FAQs

VCF accepts proposals to support nonprofit and service organization. Funding requests must be appropriate for an approved charity or service organization. We focus on approving campaigns that provide direct support to people. Not all campaigns may be approved if we cannot identify an organization to manage the funds or if the campaign is not consistent with our values which are respect, empathy, fairness to all and expansion of individual rights. We do not normally accept campaigns that are political motivated or for advocacy organizations.

Personal campaigns are not normally sponsored on this site. Personal campaign sponsors should use GoFundMe. We might, however, support funding for a charity or service organization that intended is to support an individual, such as an educational scholarship for an orphaned child.

The Board of Directors has final authority over acceptance and rejection of campaigns.

Charities and their supporters can quickly start a campaign reaching a broad donor base. Completely prepared proposed campaigns initiated by a charity can be activated in as little as one day. Campaigns proposed by anyone that do not contain all required information may take a lot of time to credential, make arrangements with a managing charity or social service organization and to prepare and post the campaign.

The VCF campaign features the very best in secure payment encryption technology. Not only are the donors’ online payments safe, campaign funds are deposited in separate impressed “Charites” bank account until funds are transferred to the charity or service organization. We prefer that donors use the Automated Clearing house button to make payments because it is less expensive for donors. As this is a direct bank transfer process it is more secure than other methods. Control of this account is maintained via a separate primarily offline computer to reduce exposure to hacking. We prefer electronic bank transfer methods to make payments to charities. US accounts may also request a check which bears an additional charge. Payments to charities physically located offshore but having a US 501c3 designation will be made as arranged between the charity and VCF.

VCF encourages donors to use the Automated Clearing House (ACH) donation processes detailed in the donation page. ACH is a very safe payment process and is less expensive than credit card processing.

VCF does not store non-public personal financial information. VCF does not ask for social security numbers. We ask donors to enter payment information including ACH information and credit card numbers each time they make a donation because we want to minimize risks of hacking this information and increase donor security.

A risk is that VCF will not attract enough support or enough campaigns and supporters to be viable. A risk is that the organizer, who is 73 and the only current committed staff person, will be unable to continue performing the multiplicity of functions required for the plan or that the actual time required to perform various anticipated required functions is much greater than expected. The Board of Directors will be responsible for VCF’s continuity in the event of loss of the primary staff member. This is a new type of entity which carries its own risk. If VCF is not able to continue for any reason, funds raised net of incurred expenses will be transferred to proposed charities or service organizations or to other 501c3 charities as approved by the Board. VCF estimates its expense allocation will be fifteen percent (15%) of contributions, net of bank transaction fees. As that is an estimate there is a risk that the estimate may prove incorrect.

A basic design feature of VCF’s site is to allow donors to target contributions very specifically. Just select each project you wish to have supported by VCF and indicate the amount you wish to have allocated to it. If you want to have the VCF board make the allocation of your contribution just indicate that on the contribute page.

We do hope that donors will designate areas of interest. We intend to collect information about undesignated donations by zip code. If there are significant contributions from any specific areas other than the Upper Valley we may attempt to allocate funds to charities or service organizations in that area. We might try to communicate with the donors from that area to seek their advice. We currently expect to first allocate undesignated campaign funds to critical life services such as food and meals programs, shelter and related services such as heating and utility assistance, and programs benefiting children and the elderly. We assure you that we will do the best we can. We have a diverse board of directors who bring diverse opinions to the allocation processes.

The VCF has absolute authority over final allocations. If the proposed use is for a cause which VCF might support, we may attempt to find a charity or service organization to support the cause and then help create a campaign to support that cause. We may also just make a contribution to a charity which supports the purpose of the proposed campaign. We also may, at the Board’s discretion, allocate the funds to a similar or related cause or campaign.

We will support campaigns for organizations located in foreign countries which have a US 501c3 designations. We may also support campaigns for charities and service organizations which support humanitarian, education and charitable activities in foreign countries. For example we might support a campaign by a Rotary club to supply food to an AIDs organization in Kenya. Our due diligence process may be more stringent than for organizations located in the US.

Most campaigns establish a campaign goal. Charities can request a transfer at any time, but since it bears additional costs we may limit transfers to amounts which are material in comparison to the campaign goal or progress toward the goal. This process is agreed with the charity as part of the credentialing process.

Most withdrawals take between 5 and 7 business days. Charities can choose between an electronic bank transfer or paper check delivery during the withdrawal process.

