Announcing our newest way to amplify giving: The Grapevine Giving Foundation

Nov 9, 2022

Grapevine powers giving circles. ​​We help like-minded people come together to connect, pool their donations, discover nonprofits, and give back as a collective. Our free online platform provides 750 giving circles with the charitable infrastructure that enables their members to make donations, get charitable tax receipts, discover nonprofits, share updates, host voting, report transparently, and more.

While the Grapevine.org platform serves as the online home for giving circles, Grapevine has also recently launched the Grapevine Giving Foundation to further Grapevine’s mission to democratize and diversify philanthropy through collective giving.

Grapevine’s history and mission

The giving circle movement has been around since the early 1980’s in the United States, but its growth has been rapidly accelerating over the past few years with the launch of giving circle support organizations like Philanthropy Together and Grapevine. Together with the movement, we have helped to modernize the model and raise much greater awareness through opportunities like this TED Talk on giving circles.

Giving circles on Grapevine launched in March 2020. We wanted to help giving circles that were jumping through hoops to pool their donations, communicate with members, provide tax-deductible donation receipts, and more. Our platform was designed in collaboration with giving circles to address all of these challenges and to allow collective giving groups to easily set up and start collecting donations in minutes. Since then, we have effectively brought the giving circle movement online and have helped direct over $18M to approximately 2,000 small, local nonprofits across the country from nearly 40,000 giving circle members.

About the Grapevine Giving Foundation

The Grapevine Giving Foundation is the new 501.c.3 public charity (EIN #87-2389502) organization associated with Grapevine. Previously, Grapevine worked with a 501.c.3 nonprofit fiscal sponsor to enable it to pool charitable donations for giving circles, provide donors with charitable tax receipts, and then grant those funds to nonprofits chosen by the groups. With the newly established Grapevine Giving Foundation, the platform will continue this work directly through the foundation, enabling an even faster and more flexible process for receiving and granting donations. The foundation will also be able to support the broader giving circle movement by helping to raise and distribute philanthropic gifts to provide seed funding, donation matching opportunities, and more.

Mission and goals of the Grapevine Giving Foundation

The Grapevine Giving Foundation’s mission is to support and scale the giving circle movement to democratize and diversify philanthropy. We are doing this by supporting the launch of new giving circles in cities, towns and counties across the United States, and around a broad range of cause areas and more. Beyond the launch, we are helping to train leaders and build community capacity to facilitate and adapt these new giving circles to their own context and purpose.

With the Foundation, Grapevine plans to effectively double the size of the giving circle movement, increasing the number of giving circles from nearly 3,000 today to 6,000 and the number of donors engaged in the movement from 150,000 to nearly 300,000. Through this work we expect to support more than 6,000 nonprofit organizations across the country, facilitate meaningful learning about philanthropy and connections between approximately 100,000 new members in the movement, and set off significant ripple effects of impact for years to come from the recurring donation these members will continue to give into the future and the viral growth these new members will propel by spreading the word and growing the movement. Grapevine is on track to move $100 million in donations from giving circles on its platform by 2024.

The Grapevine Giving Foundation will expand upon our work to diversify and democratize philanthropy by enabling us to further:

  1. Diversify the philanthropy sector by inviting a broad diversity of people to to join giving circles across racial/ethnic backgrounds, economic, industry, and functional experience;
  2. Identify, train, and support diverse leadership teams to thoughtfully facilitate giving circles locally and across cause areas;
  3. Catalyze a culture of belonging within communities by fostering connection and collaboration through the identification of shared goals and causes to give back to as a collective;
  4. Amplify the impact of these diverse groups by providing them with donation matching funds. Every $1 in matching funds can generate more than $40 in donations from and for communities across the country, according to the results from our $100K pilot fund in 2021.

The Grapevine Giving Foundation board members and founding partners

Clive Chang

Clive Chang

Founder’s Circle Member

Clive Chang is Executive Vice President, Chief Advancement & Innovation Officer for Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. In this capacity, he oversees fundraising, strategic partnerships, and innovation programs for the world’s pre-eminent performing arts complex—home to 11 world class arts organizations across its 16-acre campus. He had previously served as Director, Strategy & Business Development (2012-14) and Special Assistant to the President (2011-12). From 2014 to 2019, Mr. Chang was Director, Strategy & Business Development for Disney Theatrical Group, where he led strategic planning and growth initiatives for Disney’s commercial live entertainment businesses worldwide. During his tenure, Mr. Chang established Disney’s new stage-to-screen business, including the digital capture and distribution deals for NEWSIES (2016) and ALADDIN (2019).

