Rules & Guidelines for Nonprofits
The Impact Vine is a community of nonprofit organizations and donors engaging with each other to raise funds to help solve social problems. We have created these Guidelines with the help of several local nonprofits. We welcome your feedback! Thank you.
What The Impact Vine Will Do
- Provide one impactful, efficient crowdfunding site for all nonprofits
- 45 day timetable and “alll-or-none-funding” to build urgency and excitement
- Help with selecting & creating a “sticky” project for the site
- Feature various nonprofits’ projects on our home page
- Possibly partner with and feature several projects during seasonal promotion time (Mother’s Day, Back-to-School, Thanksgiving, etc.)
- Will re-tweet and share various projects on an ongoing basis to give you added visibility
- Provide process and tips to continue to engage your donors via project updates and news about new projects
- Handle donation finances and issue tax deduction acknowledgments (donations to be made in the name of The Impact Vine)
- When a project is fully funded, donors will be notified via email and funds will be transferred within 7 business days for the amount of the successfully funded project.
What We Need From You
Initial projects should have secured support from key constituents: We ask each nonprofit to select a project for our site which has already generated support by their board, volunteers, and others, so that it increases the likelihood of a successfully funded project for your organization. Each fully-funded project encourages other projects to become fully-funded as well, ensuring success for all.
- Please make sure to follow our Marketing Guidelines, below
- Include a concise, easy-to-read, not too “fundraise-y project description (see other projects on the site for examples)
- Consider having a “project champion” help promote your project – this could be a volunteer or team member who’s passionate about your project
- Ask a few groups or individuals to “adopt” your project to help promote – this can be community groups, girl or boy scouts, Junior League members, or friends in your paddle or tennis group!
We recommend smaller projects initially: We recommend that nonprofits with an annual budget of under $1M set a project max of $1,000 (nonprofits with annual budgets over $1M may want to consider a larger project of up to, perhaps, $5,000 or more this first launch year). These are just guidelines; the goal is up to you
Exclusivity: The Impact Vine has exclusivity re: crowdfunding projects. We ask that each nonprofit’s project is unique to The Impact Vine so that there aren’t competing projects on other crowdfunding sites.
Vetting Process for Nonprofits
In order to ensure that every nonprofit organization’s project on our site conforms to rigorous industry standards, we ask each applicant to fill out an online form with your basic info, in order to request review for your organization to become a The Impact Vine agency and begin submitting projects to our site. Please expect a response to your online application within 5-7 business days.
The Impact Vine is open to nonprofit organizations that meet the following criteria:
It is a registered tax-exempt organization under section 501c3 of the IRS code
It is located in the towns we cover in Fairfield County, CT (Bridgeport, Danbury, Greenwich, Stamford, Darien New Canaan, Norwalk, Wilton, Weston, and Westport).
The Impact Vine’s eligible organizations agree to:
Allocate 100% of funds generated through this campaign for non-religious programs, services and activities (i.e. food pantry, educational programs)
Allow individuals to benefit from the specified program, service or activity without discrimination on the basis of religion, race, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, veteran, or disability status
Specify the program, service or activity that the funding will support. Your Organization may not be eligible for participation if:
- It is a political, labor or fraternal organization
- It is a church, synagogue or similar religious organization
- It is a hospital or medical facility
- It is a college, university or prep school
- It is a PTA or PTC of a private or public school
- It is a sports program or club (for example, Little League or Pop Warner)
- Its only purpose and function is grant-making
- It is an organization that denies service to a potential client or beneficiary on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, veteran, or disability status
Marketing Your Project
To help promote your project, we ask that you submit a one-page, bullet-pointed marketing plan when you apply. Your marketing plan should look something like the one below:
Sample Marketing Plan:
We (the nonprofit running the project) will promote by:
- Initial e-blast to (XX number of) on our general list, board members, committee members, targeted lists, lapsed donors, asking everyone to share online with colleagues, friends and family (please remember to include info@TheImpactVine.org on your e-blast so we can also share!)
- Having a “project champion,” (let us know who they are!) help share and promote our project (this can be a board member, volunteer, dedicated team member, or friend)
- Asking some groups or individuals (let us know who they are!) if they’d like to “adopt” our project – they can be community groups, Junior League members, girl or boy scouts, or friends in your tennis or paddle club
- Mention that our project is on The Impact Vine at each event or meeting that we host (do a “live” demo at next Board meeting)
- Host a matching gift challenge: “Make a special gift to NONPROFIT as part of our The Impact Vine Challenge. Every $1 you donate right now will be matched by $2 from a generous donor, NAME OF DONOR, in support of our project!”
- Running a contest (“let’s fund our project in one week!!”)
- Including a :30 second sped-up/hyperlapse/timelapse video related to our project
- Hosting a Facebook Live event. We will invite friends and family members to join us for our Facebook Live event to learn more about NONPROFIT. Our goal is to have 50% of this project’s donations come from new donors, so anything you can do to introduce others to us is greatly appreciated.
- Posting 1-2 Tweets during first 2 weeks of project posting tagging @TheImpactVine and #TheImpactVine
- 1-2 Facebook posts, with photos, during first two weeks of project posting Liking and tagging @TheImpactVine
- Putting up 1 post on Instagram Follow @TheImpactVine and tagging #TheImpactVine
- Press release, print media mention with link to project (good for projects with larger goals)
- Fliers at events, with project link
- Follow ups (2nd e-blast, social media) mid-way through if needed
- Follow ups (additional e-blast, social media) a week before project end date (“We have only 1 week to go to raise $$ for….!!”)
- Engaging with those who have donated using The Impact Vine’s chat functions
- Monitoring donations, reminding key constituents again, if needed
All donations made through The Impact Vine are considered completed charitable donations and are not refundable.
The Impact Vine makes every reasonable effort to work with each organization to be certain a project funds (this may include editing the project description, updating photos, or lowering the project goal).
In the event a campaign is not successful, the funds raised will be set aside and earmarked for the organization, which should then post another campaign within 3 business days of the ending of their unfunded project in order to reach their fundraising goal. When this new project goes live, within 3 business days of the ending of the first unfunded project, donors will be contacted and asked to transfer their donation. Donors will also have the option to transfer their donation to a different project on The Impact Vine. After 14 days of the ending date of the unfunded project, unallocated funds will be automatically allocated to another project by The Impact Vine. (If donors are unable to be reached, funds will be reallocated to another project by The Impact Vine.)
If the organization does not post a new campaign within 3 business days of the ending of their unfunded project, donors will be contacted and asked to reallocate their donation to another project on The Impact Vine. If, after two contacts, a donor does not specify their reallocation, The Impact Vine will allocate their donation to a project on the site which is ending soon.
If you have one unsuccessfully funded project but you have taken remedial steps to ensure a likelihood of greater success next time, we’ll work with you on the second project to help ensure a win. However, if it seems as if you haven’t taken steps to ensure your project’s success, or if your second project does not receive full funding by the end of the 45-day period, we may have to ask you to remove your nonprofit page from our platform, so that we can allow other nonprofits to have a chance to promote and fund raise through our site. Thank you for understanding!