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.

How did you determine the amount of the membership donations?

TPC’s founders spoke with women across the country who run other collective giving organizations and, based on those discussions, came to understand that this amount ensures member commitment.

Do I need to be a member to attend your educational programming? How much do these events cost?

Philanthropy Dialogues are member-only events. With few exceptions, all other TPC programs are open to those interested in learning more about TPC. 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 (YPs), we offer access to all TPC programs for women between the ages of 18 and 35. In addition, YPs are encouraged to join committees where they can be mentored by other members, and to attend events specifically designed for them. Each spring, we offer the opportunity for young women to apply for a TPC Fellowship, a pro bono membership made possible by the generosity of other TPC members who underwrite this program.

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?

Our grants eligibility criteria and process are spelled out in the New Member Packet.

What am I obligated to do if I join?

Our only requirement is to make a $1,125 or $575 membership donation. We hope that all members will carefully read the ballot and vote, attend the Annual Meeting when new grantees are revealed, and volunteer on a committee if you have some time. Volunteer opportunities are laid out in the New Member Packet and on the main page of the website.

Many members participate only by voting, because they have confidence that any organization appearing on TPC’s ballot has been thoroughly vetted and is a wise investment.

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.

Do I have to live in Massachusetts to join?

No. You must live in (or frequently visit) the Boston area to participate on a Grant Review Team because its 2-3 meetings are in person. 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 TPC Friend by donating any amount. These donors play a critical role by funding our administrative and member programs and events. Friends of The Philanthropy Connection do not serve on committees, nor do they vote.

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 TPC Friend, can encourage the women in their lives to join, and can give the gift of membership. 

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, of course, encourage contributions over the standard membership fee as excess funds 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.

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 connect@thephilanthropyconnection.org.

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

Yes. Voting is done before the meeting via email.

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 corporations that offer matching gifts.

 

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, and 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.