Frequently Asked Questions
Starting a Growfund
What is Growfund for Giving Circles? (General)
Growfund for Giving Circles is a version of the Growfund Donor-Advised Fund product designed specifically to meet the unique needs of collective giving. It has all the benefits of Growfund as well as tailored functionality for giving circle administrators. Understanding that giving circles come in all sizes, the platform supports both small giving circles and those with an unlimited number of members. Administrators are able to decide if they prefer to open up their giving circle to the wider community or keep access restricted to selected members. The Growfund platform allows you to make grants, and generate customized reports at any time. It also seamlessly meets tax record keeping requirements.
Is Growfund a non-profit organization? (General)
Growfund is a no minimum contribution Donor-Advised Fund (DAF) created by Global Impact, a 501c3 non-profit organization. Global Impact is the charity sponsor of the Growfund DAF. Global Impact is an international nonprofit committed to every day donors and growing philanthropy. For more than 60 years, Global Impact has been supporting organizations and donors with effective ways to give to causes, regions and crises throughout the world, ultimately generating more than $1.8 billion for some of the most vulnerable people across the globe.
What does it mean to house my Giving Circle on a Donor-Advised Fund? (General)
A Donor-Advised Fund is a charitable savings account with investment options. With Growfund, you’ll have the option to select from multiple investment options including ETF and ESG funds and a money market account. Your investment and savings allocations are up to your discretion. You can grant out funds at any time to the charity of your choice.
Are there multiple investment options available (Administrators)?
At this time, there multiple investment options, and a money market account available including. You may allocate whatever percentage (with a maximum of 100%) of your account balance into one or more of the following funds. Learn more about the investment options here.
Strategic FSP Solutions (Environment, Social, Governance Investments)
The investments are screened to exclude the worst offenders such as coal, tobacco or firearms, while also targeting companies that are intent on generating positive environment, social, and governance impact.
- FSP Growth Pool 86/14 Equity/Fixed Income Allocation
- FSP Moderate Pool 60/40 Equity/Fixed Income Allocation
- FSP Conservative Pool 33/67 Equity/Fixed Income Allocation
Strategic ETF Solutions
The strategic ETF solutions consist of a variety of discretionary portfolios constructed using exchange-traded funds.
- Growth Pool 86/14 Equity/Fixed Income Allocation
- Balanced Pool 60/40 Equity/Fixed Income Allocation
- Conservative Pool 33/67 Equity/Fixed Income Allocation
The Money Market Pool is an interest bearing account which supports individuals that seek to only save their money.
- Money Market Pool: an interest-bearing money market account.
How do I set up my Growfund for Giving Circle account? (Administrators)
It is simple.
- Sign up by creating a personal account on Growfund for Giving Circles – and you’ll be designated the Primary Advisor (otherwise known as the account owner, or giving circle administrator).
- Verify your account upon receipt of email notification.
- Login to Growfund for Giving Circles, on the home page, and fill out the Start a Giving Circle form. You’ll provide contact information for the primary advisor, joint advisors and secondary advisors, and other administrative details, you’ll be able to include your mission, description, logo, and have the option of linking to your giving circle’s website. The form should take you less than 10 minutes to fill out.
- Your tailored giving circle page should be live in 1-3 business days after you submit the form. A Growfund for Giving Circle representative will email you to let you know when your page is set up, and the URL of the customized page.
How much does it cost to use Growfund for Giving Circles? (Administrators)
As a non-profit, Global Impact works to keep the costs low for giving circles. We have a one percent (1%) fee that is assessed on the total giving circle grant distribution. The fee helps cover the operational costs of maintaining the platform.
The a 1% fee on the grant amount is assessed directly from your giving circle account after you make a grant. The account holder is responsible for making sure the account has enough funds to cover both the grant amount and 1% distribution fee. If you do not have enough funds in your account to cover the fee, Global Impact will be unable to distribute your funds to your selected grantee until they become available.
Are there any other fees? (Administrators)
There is a 3% credit card and a 4% e-check processing fee. No fee is charged on standard checks.
