A Word From Our President
The Masala Giving Circle is delighted that you are visiting our website. As our name indicates, “Masala is that delicious blend of spices –the whole of which is richer and more amazing than the sum of its aromatic parts. This is the same for the Masala Giving Circle. We are a diverse group of African American women with a common passion for giving back, helping others and creating positive in the African American communities of Sarasota and Manatee counties. By pooling our resources together, we enable our members to achieve a much more significant impact with their charitable giving than they might achieve on their own.
Originally established in 2013 through the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, the Masala Giving Circle has grown tremendously. We have grown from 7 initial members to 100 strong. From awarding $5,000 in 2014, we awarded $75,000 for our 2022 grant cycle at our awards ceremony held in May 2023. Since our inception, we have awarded over $180,000 in grants to programs or services in various areas, including human trafficking, breast cancer, housing, nutritious food and education for youth.
We hope you enjoy visiting our website and learning about how Masala Giving Circle is promoting economic and personal empowerment in our African American community. Our giving philosophy has been to carry on the traditions of support passed down through our African ancestry and to do our part to make our communities stronger and more self-sustainable. We believe as Maya Angelou elegantly stated, “I have found among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver”. We are grateful to share our blessings with others.
remembering and honoring our founder, shelia baynes
Shelia Baynes, founder of the Masala Giving Circle, passed on June 23, 2020. Read more about her life on Tempo News.
Masala Awards $75,000 to local organizations during May 2023 awards ceremony held at the Westcoast Black Theatre Rooftop
Award recipients included Habitat for Humanity in Manatee and Sarasota Counties; the Sarasota African American Cultural Coalition; Meals on Wheels; Minorities in Shark Sciences, ASALH Freedom School; All Faiths Food Bank; Take Stock in Children; and Good Samaritan Pharmacy & Health Services. Read more