To make our program work, we need you to do these three things:

1. Make a commitment to charity.
2. Help your group decide where to give the money you're collecting.
3. Vote.

When joining the site, users must make a financial commitment to a fund--we suggest at least $10 a month. Some members of your fund may choose to give this amount or much more. After you login to the site for the first time, you’ll see how much money your group will have to work with at the end of the funding cycle. Your first pledge will be withdrawn on the first day of the next month.

Once you make this commitment, you are then able to nominate organizations, participate in the deliberation process, and vote on which charities to support. Your profile photo will not appear in the fund until after you have made a monthly pledge.

Let's say you and 25 high school friends pledge $20 a month to a fund for one year. At the end of the year, you’ll have $6,240 to work with as a group.

That's enough to sponsor a community water project and plant 1,000 trees.

Imagine if you do the same with your university alumni, neighborhood, or community of faith. Now we're talking about major community projects being funded--playgrounds, schoolhouses, vaccine programs, etc.

Donations are collected for a certain period of time determined by the group, for example six months, nine months or a year. Groups may also have the funding cycles end on a specific date, like a major holiday, birthday or anniversary.

During the funding cycle, members of each fund nominate organizations to receive grants from their collective pot at the end of each cycle. Users will be able to donate to over 800,000 organizations in the U.S. and in select cases, international organizations. After an organization is nominated, it is vetted by site administrators and approved or rejected. If you don't see an organization of your choice in our database, don't worry--suggest it be added to our database and we will process your request. We are able to donate to more than 1.8 million non-profits in total.

It is up to the user that makes the nomination to convince the other members to support his/her suggestion. Nominations with the most activity will begin trending on the group page. Users who participate on the fund page by sharing information, debating and other activities will receive more points. During the nomination phase these points may give the user a second nomination.

At the end of the funding cycle, members of each fund vote on which nominations to financially back. This democratic process is a unique feature of the site, as well as the ability to fund multiple projects. After grants are given, another funding cycle begins. Funds can also be setup to require an administrator's approval for nominations.

A social fund is a charitable giving account shared between several people. At the end of a predetermined amount of time, known as a “funding cycle”, the group votes on where to send the money they have been collecting.

Social Fund is an online application that allows people to create giving circles online without having to meet in person, set up a bank account or go through the laborious process of establishing a non-profit organization. Unlike other websites that focus on specific organizations, campaigns, events or issue areas, we focus on groups of people themselves.

The Social Fund, Inc. and the Social Fund platform are run by volunteers in Washington DC, New York City, London, Doha, Beirut, Dubai, and Seoul. Andrew Chappelle had been working on the concept over the last few years and brought the site to life in 2012. For more information about the people behind Social Fund, click here.

SocialFund.org launched on December 1, 2012.

There are hundreds of great sites out there to help connect you with charities and individuals making a difference in the world. Our site was created to bring people together and provide them with an easy way of donating more substantially and strategically to their favorite groups.

Sure, you can save money on your own for a year and then give it to your favorite causes, but if you go through your Social Fund, you may be able to give a lot more to your favorite groups.

When a grant is approved by a social fund, 100% of the grant amount goes to the selected charity.

Here's how our funding model works: when you make a donation, you will see how much of it is going to credit card processing fees. Our payment processor Stripe takes 2.9% + $.30 of the donation amount before sending the money to us--the rest is immediately added to the balance of the social fund you are donating to. When an organization or project is approved for a grant, the amount is deducted from your fund's balance. That's it! No hidden fees.

We will begin charging a 5% fulfillment fee on June 1, 2014. The fulfillment fee will not be deducted from users themselves, but rather the collective pot. This fee will help us cover the administrative burden created by each nomination, including due diligence checks on organizations to ensure they are IRS and USA PATRIOT Act compliant. We will also use this revenue to improve and expand our site.

A 5% fee is a very low rate compared to other charity fundraising websites. Other sites will take this fee from the donation itself, usually in the form of a grant which they retain. We will be adding the fee on top of the donation amount (kind of like a tax) in order to help grantees meet 100% of their needs, not 95% of them.

Social Fund, Inc. is not yet recognized by the U.S. government as a tax-exempt organization as defined in Sections 501(c)(3) or 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. Until such a determination is made, your gift cannot be claimed as a tax deduction. We will inform all users if and when this status changes, and will explain how it may affect your donations. The IRS grants tax exempt status retroactive to the date of incorporation (April 18, 2012).

No, unfortunately. The Internal Revenue Service does not look favorably on non-profit organizations that allow refunds.

Please see “Can I withdraw from a fund before a vote is held? What happens to my donation?” below.

All donations made through Social Fund are non-refundable and irrevocable, but you have several options if you aren't happy with the direction your fund is taking.

