Two Funds


Group Benevolence Fund

The fund used to meet the needs of people you love and care about.

Operations Fund

The Common Change fund that helps get your group gifts directly and quickly to where they are most needed – the people you care about. The Operations fund covers personnel costs, technology, bank fees, and other running costs.

Reshaping Giving

We simply asked, “What if we each contributed to a common fund and as we see needs in the lives of those around us, we figured out ways we could collectively meet those needs?

Throughout the history of Common Change, we have committed ourselves to having 100% of contributions to the Group “Benevolence” Fund go directly to beneficiaries. Adhering to this value has necessitated a rethinking of Common Change’s nonprofit operating model. Understanding the background of this value will shed some light on how we have sought to rethink our operating model.

Common Change was birthed out of dissatisfaction with the “status quo” of charitable giving models (both faith and non faith-based). These models tend toward programmatic responses to need and poverty, versus relational and personal responses. They also spend disproportionate amounts of funding on operational and staffing costs, with a fraction of what is given ending up in direct service programs (or better yet, in the hands of persons!). On the one hand, we want to be investing resources into critical parts of our organization (human resources, systems and tech) so that we can keep doing what we do and do it better. BUT, we also want to be wary of spending inordinate amounts of funds on the infrastructure behind getting resources where they are most critically needed.

Key Distinctions


From who you give with, to who you give to, know who and where the money is helping.

Group Decision-Making

Tap into the “wisdom of the group” in coming up with better solutions together than you could alone.

Member Supported

Members contribute to their Group Benevolence Fund & support the Operations of Common Change

Our Plan

Our 5 Year Plan

Currently, our five-year financial plan seeks to invest in human resources, systems and infrastructure while holding firm to the value of having 100% of contributions to the Group “Benevolence” Fund go directly to beneficiaries, with as few degrees of separation as possible.

From participants who are befriending people they care about, to people volunteering with accounting and operational support, to advisors and professional services that are given pro bono, to board members giving generously of their time and talent — at every level, Common Change is built on in-kind gifts and people volunteering their time and expertise.  Even in light of this, our Operations require funding to sustain the work of Common Change.  Developing a solid financial future is a priority for Common Change.

At our core we hold to the belief that generosity begets generosity and that people, as able, would support the Operations of Common Change by giving to that fund as well.

Imagine your group decides to give a gift of $1000 to a friend to fix their car. Common Change spends roughly $150 supporting and delivering a gift of $1000 to a beneficiary.

A $600,000 annual budget results in $510,000 going directly to the beneficiaries and $90,000 supporting and delivering these gifts.

How do we make this work?We’ve built our model on 500 people contributing $85 to the Group “Benevolence” Fund and $15 to Operations on a monthly basis.


Monthly Benevolence Contribution


Monthly Operations Contribution


Average Group Size


Your Role

We have sought to spark the imagination of charitable giving by ushering in a new way of giving.  With your help, we can continue to make a world of difference in the lives of many we know and care about – but this requires you.

Common Change is asking you to give financially monthly.

By agreeing to make an ongoing monthly pledge of support you provide Common Change with an invaluable resource – a regular, stable source of revenue to support both our daily operations and the development of future projects.

Not able or quite ready to give monthly?  Here are two ways you can be part of this operating model:
  1. Contribute time as a volunteer.  It’s about more than lending a hand. It’s about learning, collaborating and sharing your skills with a global community (coders, organizers, activists and more) who help shape collaborative giving.
  2. Tell others about Common Change.  One of the most effective way of spreading the word is by sharing your personal experience, or posting/emailing a link to our video.