you’re subscribing to social justice and human dignity.

We are living in a time where the underserved are even more vulnerable, but throughout policy change and political shifts, there are those who continue to take care. This task is often thankless, burdensome, and will  just barely pay the bills and yet there are defenders of human dignity working at this grassroots level throughout our city. It is imperative, especially as state and federal funding becomes limited, to support our social workers, educators, and counselors so they may simply continue their work.



What is a cairn?

A cairn is a stack of rocks that help guide you on a trail. Others help guide you by placing a rock on top of the pile that was built by strangers before you. A cairn shows us the way through the collective effort of people we’ve never met. (See what we did there?)


Why should I give to Cairn and not directly to the non-profit?

Your donation will be matched 1:2 (so 50 cents to your dollar) until we surpass $1000. You can sign up for monthly donations so you don’t have to really think about it.

If that’s not good enough for you, you can definitely give straight to the organization! That’s why the links are in their short bios. Just give something. To someone. That’s all.


Is my donation tax-deductible?

Why yes, it is. Our financial partner, Douglass Boulevard Christian Church, is a 501(c)3 organization so the donation is 100% tax-deductible!

If you want to mail a check instead, you can do so by sending it to DBCC at 2005 Douglass Blvd., 40205. Please just write Cairn or Giving Circle in the memo so they know 100% of the donation goes to that month's non-profit.


I don’t see my favorite organization on this list, and I’d like to. How can I make that happen?

We will be accepting applications for 2019 in May!

In the meantime, if you want to be a part of Cairn’s innards, we’d love to have you on our team. We are looking for interesting people who like to hangout with other interesting people to help find and vet next year’s causes. There will probably be wine. And good company. If this sounds like your jam, send us a message at and tell us why you want to be on the team!


What was the process in vetting these organizations?

There was an application alongside various recommendations from people who are involved in this work. We also have a handful of guidelines:  Serve local human beings. No religious ministry. No ginormous budget. Can’t be a middleman. (The organization isn’t providing funding to other organizations to do the work on the ground.) Have thoughts about this? Join our team and have a say! (See question above.)


Do I have to give every month?

Nope. It would be really nice if you did, but you do you.


How much of my donation is going to the non-profit?

100%. Well 150% if you count the matching donation. We can’t promise that will be the case next year because there are minimal costs that are required to run this thing, but we just put that on our personal credit card this year because WE’RE YOUNG AND CRAZY.