Dasvandh Network FAQs

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About Dasvandh Network

  • What is the Dasvandh Network?
    The Dasvandh Network (DVN) is an online platform that aims to inspire a new level of giving to Panthic and related charitable projects across North America by providing awareness, transparency, and accessibility to these efforts.
  • What does “Dasvandh” mean?
    Dasvandh means a "tenth part" and refers to the practice among Sikhs of contributing 10% of their earnings toward the common good of the community in the name of their Guru.
  • What are DVN’s values?
    DVN tries its best to be in line with Gurmat (Teachings of the Sikh Gurus and Guru Granth Sahib). Our other core values include trust and transparency.
  • Who runs DVN and how will DVN be run?
    Please visit our About Us page to learn more about Our Team. DVN looks to operate with 4 main committees: The Approval & Relationships Committee; Finance/Audit Committee; Technology & Operations Committee; Outreach & Marketing Committee. If you would like to volunteer or be a part of one of these committees, please contact us at info@dvnetwork.org.
  • Who can use DVN?
    Only U.S. based organizations/projects can be listed on DVN. (Note: U.S. based nonprofits can sometimes fiscally sponsor non-U.S. based organizations. More information on Fiscal Sponsorship can be found in the organizations/projects section of the FAQ or in our resources section). Please see our Terms of Use for more information on who can use DVN.
  • What value will DVN bring to organizations/projects?
    DVN looks to create new donors within the community (grow the existing donor base) and also inspire others to give more. In order to achieve this goal, we aim to increase awareness of existing efforts and help provide the resources for new projects to develop. We also see ourselves as an efficient way to raise funds (See more here: DVN Efficiency). Ultimately, we are looking to help raise funds for activists so that they can focus on program development instead of fundraising.
  • How will Dasvandh Network bring new donors to the community?
    DVN has no intention of taking away resources from existing organizations/projects. If a donor comes to know about an existing organization/project through our site and then gives directly to that organization/project (without using our platform), we see that as a “win” and that our site is serving its purpose. In other words, DVN looks to bring new donors to the community and hopefully raise the amount of giving by existing donors. In the short-term, we plan to utilize social marketing, reach out to those not already active in the community, increase awareness of activist efforts, and provide a platform for new initiatives. In the long-term, DVN hopes to encourage young Sikhs (in high school and college) to grow up with the spirit of Dasvandh so that they start giving as soon as possible. If everyone in the community were to give even a small amount, the compounding impact on the community will be significant. DVN believes that by rekindling the Guru’s message of Dasvandh, Sikhs in our community will once again feel a sense of duty to contribute to society (both monetarily and through volunteer work).
  • What value will DVN bring to donors?
    There is often a lack of awareness of Sikh initiatives and a willingness to donate to these efforts. We hope to 1) centralize the great work that activists are doing so people are aware of these efforts within the community and 2) develop a sense of trust so that donors know their funds are being used efficiently and appropriately. There will be an approval process before any organization/project is listed on DVN. DVN will also do its best to ensure these groups are transparent with their use of funds.
  • How is the Dasvandh Network funded?
    DVN is mainly funded through a small pool of passionate donors who are dedicated to an online platform that can reignite giving in the Sikh community. We call these donors our “strategic donors”. Please note we will never actively raise funds for DVN in the community while promoting use of the platform. However, general donors can contribute to DVN if they choose to by adding a small tip to an organization- or project-based donation, or directly on the DVN organization page.
  • Does DVN have any affiliations with organizations/projects listed on the site?
    As part of our goal of full transparency, DVN will maintain a list of any official relationships with existing organization/project teams below:
    • Sikh Youth Alliance of North America (SYANA): Multiple Board members and DVN team members are heavily involved in organizing many SYANA events, including camps, retreats, speech symposiums, and various project initiatives through SikhWorks, SinghMedia and Aasraa Food Pantry. DVN President Inderpal Singh is also related to the founder of SYANA.
    • SALDEF: DVN President Inderpal Singh has previously advised SALDEF on an informal basis. SALDEF also originally served as DVN's fiscal sponsor until DVN achieved independent 501(c)(3) status in 2010.
    • Bhagat Puran Singh Health Initiative (BPSHI): DVN's Executive Director, Amrit Kaur, is married to Apar Singh, Co-Founder and Board Member of BPSHI.
    It is important to note that because many of those active within the Sikh Community know one another, a number of friendships exist between organizations themselves (including DVN). However, in an effort to provide full transparency, anything that extends beyond this friendship will be listed above.
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Account Specifics

  • How do I sign up?
    You can sign up by clicking on the “Join” button at the top of this page.
  • Do I need to have an account with Dasvandh Network in order to donate?
    Yes. You will need to create an account to donate through the DVN. Your account will allow you to manage your contributions (e.g. print donation receipts) and stay up to date on the organizations/projects to which you donate.
  • Who can create a DVN account?
    Currently, DVN users can be in any of the following 19 countries: USA, Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Italy, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Netherlands, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand, UAE, and the UK. If you are from another country and would like to donate through DVN, please contact us here.
  • What if I forget my password?
    Please go here: Forgot Password
  • How do I control what emails I receive from DVN?
    Please visit your Donor Profile and edit your email settings. You can choose not to receive updates from DVN or organizations/projects that you've donated to as well as opt out of receiving donation receipts. However, you cannot opt out of certain emails regarding important billing formation: when your credit card is about to expire; your recurring payment fails to process; or your recurring payment is cancelled because an organization/project reaches its funding goal or becomes inactive.
  • How do I edit my personal information?
    Please visit your Donor Profile. There are various items that can be edited at any point.
  • Is my personal information safe?
    Yes. We take privacy and personal data security very seriously. Your information will be solely processed by our processing partners. DVN only stores limited information in order to process recurring donations. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.
  • How do I delete my profile?
    Currently, this feature is not available.
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Donating through Dasvandh Network

  • Does it cost me anything to donate through Dasvandh Network?
    DVN doesn't charge for donations. Donations given by check are sent without ANY fees to the designated organization/project. There is a 3.5% processing fee for all donations made by credit/debit card and $0.50 fee for all ACH donations—these fees are used to cover payment processing fees we pay to 3rd party providers.
  • What are methods of payment?
    Donors can pay online by credit/debit card, online ACH payment (US only), or by mail-in check. We encourage donations of $1,000 or more to be paid by check or ACH to avoid paying large credit card processing fees.
  • Where can I claim my receipt?
    Please go to the donation history section of your Donor Profile. Please note that check donation receipts will only be available after DVN receives, deposits, and clears your check.
  • Is my donation tax-deductible and what does 501(c)(3) status mean?
    Please note that donations can only be tax deductible for U.S. based donors. Tax deductibility depends on whether the organization you're donating to has 501(c)(3) status with the IRS. The 501(c)(3) notation means that an organization is a nonprofit entity recognized by the U.S. government and that donations made to this organization are tax-exempt. Each organization/project’s profile page states whether they have this tax exempt status. It is important to consult a tax professional for guidance on any personal tax-related matters.
  • Will I be able to allocate how my donation is used within an organization/project?
    The reason we focus Dasvandh Network on projects is so that you can contribute to the initiatives that speak to you. If you are donating to a specific project listed on DVN, your donation will be designated for that project. Organizations with projects agree to use the funds for the designated project. However, DVN is not responsible for funds once they are released to an organization/project and cannot guarantee the funds are used as designated. If you donate to a designated organization (instead of a specific project), the organization can use the funds as they see fit in accordance with applicable laws.
  • Where can I find financial information for listed organizations / projects?
    While not required, DVN encourages organizations / projects to list their budgets on their profile pages. During the approval process, all organizations must submit either a budget or previous year financials in order to be approved. Applying projects must also submit a budget before being approved. If an organization is a 501(c)(3) (such as Dasvandh Network), its 990 tax returns are publicly available here.
  • Is there a minimum/maximum donation amount?
    Yes. In order for your donations to be processed with DVN, individual donations must be at least $10 and the maximum is $15,000. The maximum total checkout amount across multiple donations is $20,000 (excluding tips) for credit card and check payments, and $12,500 (with up to $2,500 for tips) for ACH payments.
  • Can I set up a reoccurring donation?
    Yes. Donors can set up recurring donations to occur monthly or every two months. If you'd like to update your existing recurring donations, please visit the Recurring Donations section in your Donor Profile to make changes. You can update your processing information, recurring frequency, donation amount, or DVN tip amount. 
  • How can I change the credit card used for my reoccurring donations?
    Please log in to your Donor Profile and follow the instructions outlined here.
  • What happens if a project gets overfunded?
    At times, a one-time project may be slightly overfunded because of our recurring donation feature. For instance, a project listed for $1,000 may have already raised $950. A donor may have a recurring donation of $75 setup. In this case, the $75 recurring donation would put the project total raised amount at $1,025. The extra amount will just go to the project, which will help fund payment processing fees that the project had to previously incur.
  • Does Dasvandh Network accept corporate matching gifts?
    Absolutely! Please go here to find out more: Corporate Matching
  • How does my donation reach the specified organization/project?
    Our payment processors deposit donations into our bank account at the time of the transaction. We initiate an ACH (direct deposit) transaction to member organization/project bank accounts on a monthly basis. However, some projects may be required to hit milestones (e.g. achieve certain goals before funds are released to them).
  • What's DVN's refund and chargeback policy?
    All donations are final (no refund policy) in order to ensure the stability of funding to organizations and projects; they are relying on these funds, so once a commitment is made, we believe it should be honored. If you have a major concern after making a donation through DVN, please contact the organization/project that you donated to directly.

