3 Ways Charity Funds Put Donors In the Driver’s Seat

In previous posts I’ve shared with you the pain points that sparked this passion and the change needed to transform donors into vested partners for good. Today I want to tell you exactly how our Charity Funds will (1) make giving a fantastic experience, (2) increase the impact of giving over time, and (3) lower costs for nonprofits.


What’s a Charity Fund? Great question. 


Charity Funds function as your own checking account for giving, or your own personal “foundation.” You place money in your Charity Fund, it becomes instantly tax deductible, and then you can distribute it to any 501c3 (yes, we’ll have them all) at any time you choose. It’s like a “Venmo for charity.” It all happens digitally, and you’ll only have one tax deduction for all of it. Doesn’t matter if you give $5, or $5M. All the same.


How does your Charity Fund change the way you give?


(1) Giving becomes a more fantastic experience:


  • Payments. Payments are electronic, instant, and fun. We’ll have your information stored in the platform, so making a gift into your fund or a distribution out to a charity is an easy single click.
  • Security. Many nonprofits don’t have the resources or knowledge to invest in information security and maintain your security/privacy. We will.
  • Taxes. All of your giving, no matter what, through us is one tax deduction.
  • Timing. By already having your tax deduction, you can have total flexibility to send donations when there’s a specific opportunity you want to participate in without having to worry about your taxes. You no longer have to give money on your tax schedule and passively hope it accomplishes good.
  • Automation. You can set up automatic transfers through us into your fund or out to charities.
  • Administrative control. If you need to make a change to your financial information or your automatic gifts, you have total control.
  • Size. By having a fund of money that already has yielded tax deductions for you, you have flexibility to make larger gifts if you so choose without tax complexity. “Normal givers” can now do things like endow scholarships.
  • Social. We’re going to enable you to “connect” with your friends and to your favorite nonprofits in the platform.
  • Collaboration. You can easily combine gifts with friends to fundraise for a specific occasion, delivering collaborative larger gifts for more impact and fun.
  • Tracking. The fund will keep a record of the all the gifts you make no matter how big or small. No need to track down receipts.
  • Discretion. The fund enables you to be anonymous or not depending on your own discretion.


(2) Over time, the impact of your giving increases.


By removing obstacles for donors to give easily and opportunistically toward high-impact projects, without having to worry about the tax issues or payment logistics, we shift the conversation from “how can I give” to “how can I have impact.”


Furthermore, we want to create tools and structures that help donors and nonprofits in this direction. Some of the tools we plan to create over time include:


  • Charitable opportunity recommender. We will recommend great charities to you based on your interests, previous giving, and that of your friends.
  • Compilation of nonprofit information from around the web. Things like Charity Navigator and Guidestar are great, but they’re tough to navigate. We’re going to compile this information on each charity and make it all simple and digestible, right in our platform.
  • Project marketplace. We’re going to enable charitable projects of charities to be featured in a marketplace, to enable giving to more specific opportunities. This increases impact.
  • Crowd-sourced charity and project reviews. We’ll invite people with personal experience to review  charities and their projects and share the information on the platform, just like product reviews and answered questions on Amazon. It helps us all be more informed.
  • Impact-reporting portals. Longer into the future, we’re going to help nonprofits report data on their own impact. We’ll design tools and reporting channels for them.


(3) Costs are lowered for nonprofits, moving the economics of the charitable sector WAY FORWARD.


There will be no cost (zero, nada, nothing) to setup or use Charityvest, for donors and nonprofits. And we’ll absorb all processing costs of your giving. 100% of your money goes to the organizations you support. We will cover our costs by functioning conceptually like a bank—creating financial returns from investing the aggregate capital in the platform. We’ll be sharing the details on how this works later, but, for now, know we have the best, top-educated lawyers, consultants, and finance brainiacs working with us to make Charityvest prolific and secure. Your fund will be 100% safe. (Need more details right now? Check out our FAQ page.)


This means we can lower nonprofit costs by 2-7 cents per dollar (2-7%) for every gift given through Charityvest. That may not sound like much, but the whole charitable sector is nearly $400B each year; 2-7% of $400B is a mountain of money. With your help, we can reclaim that money from payment service companies, and give it back to impact.


Sound good? I hope so. Version 1.0 of the platform will likely make its arrival late summer or early fall this year.


Yours in directing more resources for good,


Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 9.47.12 AM

Stephen Kump, Founder & CEO


We’re bent on putting donors first to maximize impact, but we can’t do it without donors like you! Sign up for our product launch.


Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/chris_radcliff/8804480315/