Giving circle members now have the option to check a box to cover transaction fees when making a contribution. This covers the credit card processing fee (3%) and operations fee (1%). Many giving circles choose to either ask members to check the box or add the fee to their contribution.
How should I inform my members about our Growfund for Giving Circle account, and make certain they know how to set up their contributions? (Administrators)
We find that administrators of giving circles inform members in a variety ways. Some will announce Growfund at a giving circle meeting, and others notify their membership via email. Regardless of how you inform your membership, the Growfund team is here to support giving circles. We suggest that you share the frequently asked questions for giving circle members. It should help members understand the benefits of using Growfund for Giving Circles and assist with the contribution (including recurring contributions) sign up process.
How do I make a grant, and when will a charity receive the donation? (Administrators)
- Navigate to the Make A Grant page
- Use the GuideStar powered search module to find your grant recipient (Searching by the EIN is an efficient way to find charity)
- Review the EIN and website to ensure it is the correct charity
- Recommend the grant after selecting the grantee(s) and the donation amount(s)
- After you recommend a grant, the Global Impact team will confirm the charity’s validity and distribute the check. The grantee will receive a letter indicating the name of the giving circle who selected them as a recipient in 7-12 business days.
- Many giving circles also choose to alert the grantee that the check is on its way.
Is there a minimum grant amount? (Administrators)
Yes. Grants to charities you select can be made for as little as $25.
How long does it take for a grant to be distributed? (Administrators)
Global Impact will distribute grants to the recipient organizations within seven to twelve business days of receiving the grant recommendation from the Growfund Advisor.
How can I share the Giving Circle’s Fund? (Administrators)
If your Giving Opportunity is public follow the steps outlined below:
- Login to Growfund
- On the side navigation click Find Giving Circles
- Click Search all opportunities
- Enter your fund’s title in the keyword field
- Click on your fund’s Learn More link
- Copy the URL of this page and share it
If your Giving Opportunity is private, please email us at [email protected] to share a Giving Opportunity with your personal network. We can provide you with a link that allows non-Growfund Advisors to donate via credit card.
To what entities does Growfund NOT support distributions? (Administrators)
For legal reasons, Growfund contributions cannot be distributed for the following purposes, including but not limited to:
- An individual
- The personal economic benefit of the Growfund Advisor, other Advisor(s) or a related party of either
- Political contributions or legislative activities
- Private foundations
- Terrorists or their support networks
How do I know if Growfund will allow us to make a grant to the charity of our choice? (Administrators)
By using Growfund for Giving Circles, you will be able to seamlessly grant to nearly 1.8 million 501(c)(3) organization via GuideStar. Odds are that your favorite nonprofit organization is among them. If the charity of your choice is on GuideStar they are also on the Growfund platform.
My giving circle often donates to very small local charities, and we cannot find our selected charity on GuideStar? (Administrators)
If you are unable to find the charity of your choice on GuideStar, Global Impact and its partners provide vetting services for both domestic and international organizations. It takes 5-7 business days to vet a domestic organization.
The vetting of an international organization is a comprehensive process, which may take several weeks to complete. There is an additional charge for this service.
Once an organization has passed the vetting process, it will become eligible to receive donations from all Growfund Advisors. Please reach out to [email protected] for further information about vetting an organization.
Our giving circle has more than one member who handles collecting funds and administration. Therefore, can more than one person manage our Growfund for Giving Circle account? (Administrators)
When opening an account, you’ll be designated as the Primary Advisor. As the Primary Advisor, you can add a Joint Advisor to the account. The Joint Advisor will share the same administrative privileges with the Primary Advisor over their Growfund, including the right to contribute funds to the account, grant funds from the account to organizations, receive account statements, and change account preferences.
Both Primary and Joint Advisors can also add Secondary Advisors to a Growfund account. Secondary Advisors have read only access to the account meaning they can contribute to the account, but not make grants and do not hold other administrative privileges.