    A chargeback occurs when a donor requests a refund (i.e. a chargeback) from his/her credit card or bank. This may occur when a donor is confused about the charge on their credit card, or for other reasons. DVN will do what it can to resolve the situation, and if necessary, reinstate these charges. If a chargeback occurs, DVN will have to reduce funds scheduled to be sent to an organization/project. If funds have already been released to an organization/project, then the organization/project will have to return these funds back to DVN. Our Terms of Use details more of our policies.
  • Why is there a $1 charge showing on my credit card statement?
    At times, our payment processor verifies credit card security codes. It does so by charging $1 to the card, but then shortly refunds the $1.
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Organization/project questions

  • How are projects selected?
    Organizations/projects must apply in order to be listed on DVN. DVN does not aim to be exclusive. However, in order to maintain our values of trust and transparency, there must be some screening in place in order to ensure credible organizations/projects are available for donors. DVN has established an Approval & Relationship Committee that vets each project that applies. The committee meets regularly and uses an objective scoring system to rate projects. Please view our Application Packet to see more details on the approval criteria and process.
  • What type of projects are listed on DVN?
    There will be two major categories of initiatives featured: 1) Panthic efforts (e.g., parchaar/education, civil rights, humanitarian, legal defense, etc.). These efforts are those whose goal is to further the Sikh community. 2) Sikhi-aligned efforts (e.g., humanitarian efforts, human rights advocacy, etc.). These efforts are those taken by Sikhs to help humanity: for example, a group of Sikhs might create a local soup kitchen that feeds the homeless in their community, regardless of faith.

    Evidence of anti-Gurmat (Guru’s teachings) activity by an organization/project team will be factored into the decision process. Other factors include the value of the organization/project; the robustness of the application; financial feasibility; credibility of the applicant team; and planned transparency.

    The Approval & Relationship Committee has final authority over whether an organization/project is listed on DVN. The committee will openly communicate why an organization/project is denied in such instances to the applicants.
  • Can Gurudwaras or other infrastructure projects (e.g., schools) be listed on DVN?
    DVN was founded to motivate a surge in activism and spark a renewed sense of giving within the community. Thus, we tend to focus the site on project-led initiatives. At this time, infrastructure type of projects (e.g., Gurudwaras and schools) won't be able to directly list themselves on DVN to cover operational costs, but we encourage them to fiscally sponsor activist teams and projects in the community. For instance, a local Sikh group may want to start a health clinic in their city. In order to receive tax deductible donations, this group may approach their local Gurdwara for fiscal sponsorship and apply to DVN. Please note that a project does NOT need to be tax deductible to be listed on DVN.

    In the future, we hope to create local DVN portals such that the DVN platform can be leveraged to raise funds for nonprofits like Gurudwaras.
  • My project is new and doesn’t have charitable tax exempt status. How can I obtain this and what is fiscal sponsorship?
    If your project doesn’t currently have charitable tax exempt status, there are three options: 1) Apply to list your project on DVN as a non-tax exempt project (donations made to your project will not be tax deductible). 2) Apply with the IRS to obtain tax exempt status. This process can take several months and typically requires the use of a lawyer. 3) Find an existing charitable organization with tax exempt status that is willing to fiscally sponsor you. While this third option seems attractive, there are many legal implications for a nonprofit in becoming a fiscal sponsor. For example, there must be a binding legal contract between the fiscal sponsor and new nonprofit and the fiscal sponsor is legally liable for all donations made. There will be projects listed on DVN that have a fiscal sponsor. In this case, both the fiscal sponsor (existing charitable organization) and new project must be vetted before being listed on DVN.

    Please feel free to contact us if you would like some further guidance or have any questions on the above items.
  • Can I post completed projects? What if my project gets over funded?
    Yes. If you have already completed a project, you can still post to help recover costs. For example, a children's book might be produced at a cost of $4,000 for 400 books ($10 / book). The book has been out for 1 year and has sold 200 copies for a total of $3,000 (at a price of $15). The activist is at a $1,000 loss and would thus be able to list the project on DVN for $1,000 to recover his/her costs. If the activist also eventually raises $1,000 outside of DVN, the "excess" funding earned listed on DVN (i.e. $1,000) would have to be used towards future panthic means. Similarly, activists posting future dated projects may end up raising "excess" funds.

