Organization Membership FAQs

Have additional questions about joining PEAK Grantmaking? Contact us by email at or call 888-466-1996 ext. 1.


What is the length of the organization membership?

PEAK Grantmaking organization members receive a 12-month membership from the date they join.  A renewal invoice will be sent 60 days prior to the expiration date.  Please contact us if you have questions.


Can I make my dues contribution as a grant?

We have many member organizations who consider their organization membership payment as a grant. The decision on whether to do this depends on how your organization chooses to account for membership dues and grants. We advise you to consult your accountant or auditor for an answer specific to your organization. The following reviews the accounting considerations related to this decision and is provided for your information only.

Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code defines a charitable contribution as a gift. In order for a gift to exist, there must be, among other requirements, a payment of money or transfer of property without adequate consideration. This means that if the donor receives something of value for a payment (i.e., adequate consideration), all or part of the payment may not be a gift. Organization member organizations receive significant direct benefits (totaling $1,100 in 2017) in exchange for their membership payment.

Because PEAK Grantmaking dues are based on a sliding scale tied to total giving, some organizations will receive more value than the amount of dues paid. In those cases, a public charity may show the dues payment made on Part IX Line 24 of the 990. Private foundations may reflect this payment as part of other expenses on Part I Line 23 on the 990-PF.

Larger organizations whose dues payments fund both the direct benefits they receive as well as PEAK Grantmaking’s effort to improve how grants get made for the entire field, may choose to split the payment, showing the grant (contribution) portion on Schedule I, and on line 1 of the Statement of Functional Expenses, as grants to other organizations (public charities) or by counting it as a qualifying distribution (private foundations). The direct value of the benefits received may be shown on Part IX Line 24 of the 990 for public charities. Private foundations may reflect this portion of the dues payment as part of other expenses on Part I Line 23 on the 990-PF.