Frequently Asked Questions
Starting a Growfund
What is a Growfund Advisor?
A Growfund Advisor is synonymous with being an account holder. Once your student completes the application and confirms the account, they become a Growfund Advisor.
Primary and Joint Growfund Advisors have full administrative privileges 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.
How does my student create a Growfund?
To create a Growfund, your student simply clicks here here or the “Start a Fund” button located in the top right-hand corner of the webpage. Your student will be asked to complete a form that will take no longer than ten minutes of their time.
Your student will receive a confirmation email, which will prompt them to login and set up security questions.
What information does my student need to create a Growfund?
Not much at all! Your student will not be asked for their social security number or bank information.
We simply require the following:
- Basic contact information and birthdates for the Primary Advisor, Joint Advisor, and all successors
- Nonprofit Beneficiary contact information and Federal Tax ID Number (optional)
Are my students’ contributions tax-deductible?
Yes. A contribution to Growfund has the same tax deductions as would a donation to any public charity.
How can can my student contribute to Growfund?
Your student has a variety of options for how they can make a contribution to Growfund. They can contribute via cash, check, credit card, wire transfer, and payroll deduction.
They also have the option of contributing other types of financial assets, including stocks, mutual funds, real estate and more. Please reach out to [email protected] if you would like to learn more about how your student can contribute via these types of financial assets.
Is there a minimum needed to open a Growfund account?
$1. Have your student Start a Fund Today
Are there any deadlines or timing restrictions?
No. The only conceivable timing consideration occurs when your student is planning a year-end contribution. Please note in this case that certain types of contributions, such as real estate or stock transfers, take longer than simple cash or credit card contributions. Please have your student reach out to [email protected] if they would like to learn more about how they can plan ahead.
Does my student need to maintain a minimum balance?
No. There is no minimum account balance.
Is there a minimum grant amount?
Yes. Grants can be made for as little as $25.
Will my students’ contributions be invested?
Yes. Your students have the option of determining the allocation of their funds that will be invested versus saved (allocated to a non-interest bearing account). Regardless of your student’s Growfund balance, the indicated allocation will automatically be invested into a fully diversified and index based portfolio solution that employs a balanced approach with a 60/40 mix of equities and fixed income.
Is there a fee associated with my students’ investments?
Yes. The invested funds on each Growfund may be subject to a 5 bps annualized fee.
Does my student have the option of not investing their balance?
Yes. As a Growfund Advisor, your student has the ability to place their funds into a protected non-interest bearing account. (Money Market Account)
Are there multiple investment options available? If not, why?
At this time, The Vanguard 500 Index Fund is the only investment vehicle available to Growfund Advisors.
We are actively working to provide diversified investment opportunities for our Growfund Advisors.
How do my students know if their favorite organizations are eligible?
Growfund Advisors are able to seamlessly grant to nearly a million 501(c)(3) organizations. Odds are that their favorite nonprofit organization is among them. If it is not, they can add their favorite nonprofit organization. Growfund will vet the organization and add it to the platform if approved.
How can my students make an organization eligible to receive Growfund donations?
Global Impact and its partners provide vetting services for both domestic and international organizations. It takes 3-5 business days to vet a domestic organization while it may take several weeks to vet an international organization. These services come at an additional fee to the Growfund Advisor. Once an organization has passed the vetting process, it will become eligible to receive donations from all Growfund Advisors. Please have your student reach out to [email protected] for further information about vetting a new organization.
What is a 501(c)(3) organization?
501(c)(3) refers to the tax-exempt status of a nonprofit organization as qualified under IRS rules. Because 501(c)(3) organizations are charitable by nature, they are allowed to receive tax-deductible donations.
Does Growfund support international organizations?
Yes, but on a limited basis. Only a select number of international organizations are currently eligible to receive Growfund distributions. Growfund does, however, support numerous U.S.-based organizations that focus on international issues.
Can my student set up a recurring grant?
Absolutely – recurring grants are great ways for your students to fund their favorite organizations or causes effortlessly.
Can my student make a restricted grant?
Yes. When they are ready to make a grant, they click on the “Recommend Grant” tab and use the Grant Purpose field to indicate the specific purpose of the grant.
Can my student set up recurring contributions?
Absolutely – recurring contributions are great ways for your students to grow their Growfunds effortlessly.
Are my students’ contributions secure?
Yes. Growfund’s platform is provided by Stellar Technology Solutions, a group that takes great pride in ensuring the utmost security for its platform users. For more information on what Stellar is doing to protect user information, please visit here.
Is there a fee assessed on my students’ contributions?
No – 100% of contributions are available for grantmaking.
How often are grants distributed?
Global Impact will distribute grants to the recipient organizations within seven business days of receiving the grant recommendation by the Growfund Advisor.
What donor information will the recipient organization receive?
The recipient organization receives notice that the grant has been made by the Growfund Advisor 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.
What are the fees on my Growfund and how are they assessed?
Our pricing model is straightforward and simple. There is a three percent annualized fee on the fund balance up to $20,000 and a one percent annualized fee on the fund balance of $20,000 and above.
This fee will be charged against and subtracted from the fund balance on a monthly basis following the fund’s establishment date until termination of the fund.
Does 100% of my students’ grant go to the designated organization?
To what entities does Growfund NOT support distributions?
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
What is a Giving Opportunity?
A Giving Opportunity is a collection of organizations that is eligible to receive grants from Growfund Advisors. Typically, a Giving Opportunity consists of organizations that are tied together by a single programmatic or geographic interest area.
How can my student create a Giving Opportunity?
It’s simple! Your student just mimics the steps that they would as if they were opening a Growfund account. After your student’s Growfund has been named, they indicate with the checkbox that this Growfund should be public. This will make it a searchable Giving Opportunity.
How can my my student share a Giving Opportunity?
Please have your student email us at [email protected] if they would like to share a Giving Opportunity with their networks. We can provide them with a link that allows non-Growfund Advisors to donate via credit card.
If their Giving Opportunity is public, they follow the steps outlined below:
- Login to Growfund
- On the side navigation click Giving Opportunities
- Click Search all opportunities
- Enter your fund’s title in the keyword field
- Copy the URL of this page and share it
How does my student use their Giving Opportunity?
Giving opportunities are flexible funds that can be socially shared, engaging family, friends, and co-workers. Be Creative!
Example 1: Engage family and friends. Create a family fund, share it, raise contributions, and give as a group. Host an end of year potluck or party to choose the causes to donate to.
Example 2: Engage colleagues. Create a fund, share it with colleagues, raise contributions, and give as a group. i.e. The Growfund team managed a No Shave Movember Campaign. Co-workers grew mustaches during November and voted for the best looking mustache with donations into the fund.
What are my student’s responsibilities as a Giving Opportunity Advisor?
It is their responsibility to abide by the conditions that they set forth in their Giving Opportunity’s description. If they create a Giving Opportunity that stipulates funding toward hunger initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa, then it is their responsibility that all contributions go to this cause.
Can my student rename their Growfund?
Absolutely. Please have your student email us at [email protected] and we can do it for them.
Can my student change their Growfund’s Advisors, Successors and Beneficiaries?
What statements will a Growfund Advisor receive?
Growfund Advisors receive monthly statements as well as an annual statement, which is run in early January for the previous year. Statements are available on the Donor Dashboard and Growfund Advisors are notified of new statements by either email or mail, depending upon the indicated preference.
How do my students navigate to the Growfund platform?
Please refer them to the term sheet here to learn how to use the Growfund features.
How can my student close their Growfund?
Have your student email us at [email protected] and we can walk them through the process.
Is my student’s information private?
Of course. Please visit our Privacy and Security Policies page here.
What reporting can my university access?
Universities can view and export reports on their student’s contributions and grants. Global Impact can provide universities with detailed reporting on financial data, contribution activity, grant activity, account balances, and organization activity reports among others.