Many Hands raises funds from individual donors each year to make large unrestricted grants to Washington, DC area nonprofits and fund essential operating expenses. Fundraising for each grant cycle begins in the fall and continues until May of the following year, when grant decisions are made. Since 2004, Many Hands has made more than $2.8 million in grants to nonprofits serving and empowering women, children, and families in socioeconomic need. This total includes:

  • $310,000 granted in 2023
  • $301,000 granted in 2022
  • $317,500 granted in 2021

Operating Expenses

As an all-volunteer organization, Many Hands strives to keep expenses low, in order to maximize the amount awarded in grants each year, while investing in systems that support effective grantmaking, member education, and financial management.

In a typical year, operating expenses account for around 10% of total expenditure. Major expense categories include:

  • Software: Many Hands licenses Foundant to manage the grantmaking process, which involves more than 100 applications and 80+ reviewers each year;  DonorPerfect to manage donor records and communications; and QuickBooks to manage financial records. Additional expenses in this category include virtual meeting support and website hosting.
  • Accounting: Many Hands engages a public accounting firm annually to prepare Form 990, as required by the IRS, and a financial review, as required by the state of Maryland. The Board periodically reviews the accounting firm contract and invites new proposals, as appropriate.
  • Credit card and bank fees: Processing fees for gifts made by credit card account for most of this category; more than 85% of donors choose to cover these fees when making their gifts.
  • Events and education: This category includes livestreaming of major events, honoraria, and refreshments. Many Hands typically seeks out free or donated space to keep event costs low.
  • Other business expenses include registration fees (in DC, Maryland, and Virginia), insurance, printing, postage, and other supplies.

For information about expenses in the most recent grant cycle, please download the latest Impact Report.


Many Hands’ policy is to maintain roughly three months of total expenses in reserves (net assets).  This calculation includes the Board-designated Fund for the Future. Reserves are funded by contributions toward Many Hands’ operating expenses and gifts to the Fund for the Future. Management of these funds is governed by the Board-approved investment policy.

The Fund for the Future was created in 2020, at the initiative of a generous donor, to build long-term sustainability for Many Hands. Distributions from the Fund will support operating needs, thereby allowing an even larger share of annual member contributions to flow to grants.

The remaining reserves safeguard Many Hands against unanticipated decreases in fundraising or increases in expenses and provide flexibility to fund special projects and respond to emerging opportunities.

The most recent Impact Report provides information about Many Hands’ net assets at the end of the last fiscal year.

Forms 990

Please use the links below to download recent filings with the IRS: