Inclusive Economy | August 9, 2023

Giving platform Grapevine raises $1.9 million in equity and grants

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, August 9 – New York-based Grapevine launched in 2017 to help individuals, businesses and communities fund causes they support. The platform facilitates “giving circles,” through which people collectively pool donations and decide what organizations to fund.

The women-led organization has facilitated $25 million in donations from individuals, companies and donor-advised funds.

Grapevine has raised $1.7 million in seed equity and $180,000 in grants. Investors include PJC, Ulu Ventures, Social Good Fund and Focus Impact Partners

Repeat funding

Unlike giving platforms like GoFundMe or Kickstarter, Grapevine is designed for recurring donations, providing organizations with a larger base of repeat funders. It earns revenues from voluntary “tips” from recurring donors.

Grapevine says it vets organizations supported on its platform to ensure they’re eligible for tax-deductible donations and are in good standing with the US Internal Revenue Service.

Inclusive gifting

Philanthropic giving in the US amounts to about $500 billion annually. Black- and Indigenous-led organizations receive only about 1% each.

“While working in the nonprofit sector, I saw that the philanthropic industry only worked well for the super wealthy,” said Grapevine’s Emily Rasmussen. “It motivated me to create a solution for the rest of us.”

About 60% of its giving circles are identity-based.

The organization is working with other nonprofits including AARP, Idealist, Philanthropy Together and Giving Compass to “bring in more diverse perspectives so that more dollars are provided to underrepresented and diverse communities.”