Web-Based Platform Helps Expand Community-Based Giving Circles

“Sun 25/3/2012,” James Niland

This article first appeared on Nonprofit Quarterly on May 25, 2018. 

This past February, the nonprofit Global Impact publicly announced that it was launching Growfund for Giving Circles as a donor-advised fund with no minimum, “offering a more affordable and flexible way for giving circles to pool their money together, invest and distribute funds for social causes.”

NPQ has written widely about donor-advised funds, or “DAFs.” It would be hard to ignore them, given that donations to DAFs totaled over $23 billion in 2016, with final 2017 figures sure to be higher. They are sometimes controversial because they have no legally mandated payout minimum, although actual payouts as a percentage of assets far exceed the five-percent payout minimum of private foundations.

In its announcement, Global Impact observes that according to the Collective Giving Research Group, “more than a thousand giving circles and 525 chapters exist in the United States, granting $27.7 million in 2016 and as much as $1.29 billion since inception.” However, most require a minimum initial contribution between $5,000 to $25,000. But Global Impact’s Growfund, with no minimum balance required, makes the DAF mechanism accessible to a much broader public.

Scott Jackson, CEO of Global Impact, notes that, “We developed the Growfund without brokerage fees to have the power of a donor-advised fund and have it for no minimum. Without a minimum, you can save and invest in philanthropy and share with your friends. That’s the overall platform.”

You can read the rest of the article as it originally appeared here.