There are no upfront payments required to propose an online fundraising campaign VCF incurs expenses to credential campaigns, establish tax deductible qualifications, make campaign arrangements with the charity, maintain the online platform and other activities. As with almost all charities and as allowed by law and common practice VCF funds its operations from receipts. VCF suggests a contribution to VCF to specifically defray these expenses. Donors may opt out of this contribution. The contribution to VCF is tax deductible. Donors and charities never have to worry about being billed or owing us any money. A bank processing fee of about 3%, over which we have no control may also be added to each donation by banking processors.

A portion of their contributions may be absorbed by our expenses as is the case with almost all charities. Donors are not charged a separate fee.

No. With VCF there are no deadlines or time-limits. The campaign may remain live until the charity decide to stop donations or remove the campaign altogether. However most campaigns will have a designated time period target because we expect donors to support new projects with diminishing support over time. VCF may end campaigns when it deems fit and transfer any remaining funds to the charity.

No problem. Reaching the goal is not required. VCF in its discretion may suggest transfers when new contribution taper off.

Donors and charities can track donation progress by reviewing the total contribution field in the campaign poster. Individual contributions may be disclosed by first name and amount.  (This feature may not be in the initial website software.) Last names are not disclosed to maintain donor privacy.

Generally Yes. VCF values authenticity and transparency. We must have your name and email address in order to provide you with a donation receipt suitable for IRS purposes. The authenticity of the charity or service organization is confirmed by direct correspondence with the organization and receipt of a copy of its IRS designation and/or via other sources such as GUIDESTAR. The campaign itself will be listed in the name of the charity or service organization. Individual proposer names are not generally disclosed and are not required for us to conceptually adopt a campaign and attempt to find and make arrangements with a managing charity or service organization. The less information we receive in a proposal the longer it will take to establish a campaign.  Individual donors may elect to have their first name disclosed along with the campaign amounts.

Donor information, other than first names and donation amounts as set out above are generally not disclosed without permission. Donor information is not sold or given to anyone else without permission. We make substantial efforts to minimize the risks of hacking of this information.

Campaigns are not public until they are credentialed and arrangements made with a charity. Anyone who has your VCF campaign link will be able to access the campaign.

Your campaign will be supported by the people related to the charity and in your own network. Campaigns will also be supported by generous donors attracted to the campaign’s purpose such as people seeking food pantries or shelters for abused women. Charities benefit substantially because our website is reviewed by people who would not otherwise know about the wonderful work any individual charity does. Charities and individuals can actively support a campaign by notifying their contacts that a campaign for a cause is being run on our website. The more actively people support a campaign the greater the success for a campaign.

VCF asks individuals and Charities to share the campaign with contacts, friends and family, and Facebook friends as a part of what makes VCF work. Not only will the people in your life support your campaign, but they will help spread the word to their friends as well. The plan behind VCF is to make the work of charities available to a much larger community of potential donors who support particular causes.

Although optional, connecting your account to Facebook is highly recommended and makes sharing your campaign with others incredibly easy!

Any country can be supported as long as the Charity is a qualified United States of America charity. Donors from other countries receive a US IRS qualified donation receipt acknowledgement. Donors from other countries are responsible for tax deductible effects in their country.

Yes, campaigns are able to accept donations from around the world. The currency translation occurs prior to deposit in the VCF account in US dollars.

Yes, funds received offline are deposited to the “Charities” account and listed in the campaign totals. This how we maintain control over amounts due to charities, our bank accounts and transfers to charities.

Yes. Donors must positively designate that their first names be disclosed; otherwise complete privacy is maintained. We maintain individual donor information in our data basis and from time to time notify them of activities at VCF. We do not sell donor information to unaffiliated entities. See Privacy Policy

Once the fundraising campaign begins receiving online donations, the charity can easily request a withdrawal at any time by sending an email to VCF. Don’t worry; withdrawing money does not affect the progress meter that’s displayed on the campaign poster. This email request process and other transfer procedures arranged directly with the charity are designed to protect banking information of the charity and VCF. Campaigns in the US may also request a check, which bears an additional charge due to the relative staff time requirements.