    By listing on DVN, activists certify that any "excess" funds raised on DVN will go towards future panthic initiatives.
  • How quickly are organizations/projects approved?
    The approval committee meets about every two weeks. Thus, depending on when an application is submitted, it can take up to two weeks. If more information/clarification is needed, it may take longer. We encourage applicants to include as much detail as possible (especially start up projects) so that the application can be approved in timely manner.
  • What’s the difference between an organization and a project as defined by DVN?
    DVN defines an organization as an existing nonprofit legal entity that has or plans to undertake multiple projects over time. Such organizations can also list individual projects once the organization has been approved by DVN. An individual project may also be listed by an individual or small team that comes together for the particular purposes of a single nonprofit initiative.
  • How do I apply?
    Applications must be made online. Please go here: Application Page. An application guide can be found here: Application Documents
  • Which application form should I use?
    There are three application types: 1) For established organizations (legal entities that already exist), there is an application to list the organization itself on DVN; 2) For established organizations, there is an application to list projects of the organization (this form is available once the organization has been approved); and 3) For start-up or new projects, there is an application to list the project itself. Please note that the type 2 application listed above is much shorter than type 3 since an existing organization will already have been vetted and approved before listing projects.
  • What do I do after my organization / project gets approved?
    After your organization / project is approved, you will receive an email with a link for an administration section. Please log in this section and 1) Update any information you need to (including uploading a logo); 2) Activate your profile page by changing the status to "Active"; 3) Fill out the bank form; and 4) Start posting projects (applies to organizations only).
  • How can I edit my profile page ?
    Your user login credentials will allow you to login to an Administrative section, which will be emailed to you when your organization/project is approved. In this section, you can update your organization/project information, upload supporting materials (highly encouraged!), update your contact information, download donation reports, download your DVN disbursement summary, customize the default donation amounts on your profile page, and manage administrative users for your organization/project. We expect all organization/projects to keep their information up to date and keep donors informed of their progress.
  • Can I change our fundraising target?
    Fundraising targets cannot be changed by the project teams themselves. However, if an ongoing (not one-time) project reaches its fundraising goal, then the team may submit a request to increase its fundraising target (along with a new budget / reason for the increase) that the Approval Committee must approve.
  • Is there a fundraising target maximum?
    There is a $10,000 limit for projects. For projects that achieve $10,000 or exclusively raise funds on DVN, DVN will work with the project team to determine an ideal target. While DVN appreciates that the valuable work undertaken by teams often requires more than $10,000, DVN aims to encourage smaller, achievable projects in order to get funded more quickly (resonates more with DVN donors). DVN encourages teams to break up larger projects and post them in smaller “chunks”. For teams with an existing track record, the approval process for these multiple submissions will be streamlined to minimize any extra administrative burden.
  • Can projects be removed?
    Donors have indicated that it is important to curate projects on DVN and keep content current. Thus, for one-time projects, we will remove projects that don't achieve 25% of their target in the first 12 months on DVN or 75% of their target within 18 months. For ongoing projects, we will remove projects that have not raised 25% of their annual target within the preceding 12 months. DVN will also deactivate projects that have not updated their pages in the preceding 12 months (donors have told DVN that it is important that project pages are kept up to date on the impact their funding is having).
  • How quickly will I receive my donation?
    We initiate an ACH (direct deposit) transaction to member organizations/project bank accounts on a monthly basis. However, some projects may be required to hit milestones (e.g. achieve certain goals before funds are released to them).
  • When are check donations included in my donation amount?
    Check donations are only included in your donation amount (e.g. the amount visible on your profile page) after checks are received, deposited, and cleared by DVN.
  • Can I apply for multiple projects?
    Yes. However, time considerations and prior commitments by project members will be factored into the application process. We do anticipate established organizations to have multiple projects listed.
  • How many projects can organizations list?
    In order to provide diversity and allow for ease of navigation, DVN currently caps the number of projects an organization can list at 3.
  • Is funding guaranteed for my organization/project?
    No. DVN provides an opportunity for organization/projects to be matched with donors. This opportunity does not guarantee funding. However, DVN is committed to helping each listed organization/project succeed. Please feel free to contact us with any concerns or questions.
  • What type of resources can DVN provide?
    DVN hopes to provide professional guidance through the DVN Mentorship Network. This network aims to include established business, legal, and nonprofit leaders from varied backgrounds.
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