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Following the 2002 Jubilee Celebration in New York, Darin Petersen and Shane Claiborne began asking what the daily practice of collaborative giving could look like. Relational Tithe was launched in January 2005 as an experiment among people desiring to live a more adventurous, relational and passionate life. What began as an experiment among 17 people within the US has grown to include people over the globe with a hunger to participate. Since 2005, that small group of friends has expanded, touching the lives of over 1000 families and individuals in over 15 countries and distributing over $600,000 directly to people in need. In 2011, Relational Tithe began development on Common Change – an online tool for groups all around the world to connect people and their resources to people in their lives and communities.
Common Change UK is a registered charity in England & Wales. One member of its board represents Common Change (USA) which is a registered trading name of Relational Tithe, Inc a 501(c)3 Not-For-Profit corporation registered in California.
Common Change is headquartered in Oakland, CA but we have members and groups in 36 States and 9 countries including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Canada and Cuba.
Yes, we make our annual reports available online at the Charity Commission.
No, Common Change does not take any money from donations made however, if donations are made using Donorbox, Donorbox will take ? percent of the total donation for payment of their services.
Unfortunately not. Group members collectively save to give to others and this is how Common Change maintains its Charity Status. This is not a platform for you to save with others and make withdrawals from when needed.
We have a Development Officer here in the UK who can help you with every step of the process simply contact us to start the ball rolling!
Certainly not. Common Change is an open platform and tool which facilitates the practice of collaborative giving and relational redistribution for anyone, regardless of faith (or non-faith) tradition. When you join Common Change you have the opportunity to design your own giving group (or in some circumstances, join an existing group). Each group will be unique, with a group description and statement of commitment that reflects who they are and what they want to achieve. Each group member, before joining, will be able to read and accept the shared hopes and expectations of the group. Some groups may have specific faith inclinations or be oriented around a specific issue or group of people.
Common Change does not want to work in opposition to a local church. If you have already committed your tithe to your church, we encourage you to continue that commitment and if there is room for additional donations, either regular ones or one off donations, we would love you to consider Common Change.

Yes! Common Change is a registered charity and approved by HMRC to process Gift Aid claims on any qualifying donations. If you have not already completed a Gift Aid declaration you can do so online by following this link:

Absolutely! Money group members contribute to their Group Fund goes to fund requests that you participate in and meet needs that are advocated. But Common Change does have an Operations Fund which people may contribute to over and above their group contributions [or as individual donations]. These operations contributions go toward our administrative overheads as well as work we undertake to grow the network.
Unfortunately not. As Common Change is a registered charity there are certain rules we need to follow. If group members request that money is distributed themselves this undermines our ‘public benefit’ principle and, even worse, could look unusual to regulatory bodies, potentially triggering red flags around tax fraud and money laundering. We have to ensure that all our financial transactions are presented as following the highest standards of integrity.
Whilst this is similar to the point above, there are some circumstances in which it is allowed. We recognise that group members themselves are not immune from hardship and may require support from time to time. If this is the case the group member in need of the support should abstain from the voting process.
Unfortunately not. This undermines the democratic nature of the decision-making process. It is at the heart of Common Change groups that all members have the opportunity to vote on every request made.
The Common Change model is designed to invite the wisdom of the individuals within the group in deciding how best to meet needs. Group members are invited to consider the request that has been presented and try to find an answer to the request., ‘What is the best way that we can meet this need?’ If there is any hesitancy or a question that you have, it is good to be able to share that. Ask questions, make suggestions, ask for clarity. Try and help the group figure out a good solution. The group may want to consider if the solution lies in donating time or effort rather than money; for example: gathering friends to paint a home or donating your babysitting skills for an overtired single parent.
Absolutely! Common Change has been created as a resource sharing group and there are no boundaries set in place for how we can meet needs. In fact, some of the most powerful needs we have met did not involve money. Sometimes people in the group have had a resource [car, school supplies] that they have been able to offer, other times someone in the group may have a friend who is an expert in a particular area who can be called on to share some expertise. We have faith groups that might put in requests for prayer and encouragement for people who are in hospital or going through rough times. The space to invite wisdom from a range of people often leads to creative and life-transforming ways of meeting needs. One of the hoped-for consequences of being a part of a Common Change group is that you will be challenged to think differently when you are faced with needs in your life and in the lives of those around you.
You, and the other members of your group, do! The Common Change group process has been set up largely to invite the wisdom of the individuals within the group in determining how best to meet a need. Members present needs to the group, who are then invited to wisely consider the request that has been presented and try to find the best way that we can meet the need.
100% of the money you contribute to your Group Fund, goes directly to meeting the needs that your group identifies and agrees to support. Common Change has a separate Operations Fund which members can contribute to where contributions go toward administrative fees, web-hosting costs, and other operational expenses of the charity.
Simply send an email invitation to them from your account. Rally your friends, family, colleagues or your entire neighbourhood to collaborate in giving