Membership FAQs

TPC Grantee Science Club for Girls
TPC Grantee Science Club for Girls

How is it possible that nearly all of my membership contribution goes into the grant pool?

We are primarily a volunteer-run organization. The Philanthropy Connection has multiple funding sources: generous members who make donations significantly above their membership fees, employer matching grants, members’ friends and families, corporate sponsors, and in-kind donations. Click here for a list of our current sponsors.


How did you determine the amount of the membership donations?

We have talked to women across the country who run other collective giving organizations, and based on their experience, we came to understand that this amount ensures member commitment. It also keeps the cost of raising money low, so that we can spend more of our resources on grant-giving, membership education programs, and fewer resources on member recruitment. A member over 35 years old contributes $1,000 into our grants pool, and $125 toward our operational and programmatic expenses; for a Young Philanthropist, these contributions are $500 and $75, respectively. We do not charge for any of our programs.


What are the opportunities for Young Philanthropists?

In our commitment to foster the next generation of young women philanthropists, we’re pleased to offer a specially priced annual membership rate of $575 for women between ages 18 and 35. $500 goes into our grants pool, and $75 that helps defray our programmatic and educational expenses. Payment may be made once as an annual fee or in monthly installments – you choose! We also have an opportunity for young women to apply for a TPC Fellowship, which is provided at no cost to the Fellow thanks to the generosity of other TPC members who underwrite the membership cost of each Fellowship.


Is my membership donation to The Philanthropy Connection tax deductible?

Yes. The Philanthropy Connection is a non-profit organization exempt from federal taxes under IRS Code Section 501(c)3. Contributions are fully tax deductible.


How does The Philanthropy Connection decide which organizations get a grant?

Each year, we send out a call for proposals to non-profit organizations in the Greater Boston area. To be eligible for a grant, an organization must have 501(c)3 status from the IRS or have a fiscal agent, be incorporated in or support an office within our Massachusetts service area (I-495 loop), and meet the criteria listed in the What We Fund section of this website. Our Grant Review Teams, made up of TPC members who have all been trained on how to evaluate and review grant proposals, drive the review process.


What am I obligated to do if I join?

Our only requirement is to make a $1,125 or $575 membership donation. Of course, we hope you’ll take the time to read the materials compiled by the Grant Review Teams, so that you make an informed decision when it comes time to vote for which Finalists you think should be awarded grants. We’d like every member to vote. Voting is done by email. You may join a committee if you like; however, it is not a requirement. We understand that many women have very full lives, and the last thing they need is yet another obligation. We do hope that everyone attends the Annual Meeting, where our new Grantees are announced and introduce themselves.


When will my membership dollars be applied to the grants pool?

Because we are a grant-making organization, our work is, by necessity, cyclical. The grant amounts we give away each June are determined by the number of members we have as of the previous December 31st. Click here to read more about the benefits of membership.


Do I have to live in Massachusetts to join?

No. Members can live anywhere; however, you must live in the Boston area to participate on a Grant Review Team. Final voting is done by email.


Is there a role for me if I can’t make a membership donation?

Yes. You can become a Friend of The Philanthropy Connection by donating any amount. Friends play an important role in our organization by funding our administrative and member programs and events. Friends of The Philanthropy Connection do not serve on committees, nor do they vote.

If you are between 18 and 35 years old and can’t make a full $575 member donation, you may apply for a TPC Fellowship. We also offer an installment plan for younger members who prefer to make monthly payments, rather than pay all at once.


I have a male friend or family member who wants to join. Can he participate?

Yes. While this is a women’s collective giving organization, men can participate as a Friend of The Philanthropy Connection. They also can encourage the women in their lives to participate as members. They can pay for someone’s membership, as a gift. They could also fund a TPC Fellowship. Click here to read about more options. 


I want to donate more than $1,125. Will I get more than one vote?

No. Every member gets one vote, no matter how much she gives. We encourage contributions over $1,125. Any amount given over $1,000 will help defray the expenses of our education events, programs, and part-time administrator.


Can I pay my $1,125 over time?

If you are between the ages of 18 and 35 you may make monthly payments. Click here for more information.


Can I contribute publicly traded stock to cover my $1,125 membership donation?

No. We only accept donations of publicly traded stock to offset the costs of running TPC and the educational events we offer members. If you are interested in making a donation of stock, this would be greatly appreciated. Please email us at


If I cannot attend the Annual Meeting, can I still vote?

Yes. Voting is done before the meeting via email. Because this event is the most exciting and rewarding event of the year, we strongly encourage our members to attend, and to meet our newest Grantees.


My company matches funds for charitable donations. Can I give $525 and have my company match it to make my $1,125 membership donation?

No. The entire donation must come from one person. We do receive and appreciate matching funds from employers, however, and use these funds to offset administrative and programming costs. Learn more about which corporations offer matching gifts here.


Conflicts of Interest

We are deeply committed to selecting our grant recipients through a transparent, honest, and fair process. To ensure this occurs, we have a clear policy regarding conflict of interest, which every member is required to read, sign, and agree to uphold. This policy requires all members, Grant Review Team members, as well as our Board of Directors, to disclose any and all relationships they may have with a grant applicant or potential applicant. We require anyone that has a potential conflict of interest to recuse herself from all discussions and votes that involve the organization with which she has a relationship.