Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I donate funds through a giving circle?
Your dollar goes further because it is combined with dollars of other members. Pooling resources will maximize the impact of your support. Also, a giving circle provides members and volunteers the chance to research, visit, evaluate and ultimately learn more about the needs in our community, and to work with others to address these needs through service. Our grant-award process assures that our funds will go toward the best-qualified and most compelling charities applying for our support.
What differentiates volunteers from members?
Members contribute financially and vote to select grant recipients. Volunteers donate services to our grantee organizations. It is possible to be both a member and a volunteer for Giving Together.
For how long is my membership in effect?
Your annual, renewable contribution of $1,050 or more entitles you to one year of membership.
Is my contribution tax-deductible?
Yes. Giving Together is a fully qualified 501(c)3 charity.
Can I participate without making a contribution of money?
Yes, you can participate as a volunteer, but you may not vote for each year’s grant recipients without becoming a full voting member.
Why is the mission limited to helping needy families in the DC area?
Because our funding is limited at present, our members are all from the surrounding community, and because our primary mission is to serve local needs in Washington, D.C. and suburbs. We do not work nationally.
Do you offer gift memberships?
Yes. Gift memberships of $1,050, or honorary/memorial gifts of lesser amounts to our Emergency Fund offer a wonderful chance for you to involve and/or honor friends and relatives through Giving Together’s charitable work. Please contact our information desk at for instructions on how to make a gift in honor or memory of someone else.
Can men become members or volunteers?
Yes. Most of our members are women, but we have one male member as of November 2012.
What are the qualifications for Board membership?
Board members are elected by the membership. To become a member of the Board, an individual should demonstrate a strong interest in GT’s mission, membership status, and an ongoing commitment to help lead our community efforts.
As a member or volunteer, what kind of input might I be able to have in selecting volunteer opportunities and/or grant recipients?
As a member, you have the right to vote every year to select the grant recipient. As a volunteer, you are welcome to join the Community Service Committee and participate in volunteer service on either a one-time or regular basis.
Do you consider multi-year grant commitments?
Yes. In 2018, we awarded our first two-year grant and intend to make similar awards in the future.
How are donations less than $1,050 used?
Giving Together has an Emergency Fund for Individuals and Families. Charitable gifts under $1,050 go to our Emergency Fund. These are matched dollar for dollar by The Community Foundation in Montgomery County’s Neighbors in Need program. Money given to Neighbors-in-Need goes toward helping people in dire circumstances (e.g., helping with payments for necessities such as rent, utilities and prescription drugs).