Grant to Charity

Making use of your contributions and growth, with purpose: funding causes you care about.

Recommending a Grant

Looking to donate to a Community Fund?

There are a few key differences between a grant to charity and donating to a Community Fund. Learn more about giving to a Community Fund here.

Making a grant to charity is as simple as finding the charity you wish to donate to and entering the information and amount you'd like to share.

When logged in to your account dashboard, click the Grant to charity button. Then, search for your charity of choice by name or EIN (the official U.S. tax ID of every U.S.-based charity).

Once you see the charity you are looking for, click the Grant button to add the details of your gift:

  • Amount. Enter the amount you'd like to grant to the charity.

  • Funding source. Confirm the source of funds for your grant. It will default to your existing Charityvest balance, though you can click to make a one-time contribution from a linked account.

  • Charity information. Confirm the recipient charity's address is correct. You will see if the charity will receive the grant via PayPal digital grant (daily) or paper check (weekly).

  • Purpose. The default designation for all grants is "Wherever needed most." You can change this by clicking Edit next to Purpose, and selecting from the dropdown menu. Learn more about our grant purpose options here.

  • Frequency. Depending on whether you'd like to send this grant once or on a recurring basis, you can click Edit next to Frequency to choose from the dropdown menu options: Once, Once (on a future date), Bi-weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, Annually.

  • Share my information. You can send more or less of your personal contact information to the charity. You can even be completely anonymous, if you'd like. To configure your information shared settings, click Edit next to Share my information, and select the fields you would like to include for your charity.

Grant Purpose

The default designation for all grants is "Wherever needed most." However, you may prefer to direct your gift for a specific purpose, in which case, we recommend selecting a relevant Purpose label to help communicate your intent to the recipient charity, along with an optional personal note. Here is our selection of grant designation options:

  1. Wherever needed most: Default purpose statement, which offers charities the flexibility to use grant funding as needed.

  2. Pledge: Non-binding giving commitment. You must certify that the grant will not be used to fulfill any legally binding obligation to the charity.

  3. Charity event: Charitable event you wish to support. You must certify that the grant does not cover any portion of the cost of attendance, sponsorship, or participation.

  4. Run/walk/fundraiser sponsorship: Fundraiser you wish to support on behalf of a charity. You can include event information, and must certify that the grant will not be used to satisfy any legally binding fundraising goals for you or a relative.

  5. Membership: Charitable membership you wish to fund. You must certify that none of the benefits from this membership would cause it to be less than 100% tax-deductible.

  6. Scholarship: Scholarship you wish to fund. You must certify that you and your relatives will not have decisive control in selecting scholarship recipients.

  7. Missionary or child/family sponsorship: Missionary or child/family you wish to sponsor. You must certify that you are not supporting yourself or a relative through your grant, and that the charity will maintain full discretion over the use of funds.

  8. Religious offering: Gift dedicated to your religious institution as part of your belief system.

  9. Specific campaign, fund, or project: Program within a charity. You must certify the grant is entirely for charitable purposes.

  10. Other purpose: Any other purpose, such as a memorial gift, which you can describe in the personal note section. You must certify the grant is entirely for charitable purposes.

How to designate a grant to a specific program within a charity

If you wish for your grant to be directed to a program within a charity, you will want to include it in the Purpose section of your grant request.

To do so, follow the instructions to Recommend a Grant, and select Specific campaign, fund, or project as the grant Purpose.

How to designate a grant in honor of someone

If you wish for your grant to be acknowledged in memory or honor of someone, you will want to include information in the notes field within the Purpose section of your grant request.

To do so, follow the instructions to Recommend a Grant, and select Other purpose as the grant Purpose. Include details about your memorial gift in the notes.

How grants are funded

When you recommend a one-time or recurring grant to a 501c3 charity or Community Fund from your Charityvest account, we will default to deducting from your existing balance to cover the grant amount.

If your account is invested, we automatically liquidate the invested assets as needed and rebalance your portfolio to target.

If your account balance is insufficient to cover the grant amount:

  • For one-time grants, we will invite you to make a one-time contribution with a linked account.

  • For recurring grants, we will attempt to use your primary funding account, which can be a bank or credit card, to automatically fund your recurring grant schedule. You can change your primary funding account in the Connected Accounts profile section.

How grants are sent

We send grants to charities daily via PayPal and weekly via check, after we review each grant for compliance with IRS Code.

You can track the status of your grant via our grant status tracker.

Charities will receive your grant via PayPal digital grants or USPS First Class mail within a few business days of our approval.

Disallowed grants

This is a simplified take on the IRS Code, but the IRS requires that grants made through Charityvest comply with three major rules:

No Direct Private Benefits

Donors, as well as their relatives and associates, aren’t allowed to receive any goods, services, impermissible private benefits, or any other benefit that is more than incidental, because of their grant. The value of benefits received from charities reduce the tax-deductible value of your gift.

Since Charityvest has already provided a full tax deduction for your grant, any benefit received might get us - and you - in trouble with the IRS. A benefit is considered more than incidental if, as a result of your grant, anyone receives a benefit that would have reduced or eliminated a charitable contribution deduction. The IRS can impose a 125% excise tax penalty on such grants.

If you will receive a benefit in conjunction with a charitable gift, you cannot “split” the donation to a charity and fund the nondeductible part with a personal gift and fully deductible part with a grant from Charityvest. Even though the gift from Charityvest is fully deductible, the grant still enables you to receive benefits that would not be available without the grant.

This can include situations like:

  • obtaining goods or services at or below their fair market value

  • admission to an event paid for in whole or in part by the grant

  • receiving membership privileges paid for in whole or in part by the grant

No Control over the Grant Recipient

Donors can’t make grants where they might have relationships to the individuals receiving the direct benefit of the grant. Examples of this might be:

  • funding a scholarship where the donor has any role in selecting the recipient

  • contributing to a specific missionary project of an individual related to the donor

  • supporting any political campaign activities, contributions, or lobbying efforts

No Binding Pledges or Commitments

Donors can’t use Charityvest funds to fulfill legally binding pledges or fundraising commitments. Fortunately, many pledges or commitments are not legally binding. Your charity can confirm whether or not your commitment is binding. DAFs such as Charityvest are permitted to send your grant provided no reference to a pledge is made in the grant letter; therefore, we may modify your grant recommendation to remove this language if it exists prior to sending the grant.

Values Informing Grant Approval

Charityvest's compliance and grant review process is informed by a variety of sources: IRS databases, public records, news reports, and information provided by donors, charities, and others. Charityvest may reserve the right to not approve grants if an organization may be engaged in illegal or non-charitable activity (such as terrorism, money laundering, crimes, or fraud). In particular, Charityvest monitors and encourages donors to review Charity Navigator's Advisory System.

The IRS is responsible for determining which organizations are qualified charities in the US. When an organization loses its IRS-recognized public charity status, Charityvest ceases grant-making to that organization immediately. In addition, other state and federal agencies may review the activities of a charitable organization, which may also inform Charityvests grant approval decisions.

Charityvest's cause is generosity—greater giving from everyone. Beyond generosity, we aim to be cause-neutral on grant-making, desiring to permit grants to any compliant charity with a sanctioned charitable purpose, across interests, geography, demographics, political views, religious convictions, and philosophical grounds. We want donors to be the authors of their impact story and encourage donors to bring their values to their giving.

Finding and Favoriting Charities

Favorites. Rather than continue to search for charities that you will fund more than once, be sure to favorite them by clicking the heart on the left-hand side of the organization in your search. From then on, the organization will appear in your favorites list on your "Charities" screen and when you click "Grant to Charity" from the dashboard.

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