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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

For a PDF version of the FAQ, please click NS4G FAQ 2014.


What is Northeastern Students4Giving (NS4G)?

NS4G is a student-led experiential philanthropy education program that uses real-dollar grant making as a platform for exploring how social change happens and how it is funded. Students are responsible for every aspect of the grant-making cycle, from choosing funding priorities and developing application guidelines to conducting site visits and selecting grantees. Grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations addressing urgent social and economic needs in the Boston communities of Mission Hill, Fenway, Roxbury, and the South End.


What are NS4G’s current funding priorities?

The 2014 funding priorities are trauma treatment and diversity and inclusion.


How do organizations apply for grants from NS4G?

Applicants must complete an NS4G Application and a Giving Common profile (described below). Both components must be completed by March 7, 2014. We encourage applicants to submit their Giving Common profile information to the Boston Foundation by February 14, 2014, if possible, to ensure that it can be processed by the deadline.


What is The Giving Common?

The Giving Common is a free online resource operated by the Boston Foundation to facilitate philanthropy. It allows Massachusetts nonprofits to tell their own stories and provides tools for potential donors to research, find, and fund them. A “donate now” function facilitates immediate online giving. Visitors to the site can search by issue area, geography and other variables. The Giving Common provides information typically requested by donors, including an organizational profile (history, goals, key achievements, staff, and volunteers), a copy of the most recent audited financial statement, and a copy of the IRS 501(c)(3)determination letter. The information is formatted to make it easy for individuals, foundations, and other funders to learn about each nonprofit. Organizations are asked to update their profile annually. To learn more about the Giving Common, please visit www.givingcommon.org.


Why was the Giving Common created?

The Giving Common was created in 2012 to facilitate informed philanthropy and make it easier for nonprofit organizations to provide information about themselves for potential donors. Since its launch in May 2012, the Giving Common already has over 800 nonprofit profiles available for review and has raised more than $1 million for those organizations.


Why is NS4G requiring applicants to create a profile in the Giving Common?

Our hope is that our application process will benefit all applicants by exposing them to a larger pool of funders.  In making our grant determinations, we consider many of the qualities showcased in a Giving Common profile, including clarity of mission, an understanding of the need being addressed and the community being served, credible strategies for achieving and measuring impact, sound management and governance, and fiscal responsibility. By using the Giving Common, we are confident that we can maintain our rigorous grant-making standards, help raise our applicants’ visibility, and demonstrate how donors can easily utilize a free, public platform to access frequently requested information about nonprofit organizations.


How long will it take to complete the Giving Common profile?

The Boston Foundation estimates that it takes 4-6 hours. If possible, applicants should try to submit their Giving Common information by February 14, 2014 to enable Boston Foundation staff sufficient time to process it by the NS4G deadline of March 7, 2014.


What if we have questions about how to complete the Giving Common profile?

The Boston Foundation staff is happy to help. For more information, please contact Katherine Westlund Scott, Manager, Nonprofit Effectiveness, at 617-338-1624 or givingcommon@tbf.org


What if we are unable to complete the Giving Common profile by the application deadline?

Boston Foundation staff will work with you to complete your profile as quickly as possible. NS4G may also be able to accept a draft version of your profile or review the documents you are planning to use to complete your profile. If you have concerns about completing your Giving Common profile on time, please contact NS4G Program Director Rebecca Riccio at 617-373-4020 or r.riccio@neu.edu.


What if we choose not to complete the Giving Common profile?

If any concerns or obstacles are preventing you from completing a Giving Common profile, please contact NS4G Program Director Rebecca Riccio at 617-373-4020 or r.riccio@neu.edu.


Contact Information

For NS4G
Rebecca Riccio
NS4G Program Director

For The Giving Common
Katherine Westlund Scott
Manager, Nonprofit Effectiveness