FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What is The Giving Circle?
The Giving Circle consists of Christian women who combine resources each year to make a difference for gospel-based ministries. Our focus is to encourage women to experience the joy of generous giving and embrace a lifestyle of generosity, according to God’s Word and Christ’s example.
2. Who are the Board members, and are they paid any fees?
Lori Rydburg (President)
Mary Lisa Gingras (President - Elect)
Beth Loudermilk (Membership Chair)
Becky McElrath (Treasurer)
Linda Nelson (Communications Chair)
Louise DeGroot (Grant Review Chair)
Betsy Martin (Events Chair)
Ashley Dill (Past-President)
Susan Patton (Co-Founder/Emeritus)
Susan Kelton (Co-Founder/Honorary Emeritus)
No renumeration is paid to the board members.
3. Why would I want to join The Giving Circle?
The Giving Circle provides a rewarding experience for donors by creating an opportunity to make a greater difference in their community and beyond. By pooling their resources, members are able to make a larger impact with their giving.
4. How many women can join The Giving Circle?
We have an unlimited membership. The more members we have, the more grant funds we have available to distribute to worthy ministries.
5. What is the minimum contribution amount to be a member?
The minimum grant contribution is $600. There is also a 2:1 introductory grant contribution for new members, and a $400 junior grant contribution for members under 40. Annual tax-deductible contributions may be made in scheduled partial payments. Membership renewals are requested by MAY 1. The $40 annual membership fee should be paid at the time of joining/renewing.
6. What is the maximum amount I can contribute as a member?
Any gift that the Lord leads you to give over the minimum contribution amount ($400/$600) will be gratefully accepted. We also appreciate stock donations and year-end gifts.
7. Does the number of votes a member has vary depending on the gift amount?
No; each member may cast three votes during the voting session. The 2:1 introductory contributors 'share' three votes between them.
8. How do I make my grant contribution payment?
You can pay your grant contribution online or by check -- in full, or equal installments. The annual membership fee checks ($40) are made payable to The Giving Circle. Grant contribution checks are made payable to The Signatry. (See the Membership Application.)
9. When do current members renew their annual membership fee?
We request that members renew by MAY 1 by paying their annual grant contribution and the annual $40 membership fee. New members have until SEPTEMBER 1 to join and pay their annual grant contribution.
10. How many meetings are held each year?
There are two annual meetings scheduled: the annual voting event (October) and the Grateful Giving Gathering (November). Your attendance and involvement is encouraged and appreciated to the extent you are able. Additional events offered include field trips and membership socials.
11. How does an organization apply for a grant?
A 501(c)3 Christian ministry must complete the Grant Application packet by the AUGUST 1 deadline to be considered for a grant during that calendar year. The application requires the recommendation of a current Giving Circle member.
12. What is a 501(c)3 organization?
As determined by the IRS, it is a tax-exempt status for non-profit organizations.
13. How can members participate in the grant process?
Members participate by volunteering to serve on the Grant Review Committee and by voting for the ministries of their choice. In addition, current members are encouraged to refer/recommend ministries to apply.
14. Can I recommend more than one ministry for a grant?
Yes. A benefit of membership in The Giving Circle is the privilege to suggest qualified ministries to apply for a grant.
15. How are ministries reviewed for approval?
Following the grant application deadline of AUGUST 1, our Grant Review Committee vets, summarizes, and presents finalists to the general membership for a vote. Any member can participate on the Grant Review Committee.
16. Are there any restrictions on what organizations can apply?
To qualify for consideration, the ministry must have a gospel focus and be a 501(c)3 organization.
17. How frequently are grants given?
Grants are distributed annually; however, ministries who have received a grant for two consecutive years must abstain for one year before re-applying to The Giving Circle.
18. How can my daughter/daughter-in-law be involved?
We welcome mother/daughter/daughter-in-law giving teams! These 'teams' will share a single membership and combine their votes as one member.
19. The Giving Circle pays The Signatry an administrative fee. Why use a donor-advised fund?
We use a donor-advised fund to maintain the tax-exempt status of your gift to The Giving Circle. In addition, the donated funds are not held in an open checking account, but are secured by The Signatry for grant distribution only. There is an annual fee of less than 1% charged to our fund, and it is reimbursed in full from the administrative fund at the end of the year.
20. Will I get a year-end receipt for tax purposes?
Yes, from The Signatry.
21. What other activities are hosted by The Giving Circle?
Retreats, seminars, field trips, socials, and membership events (ie Generosi-TEA) may be offered during the year.