If you would like to withdraw your contributions from a particular fund, you are able to transfer the amount to another fund, start a new one, or direct the donation to any 501(c)(3) organization in the United States. Withdrawing from a fund means you lose all voting rights during that particular funding cycle. Users may not withdraw their donations after a voting process has begun.

To deactivate your pledge and withdraw from a fund during an active funding cycle, simple click on "withdraw funds". If your fund is in a review state (before a vote is held), click on "settings" and "deactivate". You will have a balance on the site equal to your contributions to that funding cycle. When you are ready to use your credit, find an organization of your choice and click on "donate". You will see your balance as one of the donation options.

If a user attempts to seek a refund through his/her credit card company after a funding cycle has ended, we reserve the right to invalidate the voting process and have the fund vote again without that user’s contributions. If a user forcibly initiates a refund through his/her bank after a grant has been given out, we reserve the right to bar that user from the site.

To keep this from happening, please read over your rights and responsibilities listed in the Terms and Conditions.

Once a voting round has opened, nominations that have received a majority of votes are automatically funded. Whatever money is not granted out from that particular fund carries over to the next funding cycle. The fund may also opt to send the remaining balance to a cause of the month.

The full grant amount, minus the fulfillment fee, is then transferred to our donor advised fund and held for a 30-45 day period before being sent to the organization. This holding period is to further protect our company from chargebacks. It also allows more resources to be used for the poverty alleviation efforts of our donor advised fund.

We do, but it all goes straight to our credit card processor Stripe before your donation is transferred to us. When you make a donation through our site, 2.9% + $.30 per transaction goes to Stripe, while the rest goes into your fund’s communal pot. We do not earn any revenue until your fund decides where to send grants.

Our payment processor Stripe contacts American Express to ensure the card is valid, resulting in a pending $1 charge that disappears in a few days.

Social Fund Inc is recognized by the U.S. government as a tax-exempt organization as defined in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. The IRS granted tax exempt status retroactive to the date of incorporation (April 15, 2012).

Your donation is made to Social Fund before being transferred to our donor advised fund, so Social Fund is the organization you will see on your donation letter.

We expect to add other options for non-U.S. taxpayers, including UK Gift Aid, in later versions of the site.

This letter is auto generated and e-mailed to donors after each donation is made. Social Fund, Inc. is not yet recognized by the U.S. government as a tax-exempt organization as defined in Section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. Until such a determination is made, your gift cannot be claimed as a tax deduction. We will inform all users if and when this status changes, and will explain how it may affect your donations. The IRS grants tax exempt status retroactive to the date of incorporation (April 18, 2012).

Please keep your donation letters as they may be used for tax purposes if and when our tax-exemption is granted.

We recommend funding cycles last one year. This way people are able to make much more sizable donations to the causes they care about. You can have a funding cycle last for 3-12 months, or have it end on a particular date such as an anniversary, birthday or other date.

Our payment processor Stripe has been audited by a PCI-certified auditor, and is certified to PCI Service Provider Level 1. This is the most stringent level of certification available. HTTPS is used for all payment transactions and all card numbers encrypted. Social Fund™ staff and systems do not have access to actual card numbers at any time.

For more details on Stripe’s security features, please visit https://stripe.com/help/security.

SocialFund.org has been issued an SSL certificate by Symantec. Your connection to www.socialfund.org is encrypted with 256-bit encryption.

Each fund member is able to nominate a non-profit from our database to receive a portion of the group’s funds, above 250 USD. You can edit the nomination amount or delete it all together at any point before a vote is held. The nominations is placed before the other fund members for discussion and deliberation. If a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) is not listed in the database, the user may request that it be added at the very bottom of this page. Our staff will approve the organization as long as it is compliant with our Acceptable Use Policy.

Nominations that receive the most activity within each fund will begin to trend and will appear in a higher running order on both the fund page and the voting order once the voting process has started. Using this process, each user can start to get a better idea of what nominations the group wants to back, weeks if not months in advance. After a group consensus has emerged and the funding cycle has lapsed, the fund holds a democratic vote.

Once a voting round has opened, nominations that have received a majority of votes are automatically funded. Whatever money is not granted out from that particular fund carries over to the next funding cycle.

When you pool money together with your friends, family and classmates, your money joins all other donations in a donor advised fund (DAF) managed by ImpactAssets. The money in the DAF is invested in a range of options that provide both financial and social or environmental impact. For example, the Calvert Foundation Community Investment Note provides affordable credit to non-profit facilities and small business/microcredit lenders that serve disadvantaged communities globally. More than 250 non-profit lending organizations and social enterprises in over 120 countries have benefited from this access to capital, focusing on poverty alleviation in key impact sectors (e.g. affordable housing, microcredit, small business funding, and fair trade).

