Frequently Asked Questions

So how does this all work?

After you sign up, we’ll email you a survey to guide you through the process of deciding how to allocate your monthly donation among the dozens of eligible nonprofits. You’re welcome to look through the options on the survey now before you sign up. We will debit your bank account for the donation amount you choose on the 1st of each month after you sign up. Your donation will be pooled into a central bank account along with the donations from every other active donor. Then Tipping Point’s board of directors will evaluate the total amount of money donated that month and distribute it all out at once (minus actual transaction fees and 1% for operating costs and ongoing development) to the recipient charities indicated by you and our other active donors. Suppose, for a simple example, that you are one of 1,000 donors allocating $2.50 each month to LifeSiteNews. That comes to $2,500 total. So after processing your donations at the beginning of the month, we would distribute that by writing one $2,500 check to LifeSiteNews.

Which organizations will my donation benefit?

After you sign up, we’ll send you a survey that will enable you to indicate exactly how you want your donation allocated—50% here, 10% there, 5% there, etc. In that survey, you’ll also have the option of answering questions about your beliefs and values, in which case you’ll be giving Tipping Point’s board the authority to allocate your gift each month while using our best judgment to respect your values.

Will my donation support state-level nonprofits or local organizations like crisis pregnancy centers?

Yes, but not yet. We’ll be working to make this smarter over the coming months, so that each donor can have a handful of local pregnancy centers recommended for support based on the donor’s address. If you’d like to see that functionality, please begin your donation today so that we can build on the successes from early supporters such as yourself.

Why should I donate through The Tipping Point instead of donating directly to the pro-life nonprofits I like?

Again, we’re all for it. If you’re already donating at least 1% of your income to existing pro-life nonprofits, thank you and please continue doing so. You’re not our target audience. However, if you historically haven’t donated consistently to pro-life, pause a moment and reflect on this: “Why haven’t I?” If you find that part of the problem is there are just so many pro-life nonprofits that researching and deciding between them is daunting and you’d have to give in many different places to support those that you do like best, then there’s your answer: give here because it saves time and you’ll actually do it. Furthermore, Tipping Point enables an economy of scale in terms of low transaction costs—it is cheaper in real dollars and in time savings to make one larger donation here than many smaller donations elsewhere, and more of your money will end up doing real good for pro-life. One last point: as this movement grows, we’ll be working with all of the recipient organizations you’re supporting to cut back on costly fundraising methods like direct mail. So if you’re an active pro-life donor who’d love to see less direct mail, you can help make that dream a reality for you and many others by switching your pro-life giving to The Tipping Point. Now with all of that said, if you prefer to give directly to the nonprofits you support most, we’ll make it as easy as possible in order to prove our sincerity. Here are links to the donation pages of the largest national pro-life nonprofits::

How do I know you’re not just getting rich from my donations?

I’d be worried about transparency in your shoes too. Every month we will debit the bank accounts of each of our donors for the amounts that they have pledged. That money will be pooled in our central bank account. After fixed transaction fees and our 1% charge, it will then be distributed out to the recipient organizations That’s why we only process donations on the first of each month. Each month, after distributions take place, we will publish a) the number of active donors, b) total dollars donated that month, c) total dollars distributed that month, d) the names of each recipient nonprofit, and e) the dollar amount donated to each one of those recipients. We intend to be rigorously transparent about money in and money out each month.

Who is behind this?

Tipping Point is a project of St. Michael’s Marines. St. Michael’s Marines is a community of pro-life Catholics who want to do more in support of life, across a wide range of activities: prayer, fasting, almsgiving, social and political action. When we were starting to catalogue all of the pre-existing, accessible, impactful ways for ordinary people to engage in pro-life, we realized that a commitment to giving at least 1% of income to pro-life should be part of that, but that doing so effectively is a real pain: there are so many worthy pro-life nonprofits, and giving consistently to a dozen different organizations would be exhausting. So we created Tipping Point to make it easy to donate to the whole pro-life movement at once.

Can I make a one-time donation or change the time when my donation is made each month?

No, we only allow for monthly recurring donations, and we debit each of our donors’ bank accounts on the 1st of each month so that we can donate a lump sum to each recipient. We’re not interested in one-time donations because they are antithetical to the purpose of this project: we believe that the pro-life cause is worthy of ongoing, habitual financial support until that blessed, perhaps imaginary day when we have succeeded in ending abortion and our work is done. For us, giving one percent to pro-life is a part of our tithe. We wanted to make pro-life giving as easy and automated as possible for the same reason that we prefer to give to our parishes’ offertory via monthly automated ACH. The pro-life cause is worthy of the same consistency.

Will my donation support political causes?

No, not for the time being. There are legal complexities involved. St. Michael’s Marines Inc, doing business as The Tipping Point, has filed for 501c3 tax-exempt status and is functioning under the IRS requirements for a 501c3. This means that we can only distribute money to other 501c3s. This means that we are not able to distribute money to a number of worthy organizations because they are 501c4s, PACs, campaigns, or other legal entities. 501c4s, also called “social welfare organizations”, are like 501c3s in that they do not pay income taxes, but they are unlike 501c3s in that donations to them are not tax-deductible. Some examples of pro-life 501c4s are: Susan B. Anthony List, the National Right to Life Committee, and the National Pro-Life Alliance. In simple terms, these organizations are more “political” than 501c3s are allowed to be. There are also worthy pro-life PACs and campaigns. One day, God willing, you’ll be able to donate to 501c3s, c4s, PACs, and campaigns all through one website—but that’s a long way off, if it’s even possible, because of the massive legal complexities involved.

Why is it called The Tipping Point?

This is a tribute to Malcolm Gladwell’s book by the same name, one of the inspirations behind this project. Our vision for number of dollars and number of donors may seem insanely ambitious, but then most insanely successful ideas were at one point just insane ideas. It wouldn’t be worth doing if it weren’t doing in a BIG way. The math checks out—we don’t need to convince every American that abortion is wrong in order to make dramatic headway in the public square. It’s easier to change the ACTIONS of those who agree with us than to change the MINDS of those who don’t. A small, vocal minority can be hugely impactful by living their convictions publicly. If just 1% of American households commit 1% of their income to pro-life, we can OUT-fund the abortion empire. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” –Margaret Mead

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Current members:

 

How do I update the size of my current gift?

You received an automated email with your account information when you first signed up. You can probably find that by searching your email for emails from colin@thetippingpoint.org. If you can’t find that, go to thetippingpoint.org/wp-admin and try logging in or request a new password.

I’ve changed my mind and I want to cancel my recurring donation. Can I get back my money from previous months?

First, you can cancel your donation by logging into your account—see the previous answer. Second, no, unfortunately it is not possible to refund your past donations once 7 days have passed from the date of the last donation. Every gift you make is distributed in full each month, between the 7th and the 10th of the month, to the recipients of your choosing, so Tipping Point no longer has control of your money after that time.

How do I update my allocation for future months?

You’ll have to take the survey again.

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