Jessan Hutchison-Quillian

Jessan Hutchison-Quillian

Founder’s Circle Member

After graduating Summa Cum Laude in Computer Science at 20, he helped build Google’s video chat products. He went on to co-found Google’s Giving Week, lead their giving platform, and launch their Donate button. Now, Jessan combines engineering leadership with seven years experience in the nonprofit space, including chairing Social Justice Fund NW.

Sara Lomelin

Sara Lomelin

Founder’s Circle Member

Sara Lomelin is the founding CEO of Philanthropy Together (PhT), a 5-year global initiative to grow and strengthen the global giving circle movement. She is also credited with starting the Latino Giving Circle Network (LGCN), which has become the largest network of Latinx Philanthropists in the United States. Sara has trained hundreds of individuals in 12 countries. Her innovative thought leadership on Giving Circles has been featured in ForbesWomen, SSIR, Alliance Magazine, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Inside Philanthropy, and Nonprofit Quarterly. Sara’s small but mighty team of disruptors at PhT is on a mission to grow the movement to more than 3,000 active giving circles with 350,000 members by 2025 to boost civic engagement, resource grassroots nonprofits, shift power dynamics, and promote widespread philanthropy.

Jonah Nigh

Jonah Nigh

Director & Founder’s Circle Member

Jonah Nigh is the Senior Vice President of Development and Alumni Engagement at The New School. In this role, Jonah leads The New School’s strategic fundraising, institutional advancement, alumni engagement, corporate, and foundation relations. Before this, he worked for the Jewish Museum, where he served as the Director of Major Gifts, Senior Director of Individual Giving, and Acting Deputy Director of Development before being appointed Chief Development Officer. Other prior development roles include positions at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Columbia University, Opera America, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He has served as speaker, talent, emcee, moderator, or panelist for NBC, Peacock TV, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, NYC Pride March, Association of Fundraising Professionals, The Aspen Leadership Group, Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design, Development Debrief and DonorScape podcasts, Con Edison Musicians’ Residency Program, Columbia Business School, Florida State University, Lawrence University, The Jewish Museum, The New School, Phi Sigma Pi National Convention, among other organizations. In 2019, he was appointed to Bronx Community Board Four by former Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and served on its executive and economic development committees.

Emily Rasmussen

Emily Rasmussen

Founder & Chairman

Emily Rasmussen is the Founder and CEO of Grapevine, a collective giving platform. She was the founding Executive Director of NYU’s Center for Ballet and the Arts, launched the Lincoln Center at the Movies global media initiative, and developed innovative financing models for impact at Enterprise Solutions to Poverty. Emily has consulted on event cinema for Disney Theatrical Group, taught Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship at SUNY Purchase, and spent two years developing microfinance and fair trade programs in India. She is a board member of the Harvard Business School Women’s Association, a member of the LISC Emerging Leaders Council, the AfterArts group, NOVA Impact, and a founding member of UNTITLED, an arts & business innovation initiative. Previously, she was a professional ballet dancer and performed with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, among others. Emily holds a B.A. from Occidental College in Diplomacy, World Affairs, and Economics and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Danielle Schiffman

Danielle Schiffman

Secretary & Founder’s Circle Member

Danielle Schiffman heads business and legal affairs for Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. As the Associate General Counsel, Senior Director of Business and Legal Affairs, her work touches on all legal and strategic aspects of the organization, from new artistic commissions to performances seen on-stage and on-screens, to educational, innovation and accessibility initiatives, to venue and in-house operations. Danielle oversees the center’s television series Live From Lincoln Center and led its first efforts to bring content to cinemas and streaming platforms around the world – overseeing the launch of Lincoln Center at the Movies and Lincoln Center at Home during the COVID-19 pandemic. As Lincoln Center continues to experiment with new mediums and technologies to achieve its core mission of making art accessible for all, Danielle is responsible for designing and structuring novel partnerships that address the challenges and opportunities of new platforms and business models – balancing artists’ rights with revenue and reach. She received her JD from Georgetown Law and graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University.

How to support The Grapevine Giving Foundation

Do you want to support Grapevine and amplify your impact through the power of tens of thousands of donors across the country in hundreds of giving circles? Support Grapevine’s work by donating to the Grapevine Giving Foundation! Your donation will help us to launch new giving circles, train new giving circle leaders, provide matching donations to help giving circles to get started and grow, and much more!

If you’d prefer to be in touch directly about your gift and how you can support us, please email us at gifts@grapevine.foundation.