Frequently asked questions

The 1k Project uses a network of trusted connections to directly match a family impacted by the pandemic with a family committed to giving them $1k for 3 months.


How did the $1k Project start?

From NYC to Seattle, we are seeing financial devastation all around us and wondering, “How can I quickly help someone in need?” 

Our volunteer team came together to solve that problem in a way that scales quickly for connecting people for direct cash support. Our model is to directly match a family with a sponsor committed to giving the family $1k per month for three months, for a total gift of $3,000.

For a family experiencing loss of income and lacking sufficient savings, immediate cash assistance is what’s needed most. We hope this support bridges these families until they have new employment or other assistance flowing in. The time to act is now.

Who is on the team?

The volunteer effort is led by Alex Iskold in NYC and Minda Brusse in Seattle and they are joined by talented colleagues from their professional networks. For a complete list of contributors, view our $1k Project Contributor page: 

Why are you providing cash directly to families?

The pandemic crisis means that families are losing most or all of their income creating a position of housing instability and food scarcity. The need is immediate and the gap between new employment or other support flowing is hurting people in our communities. Cash lets people meet their basic needs and sustain their household.  

How does the matching process work?

By creating a process that connects a chain of trusted referrals, we qualify both sponsors and the families efficiently and quickly.  The families are nominated by a past employer or community member as they apply. Sponsors view the complete ‘Referral Chain’ and basic qualifying criteria about the recipient when they confirm their match. While each participant and sponsor application is reviewed by a team member, we lean on the ‘Referral Chain’ to qualify individuals with a true need.   

The sponsor and recipient remain private, and the support ends after the 3 months of $1k funding. Our process acknowledges that we can’t find and help everyone in need, but every match helps.

Are you a non-profit organization?

No. We are individual volunteers, not an organization. We do have a non-profit that is sheltering us. If you, as a sponsor, donate through GoFundMe directly, you will not receive a tax deduction. If you are, as a sponsor, looking to contribute and receive a tax deduction, please email us at


Who is eligible to be matched with a sponsor?

We are currently only accepting applications from families who have been nominated through someone we can verify through our referral chain. Anyone who has been laid off or had a reduction of hours or income as a result of the pandemic may ask a former employer for a nomination. The family needs to clearly demonstrate that it has been impacted by the pandemic.

The typical family that matched successfully with a sponsor is a family with at least 2 dependents, particularly small children, single mothers, people who are unable to work because of a medical condition, families with no income, unable to get unemployment insurance, and have no savings. Most families who are sponsored face challenges with groceries, rent, basic utilities, and medical bills.

What documentation do I need in order to get the funds?

The $1k Project currently uses GoFundMe as a payment platform. GoFundMe requires the following documentation: 

  • A US Social Security number or ITIN
  • A residential address in one of the 50 states
  • A US phone number
  • A US bank account in your name
  • Must be 18 years of age or over

For additional details about the GoFundMe requirements, check here.

How do I apply to receive a sponsor match?

At this time, we are only accepting applications from families who have been nominated by a former employer or a friend. Send this form to your previous employer and ask them to nominate you. Alternatively, you can get nominated by a friend who is connected to the project using this form. Note that self-nominations will not be accepted.

Does a recipient have to pay back the money?

No. Sponsorship through The $1k Project is a gift. The funds are transferred from the sponsor to the recipient through a private GoFundMe page.  

What can this money be used for?

The $1k Project is designed to provide direct financial assistance to those who need it most. The primary intended purposes of the sponsorship is to assist with basic needs like rent, food, and utilities. Through our Referral Chain, families who are approved will be able to use the funds at their discretion to ensure the needs of their families are met.

How long will the process take if I am approved?

We don’t have a timeline and can not guarantee a match. You will only hear back from us if we have found a sponsor match.

I only speak Spanish, can I still apply?

Yes, we have a version of the Family application in Spanish. Please ask whomever nominates you to indicate that you’d prefer a Spanish version of the application. Should you have a problem please email

FOR Nominators

How can I nominate a family in need?

Please complete this nomination form to nominate people you know personally who are in need of this kind of support, and our team will reach out with next steps. If you are an employer and nominating former employee please use this

What is my role in this process?

Our Referral Chain is the backbone of our verification process. Our goal is to help our sponsors maximize the impact of their contributions, and we rely on direct connections as part of our diligence process. The Nominator is the first stage of this process and is vouching that the family has been impacted and that there is a need for direct financial support.

Why do you require a nomination for a family to receive sponsorship?

The $1k Project is built on trust. Our sponsors trust that we are doing our best to verify and identify the families who are most in need. We facilitate that diligence through direct connections from our team to the nominators and then to the families. We are all in this together, and through the Referral Chain we believe we are able to help direct contributions where they are most needed.


When I commit to sponsor a family, what am I committing to?

You are committing to sending $1K a month for 3 months to a family that is financially impacted by the pandemic. You may also choose to send $3k at once. 

How do you verify that the family I am sponsoring is truly in need?

We rely on the Referral Chain for multiple layers of verification. We work with businesses we know who nominate employees who have been impacted by the pandemic. These impacted families then submit an application that explains their needs. We confirm their identity, review responses regarding their financial position, and review their personal statement. You, as a sponsor, make the final decision on which family you support.

What will the family be able to use the money for?

Most families who are sponsored utilize their funds for groceries, rent, basic utilities, and medical bills.

How do you facilitate the transaction and ensure that the family is receiving the funds?

The funding transactions are done through a private GoFundMe campaign we create for approved recipients. Sponsors review approved families and make their contribution through the GoFundMe platform. The $1k Project does not hold any funds.

What if I can’t donate $1k for 3 months, can I still sponsor?

To sponsor a family with a group, follow these steps:

  1. Text the amount you want to donate ($100 min) to (815) 393-1070
  1. We’ll text you back a GoFundMe page link where you can learn more and donate.

How can I refer other Sponsors to The $1k Project?

After you Sponsor a family we would love your help referring other sponsors. Can you think of 3 people in your personal circle that might also be in a position to help? Send them a short text message with your 1k Project Link ( and invite them to use that link and click on “Sponsor a Family”. Reach out to for sample messages and more information

We encourage you to please also post a short message on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Linkedin with a call to action to nominate a family in need. Here is a sample message from our community, and here is another one.

How else can I help as a Sponsor?

We would love your help! First, join our growing #1kSponsor channel on Slack. Either tweet @1kprojectorg or email to get the invite.  

We encourage you to post on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Linkedin a short message with a call to action to nominate a family in need. Here is a sample message from our community, and here is another one.


I can’t afford to sponsor a family, but I really want to help. What can I do?

We would love your help! First, join our growing community on Slack. Either tweet @1kprojectorg or email to get an invite.  

The best way to help is to refer one or more families or local businesses in need in YOUR community. Please go to to nominate.

We encourage you to Please also post on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Linkedin a short message with a call to action to nominate a family in need. Here is a sample message from our community, and another one.


How can The $1k Project help my small business?

The goal of The $1k Project is to help small business owners and employees impacted by the pandemic. If you are a small business owner who needs help ie. a restaurant, a yoga studio, a coffee shop or a hairstylist, get a customer who knows you well to nominate you. In turn, you can nominate employees you have had to let go due to the pandemic. If you are part of a business community, please share this opportunity with your fellow business owners.

How can The $1k Project help my employees?

The goal of The $1k Project is to help small business owners and employees impacted by the pandemic. As a small business owner, you can directly nominate a family of your former employee by visiting the site and linking to our forms.