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
- 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.
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 Fairfield County, CT, from Westport to Greenwich (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
Most of the beneficiaries of projects on The Impact Vine are low-to-moderate- income based on commonly used guidelines, including but not limited to, free or reduced lunch, Federal poverty level and/or HUD median family income estimates.
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!)
- 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)
- Possible contest (“let’s fund our project in one week!!”)
- 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 @TheImpactVinie
- 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)
- 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. In the event a campaign is not successful, the funds raised will be set aside and earmarked for the organization, which will be encouraged to post another campaign within 3 business days and reach their fundraising goal. When the organization’s next The Impact Vine campaign goes live, within 3 business days at 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 30 days unused 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 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!