Our plan is to make donations income tax deductible. We are IRS designated 501c3 charity. We issue a tax acknowledgement in our own name. We go to some length to assure that donations made by us to the designated charity or service organization are also qualified for charitable deduction status. For example Rotary clubs support charitable, educational and humanitarian causes. We envision supporting Rotary activities using procedures similar to those we use with 501c3 charities. That status helps assure us that funds are used for charitable, educational and humanitarian purposes, which is in fact our primary mission. This is by no means a guarantee, as we cannot control use of the funds by the receiving organization for the purpose set out in the campaign. We require confirmation by them of the intended use before activating a campaign. As we are an IRS designated charity, donations made to us may be considered eligible for donors to claim as a tax deduction. This depends on your specific tax situation and every situation is different so please consult with a tax professional in your area. See Income Taxes

If you’re raising money for something that people strongly believe in, chances are that the people related to the charity will be eager to support you. Every Campaign Organizer should connect their Facebook account, use a high-quality campaign photo and clearly explain why they’re raising money. Sharing the campaign on Facebook is the single most important thing you can do.

Most charitable purposes are supported by VCF. As always, common sense goes a long way here. DO raise money for charitable causes of qualified charities that are purposeful, exciting and inspiring to others. DON’T break any local laws, expect strangers to buy your stuff or promote inappropriate content. All campaigns are individually qualified and approved by VCF prior to posting in the website. VCF has final absolute authority over which campaigns are posted to our website and for which we issue income tax qualified acknowledgements. We favor campaigns that directly provide services to individuals, which are consistent with the values of respect, empathy, fairness to all and expansion of individual liberty.

Every VCF campaign is given a unique link that’s easy to share with others.  Sharing your fundraising campaign is easy using features like email invitations and Facebook posting.

The best way to get coverage is through direct email contact lists and Facebook linking. Ask each contact to pass the information and links on to their networks. VCF from time to time sends direct emails to its own contact links and posts them on its own Facebook account. The best way to get into the spotlight is to pursue your own local media first. The good news is that your local newspaper and TV news stations are starving for interesting stories like yours. Once your campaign begins to really pick up steam, our team may contact you.

Once the campaign credentialing process is complete and the campaign poster is approved by the charity and VCF, the campaign is posted by VCF.  Friends and family and other potential donors can find the campaign in the Segments section. Anyone in your web of contacts who has the unique campaign link can access it directly.

Campaigns will be manually reviewed by a member of the VCF Team. Since your campaign is not made available for posting to the website until the credentialing process, arrangements with charities is completed and the content of a campaign is approved, it may take several business days for a campaign to post. Individual proposals may take substantial time to post for a number of reasons, some of which are not in VF’s control. We expect that relationships with charities will continue over time as individual campaigns are posted which may speed up the posting process.

The charity can suggest a category segment to be posted in. More than one segment may be appropriate. VCF may also suggest a category segment and may also post the campaign in either the category home page or a segment header page.

We always suggest that donors do their own due diligence on charities and service groups by whatever methods they choose. VCF does its own due diligence on every campaign it accepts before posting it. VCF and its Bank use prudent online and offline security practices. VCF reports its activities to the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office annually.  Donations made to VCF always qualify for income tax deductibility because VCF is itself a 510c3 designated charity. Prior to posting, VCF has verified the charitable nature of the managing entity. VCF considers payments to charities as designated by donors as its most important promise to donors.

In order to remain tax status as a public charity, each charity must receive the at least one third of its support from public donations. We must ask for contributions to provide our service as a charity. All charities deduct their operating expenses from their revenue sources. VCF has major operating expenses like any popular internet service including technology, infrastructure and payroll & benefits for our dedicated team. A major expense for VCF is the process of verifying the charitable and humanitarian status of the charity and direct confirmation of the intended use of the funds. This assures us and we believe assures donors. We have purposely created a process that allows users to sign-up and launch their campaign without upfront payment. Setting up campaigns and making it easy for donors to give to charities is one of our missions and reason for being. Our Directors are devoted to this mission. They are volunteers who are charity representatives, concerned citizens and technical experts. In short, VCF is an efficient and effective way to provide financial support to those causes you care about. Donors give in an extremely targeted way.  We are committed to high standards of ethical conduct in all aspects of our work.

Not.  Anyone can suggest a campaign which is an important purpose of VCF. This allows individuals a way to initiate campaigns for a charity or service organization. VCF credentials every charity or service organization that it supports. VCF was designed to help nonprofits do wonderful things with the money they raise online.

We strongly implore you to post a link to your campaign on your webpage and Facebook page and to proactively notify all of your contacts with information and links to your campaign. Each campaign has an individual URL so your contacts can link directly to your campaign. We ask you to copy us with email and Facebook contacts.

We have thousands of email contacts in our database who we contact periodically with information including new campaigns.

Other questions and suggestions

Please contact us by email at info@valleycommunityfund.org with other questions you may have and any suggestions to make the site more user friendly.