What is a Virtual Giving Circle?
A Virtual Giving Circle is a group of people who care about the same cause. We pool our donations with the donations of other people, because together we make a bigger donation than we can do alone. Currently, we operate Giving Circles for three different causes: Pets, Poverty, and Veterans.
What is Change Gangs: Virtual Giving Circles?
Change Gangs: Virtual Giving Circles is the umbrella organization that runs these giving circles. It allows us to use the same infrastructure and resources, so we can keep our expenses low. We want to donate as much as possible!
How do I meet with my group? Do I have to be in the same state?
Our Giving Circles are virtual, and we use technology so everyone can nominate, research, and vote for charities no matter where they live.
How Much Time Does It Take?
You choose how much time you’d like to spend!
Option 1: None. This is a great way for super busy people to make meaningful donations, because you can trust that the giving circle leadership is doing the necessary work and research to choose good charities and make a huge impact. If you just want to spend a minute and half to set up an automated payment from your credit card and do nothing else, we are excited to have you on board!
Option 2: A Little. In addition to just donating, you can, if you’d like nominate and/or vote for charities. This amounts to no more than 20 minutes in any given month.
Option 3: A Little More. In addition, you can be an Ambassador and attend our one hour/month meetings, research charities, and grow the circle. But, we know how busy we all are, so we do everything we can to minimize the amount of time it takes to run these circles. You will rarely find a need to give more than an hour a month to your Giving Circle.
At any level, we are excited to have you on board!
How Much Do I Donate?
All Giving Circle members contribute $25 per month to their Giving Circle. If you want to donate less, see the next question for the “Build The Giving Muscle Program.”
If you’re looking at your budget and wondering where you’ll find $25, read How to Donate When You’re Broke. Or here are a couple tips below…
**A small Starbuck’s cappuccino costs $2.50. If you brew your own coffee three times a week, you’ll save $25 a month.**
**Save $5 by bringing a home made lunch to work once or twice per week.**
**Spend a Friday night at home watching a movie instead of meeting friends for drinks. At $8 a pop, 3 cocktails would cost you almost $25.**
Don’t think you have to do it alone, either. Team up with co-workers, friends, or family members and share the experience of making a small donation that will have a BIG impact on your favorite cause.
What is the “Build the Giving Muscle” program?
Does the idea of $25/month make you a little nervous? Sometimes, it’s not easy to start at $25/month if you don’t already have the donation habit. So, we developed the “Build the Giving Muscle” program. The first month, your credit or debit card is charged $1, then the next month, it’s $5. The next is $10, then $15, then $20, and then, finally it’s $25. So, in six months, you work up to $25/month.
Most people find that their budget naturally works it way around donating $25/month when they work up to it slowly. In just six months you’ll find that supporting your favorite cause is so easy you won’t even have to think about where to find the money.
The drawback to donating less than $25 is that you don’t get to nominate charities for us to consider and you don’t get to vote on which charity we donate to; however, you’re warmly welcomed into the giving circle regardless of how much you donate.
Can I Give More?
Yes. You are welcome to donate more to your Giving Circle or you may consider joining another Giving Circle to work towards another cause that you are passionate about. Each Giving Circle member receives one vote regardless of how much is donated about the $25 minimum.
How Does My Giving Circle Choose Where to Donate?
Members nominate charities for their Giving Circle to consider. The Donations Committee vets the charities and updates the members with that information. A vote is held and donations awarded to charities based on a simple majority rule.
How Often Does My Giving Circle Donate?
We donate once per quarter. Nominations are due in February for the March donation, in May for the June donation, in August for the September donation, and in November for the December donation. Remember, you can nominate charities for your Giving Circle to consider.
What If I Disagree With the Group’s Vote?
When you join a Giving Circle, it’s important that you find one that most closely matches your interest, because inevitably, your charity preference will not always match up with the majority’s preference. When this happens, you can still feel good that the cause you believe in is being promoted. Remember that we are working towards the greater good here and not working to support any individual’s favorite charity.
What If I Don’t Want to be Part of the Giving Circle Anymore?
You may choose to cancel your membership at any time. Future contributions will be cancelled immediately after you request to cancel your membership. Any contributions made prior to your request to cancel are non-refundable, because we've probably already sent it to a deserving charity.
30 Day Worry Free Guarantee: You can cancel within the first 30 days of joining and receive a full refund.
What If I Need to Put My Membership on Hold?
Memberships can be paused for as long as you need and you can resume contributing actively to your Giving Circle at any time. During this period you cannot nominate or vote for charities and you cannot be elected to a Giving Circle Leader position; however, your continued participation in your Giving Circle is welcomed.
What is the Community Coin?
10% of your monthly contribution is directed to Change Gangs’ Community Coin. This fund supports the Change Gang community providing the tools to make your Giving Circle a healthy, vibrant, and effective group. These tools include things such as web development and hosting, tax and legal compliance, and bank fees. You may view our financial information, so you know that we are responsible stewards.
Any funds collected over and above expenses are pooled together into the Emergency Relief Fund that will be donated to a charity chosen by the entire Change Gangs' community. These funds are designated for emergency relief causes to help people affected by disasters. Members will nominate, research and vote on which charity will receive these funds. Voting on excess funds will occur quarterly or by emergency motions made by and voted on by the entire community.
Tell Me More About the Emergency Relief Fund
The purpose of Change Gangs: Virtual Giving Circles is to facilitate the donation of as much money as possible. So, any funds collected from the Community Coin that exceed expenses are deposited into the Emergency Relief Fund and are designated for emergency relief to help people affected by disasters (man made or natural).
Voting on Emergency Relief Funds occurs when a member of any Giving Circle makes a motion to consider a donation to relieve human suffering due to a disaster. The motion is voted on by the entire Change Gangs: Virtual Giving Circles community, and the outcome is determined by a simple majority vote.
If you’ve ever watched a disaster on TV and wished you could do more, here’s your opportunity.
Are My Donations Tax Deductible?
Yes! We are a 501c(3) charity, and you will receive a statement for your tax records at the end of the year.