For more information on ImpactAssets, visit www.impactassets.org

Our database contains more than 800,000 organizations on the main site. If you don’t see the organization you want in the database, don’t worry. Click on “suggest a non-profit” and put basic details for the organization. As long as they are a registered 501(c)(3) in good standing with the IRS and comply with our terms of service, we will add them to the database. Please give us at least three business days to process this request.

Please contact support[at]thesocialfund[dot]org if you need to change any information about your organization on our site. Please be sure to include your contact details so that we can verify the update is correct.

We really, really encourage organizations to do this because it helps users understand where their donations are (potentially) going.

Please email support[at]thesocialfund[dot]org with additional information documenting these amounts, such as an annual report. Please note, these project amounts, if nominated and rewarded, are sent to organizations as restricted grants. All other grants disbursed through the site are unrestricted (meaning we won't try and tell the organization how to spend the donation). The minimum amount for grants is $250, so we encourage you to start the project levels at this amount.

Organizations funded by Social Fund users must be U.S. based 501(c)(3) organizations in good standing with the IRS, USA PATRIOT Act compliant, and in compliance with our terms of service. Please see Terms and Conditions for additional information. There are a select group of non-U.S. based groups which have been vetted and are able to receive grants.

As of May 22, 2013 these organizations are: War Child, Kids Company, and Permaculture Association, all based in the UK.

We are currently vetting the following organizations: N/A

For foreign charities, due diligence checks are performed through the Global Giving Foundation. We first look for a U.S. public charity partner such as a "friend of" organization. Foreign charities that do not have a domestic partner need to be approved through Social Fund, ImpactAssets, and Global Giving. Global Giving charges 10% of the amount of the grant for this process, and if approved, the organization is valid in our system for three years. Social Fund charges a standard 5% handling and disbursement fee for these grants as well--the rest of the cost is absorbed by our organization.

Because of the time-intensive nature of this process, as well as the cost, we will only begin this process for organizations that have been successfully funded by a social fund. A foreign organization may be in our database, but that does not guarantee that we are ready to fund it. Once a grant is approved, we begin the vetting process, which can take several weeks depending on the response rate of the organization in question.

If you would like your charity to be vetted by our staff, please send an inquiry from an official e-mail account to support[at]thesocialfund[dot]org. We will do some digging and try to find out as much information as possible before you nominate the organization for a grant. Be sure to include the following text:

We cannot support organizations whose tax exemption has been suspended under section 501(p) of the Internal Revenue Code. These organizations include:

- Al Haramain Islamic Foundation, Inc. - Ashland, Oregon

- Benevolence International Foundation, Inc. - Palos Hills, Illinois

- Global Relief Foundation, Inc. - Bridgeview, Illinois

- Goodwill Charitable Organization Inc., f/k/a Al-Shahid Social Association and f/k/a Educational Development Association - Dearborn, Michigan

- Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development - Richardson, Texas

- Islamic African Relief Agency – USA a/k/a Islamic American Relief Agency – USA - Columbia, Missouri

- Rabbi Meir Kahane Memorial Fund a/k/a American Friends of the United Yeshiva a/k/a American Friends of Yeshivat Rav Meir a/k/a
Friends of the Jewish Idea Yeshiva - Cedarhurst, New York

- Tamil Foundation, Inc. - Cumberland, MD

- Tamils Rehabilitation Organization Inc. - Cumberland, Maryland

For more information on Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) with aliases appearing as potential fundraising front organizations, see the Department of Treasury Resource Center. The IRS suspension list can also be found here.

Ultimately, it's up to you to do research on the organizations you choose to support. Social Fund relies on publicly-available information provided by the Internal Revenue Service, ImpactAssets and the Global Giving Foundation. We cannot be held responsible for the actions of organizations funded through SocialFund.org, nor can we guarantee funds will be used in the manner intended. For more information, please see our Disclaimer and Terms and Conditions which must be accepted before a user can participate on our site.

Yes, but rarely. Non-U.S.-based groups must be affiliated with a U.S.-based “Friends Of” group (or another legal entity that supports them), in order to receive funding.

Please see "what types of organizations qualify for grants?" for more information.

The first thing to remember is that any local currency amounts you see on-screen are for display purposes only. Your credit card will always be charged the equivalent U.S. Dollar amount which is displayed below the Pledge/Nomination amount you choose.

Exchange rates are updated several times a day and the amount you see in your local currency should be very recent. However, if you choose to make a monthly recurring pledge, the exchange rates may have changed between your local currency & the U.S. Dollar. However, you will always be charged the U.S. Dollar amount and the amount in your local currency may vary. You may also be charged extra fees by your bank/credit card company (FCY fees etc.)

Powered by ImpactAssets
Share