The Tsuha Foundation, a California-based private organization that envisions a more equitable world, has honored Circles as a Featured Grantee on their website. Tsuha is known for its support of anti-poverty nonprofits whose theories of change, like CUSA’s, center on transformative relationships and systemic change. 


In 2019, Tsuha awarded to Circles its annual Breaking the Cycle Award, which celebrates the organization that has best used its funding to interrupt the cycle of poverty. Foundation representatives noted: “Circles USA works at both a grassroots and systems level to achieve measurable results toward poverty elimination. The Tsuha Foundation admires how Circles USA exemplifies its values of respect, accountability, and engagement to create lasting change for the people and communities affected by poverty.”

Operating from a mission to alleviate poverty using “trust-based philanthropy,” Tsuha believes that, too often, foundations get in the way of nonprofits doing the work they know best. This can slow down progress, perpetuate inequities, and obstruct nonprofit growth and innovation. Tsuha’s trust-based philanthropy reimagines that dynamic, building a world in which funders authentically partner with grantees in a spirit of service. Read more about Tsuha’s principle of trust-based philanthropy here.

Tsuha grantees include organizations and initiatives that come alongside low-income people to break the cycle of poverty. Where appropriate, they provide grantees with professional support in addition to monetary funding. Critically, the foundation resources the production of documentaries that build empathy and understanding across lines of difference. Circles’ 2022 film series—nine short documentary films produced by Board member Jennifer Pelling—was created with generous support from the Tsuha Foundation showcases the stories, journeys, and relationships of Circles USA participants across the nation.