Am I able to access information about my members and other account history? And, what types of reports can I generate on Growfund? (Administrators)
Yes, giving circles administrators appreciate the ability to access account contribution history, including records such as name, and email of donors helpful in managing administrative matters. Reports can be exported allowing the ability to create mail merges if necessary. The following contribution and grant reports can be generated directly from your account. As part of your onboarding process, a Growfund representative is happy to walk you through running reports. Please email [email protected]
Contribution Reports (Found underneath the Contribute tab – Review Fund Contributions)
- Average contribution amount
- Date of contribution
- Contributor Subscription Information
- Contributor name, address, email, contribution type (CC or Check), recurring or single contribution, and donor comments. This report can be exported for mail merge into an existing CRM.
Grant Reports (Found underneath the Make a Grant tab – See Grant History)
- Average grant size
- Date of distribution
- Grants by fields of interest (NTEE Code)
How do we make changes to our Growfund for Giving Circle Page? (Administrators)
Please email [email protected] and a Growfund representative will be able to assist you. After you submit requested changes, our team will make the revisions in 1-3 business days.
How do I change my password, address, or email? (Administrators)
- Login to your account
- Go to “Update My Profile” within the Activities Center to update your information
I have an account, but would like to add or change advisor(s)? (Administrators)
Is it possible to change our investment allocation? (Administrators)
Yes, you change investment allocation by emailing [email protected], and a Growfund representative will assist you.
Does Growfund for Giving Circles provide fiscal sponsorship? (Administrators)
As a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to grow global philanthropy, Global Impact serves as a Fiscal Sponsor for a wide array of domestic and international entities. If you would like to learn more about how Global Impact can support your giving circle please email [email protected]
How do I contribute to my giving circle via Growfund for Giving Circles, and am I able to set up a recurring contribution? (Members)
Your giving circle administrator will share a link to your Growfund for Giving Circle’s page, which includes a link to a contribution form. You’ll be able to select if you would like to make a one-time or recurring contribution.
After your contribution has been successfully processed, you will receive an email receipt from Global Impact. With recurring contributions, you’ll receive a confirmation email verifying the recurring donations and then an email tax receipt each time a contribution has been processed. If you make a one-time contribution you will receive an email tax receipt upon completion of the contribution.
If you do not receive a receipt, check the spam folder of your email. If you do not receive a receipt, email [email protected].
I understand there is a credit card processing fee and a grant distribution fee that covers account maintenance. Can I cover the cost to ensure the giving circle fund receives a 100% of the amount I intended to donate to charity? (Members)
Yes, many giving circle members choose to increase the amount of their contribution (recurring contribution) to cover the processing fee. For example, if a giving circle requires a quarterly donation of $100 to the fund, many members decide to increase their donation to $105 to cover credit card processing and grant distribution fees.
How do I make a change to my recurring contribution? (Members)
If you would like to make any changes to your recurring contribution, including changing the credit card, amount of donation, timing of donation, or termination, please email [email protected] and request a cancellation of your current recurring donation. Do not share any credit card details via email.
After you receive email notification that the recurring contribution has been cancelled, please go to your giving circle’s contribution link to set up a new recurring contribution that meets your requirements.
I prefer to donate by a check, is that possible? (Members)
Most Growfund users prefer the convenience of setting up their contributions online. If you prefer to make a contribution by check, please make your check out to Global Impact writing your giving circle’s name on the memo line. A tax receipt will be mailed to you within a month. Mail it to the following address:
Attn: Global Impact
1199 N. Fairfax Street, Suite 300
Alexandria, VA 22314
I am interested in also setting up a personal Growfund account. How do I sign up, and can I use my personal Growfund account to also donate to my giving circle? (Members)
Many giving circle members also use Growfund to manage all of their personal giving. It is simple to set up a Growfund account just go Start a Fund on Growfund And, you’ll be able to donate directly to giving circle by using the intra-account grant making feature on the platform.
What donor information will the recipient organization receive? (Members)
The recipient organization receives notice that the grant has been made by the Giving Circle via Growfund. This is the case unless the grant has been marked anonymous, in which case the organization will receive a letter stating that a grant has been made by an anonymous donor via Growfund.