FAQs for the Walled Lake Central Program

Program overview

What's Gifted Savings?
Gifted Savings is a direct giving platform that allows donors to directly give financial assets like cash, stock, and bitcoin to support individuals’ dreams.

We’re a 501c3 non-profit with a mission to make the direct gifting of wealth the simplest, most efficient and rewarding way to make a positive impact.

In our high school program, we empower recipients by helping them take small steps towards a dream that they have, learn about assets and give them up to $10,000 in stocks and bitcoin to fund their dream.
Who are the donors? Why do they give?
Our donors come from all different backgrounds and walks of life. They give to Gifted Savings because they believe in giving back and empowering people to create opportunities for themselves and their communities.

If you’re interested in becoming a donor or know of someone who may be interested, please reach out to us at [email protected].
What are the requirements to receive Gifted Savings in the WLC pilot?
To gain access to the $1,000 in stocks and bitcoin, recipients must be chosen to join the program and turn 18 before they can access their portfolio.

Once recipients turn 18, they will be able to access their funds and decide to withdraw or continue holding their Gifted Savings portfolio.
How will Gifted Savings help recipients realize their dreams?
The Gifted Savings app will suggest personalized action items based on each recipients’ dreams. Action items are small, engaging steps that recipients can take to achieving their dream. 

Recipients can decide which action items they want to do and they can even create their own action items. For an action item to be considered complete, each action item requires a short video sharing your reflections and experience.

While action items are optional to receive $1,000 in stocks and bitcoin, they are highly encouraged to help recipients make tangible progress towards their dreams.  

To encourage and support those recipients who take action on their dreams, recipients who submit action items will be in the running to receive $2,000 or even $10,000 in Gifted Savings. 

To receive $2,000 or $10,000 in Gifted Savings, we’re looking for recipients who take steps towards their dream, make a positive impact on themselves and others through that action, and share their experiences through video on the Gifted Savings app. 

For example:

If a recipient’s dream is to help more ESL students learn English, a potential action item may be to interview ESL students to learn the biggest areas of opportunity and need. Recipients would be asked to record a short video reflecting on their experience, and that would represent one potential action item.
How can I use my Gifted Savings portfolio?
Once you turn 18 and graduate, you can decide how best to use your Gifted Savings portfolio to further your dream.

You can cash out and get started on your dream right away or save it for a bigger plan down the road. The choice is yours, and we're excited to see the good you'll do.

Once you unlock your portfolio, you’ll be asked to record a few videos for your video journal to share how you’ve decided to use or save your funds.
Why will I be asked to submit videos?
Gifted Savings is a direct giving platform where donors can give stocks and bitcoin directly to individuals who are empowered to decide how to use the funds. Instead of us creating a dry presentation to donors about the impact that their gift made on real people, we let recipients tell their own stories through video.

Additionally, recipients will be able to see each other’s videos as a source of inspiration and creativity. Chances are, receiving stocks and bitcoin as a gift is a new experience for all of you. Sharing and viewing other recipients’ videos is a low-stakes way to get some inspiration and see how others are thinking about their dreams and Gifted Savings portfolio. 
How can I receive $2,000 or up to $10,000 in stocks and bitcoin?
To receive $2,000 or $10,000 in Gifted Savings, we’re looking for recipients who intentionally complete action items and take steps towards their dream. We’ll be looking for recipients who can communicate why their dream matters to them through their action item videos and make a positive impact on themselves and others. 

Here are some of the criteria we look for:

Taking Action on Your Dream: 
We want to reward recipients who proactively take action on their dream. We’ll look for recipients who complete multiple action items well before the end of August. We’ll also look at recipients who complete more action items, although quality is just as important as quantity.

Compelling Videos:
Storytelling is a really important part of the program. We’re looking for recipients who share their thoughtful reflections of what they learned from their action items and how it changed the trajectory of their dream or plans. Videos should be engaging, genuine and fun to watch, but they aren’t expected to be high production value (just hit record!)

Positive Impact:
We’re looking for dreams that have a meaningful positive impact on yourself and others. What learnings or positive experiences came out of taking action on your dream?

Impacting Others:
We believe the most impactful dreams are not just about us - they also consider the people around us. Even if your goal is about furthering your own dreams, how will achieving your dream impact others? 
What happens to my personal information, videos, and photos I submit?
As a non-profit organization, we are committed to maintaining the confidentiality and integrity of your personal information. We do not sell recipient data and maintain high standards to protect your privacy.

The videos you create as part of your Gifted Savings journey are intended to share your experiences and the impact of the program with recipients and donors. These stories serve as a testament to the positive changes and initiatives that can happen when you support each other's dreams.

Questions about the application

Who’s eligible for the Walled Lake Central pilot?
In our high school program, recipients must be seniors who graduate in the Class of 2024.

Since Gifted Savings is a 501c3 non-profit, our recipients must also show financial need, which we define as the following:

For a family of 2:  income below $59,160
For a family of 3:  income below $74,580
For a family of 4:  income below $90,000
For a family of 5:  income below $105,420
What are you looking for in the application?
In order to receive Gifted Savings, seniors from Walled Lake Central must apply to Gifted Savings  and share an inspirational dream that they would like to make come true with Gifted Savings. 

In the application, we’re looking for thoughtful responses, an inspirational dream that recipients are prepared to take action towards, and a compelling reason why their dream matters and how it would make a positive impact.

We’re looking for applicants who can clearly articulate their dreams (who, what, where, why, and when) even if all the details of the “how” haven’t been figured out yet.

In the application video, we’ll also be looking for seniors who are able to engage in storytelling through video and convey their authentic story. 
What types of dreams qualify for the Gifted Savings program?
We encourage dreams that are inspirational and genuinely meaningful to you. Your dream can be about improving your life, the lives of people around you, your community, or a cause you are passionate about. The key is to use your imagination for good and create a plan that we can help bring to life.

When sharing your dream in the application, it’s important to be thoughtful and provide context for how this dream will make a positive impact. At Gifted Savings, we believe the most inspirational dreams are ones that positively impact not just ourselves, but others as well.

Example 1: 

“My dream is to start a mobile library where I can bring books to underserved neighborhoods in my area. I want to fill an old bus with books, sharing my love of reading with younger kids in the area and inspire a love of reading for kids who might not have access to books or have someone reading to them. To me, this project is about spreading joy, fostering education, and uniting communities through the power of books. 

Example 2: 

"My dream is to go to art school and become a professional artist, something no one in my family has ever had the chance to do. This dream is huge for me because it's not just about doing what I love; it's about showing my younger siblings that big dreams are possible, no matter where you start from. Becoming successful in art could help me become financially independent, support my family and give back to my mom, who has sacrificed so much for us and has worked hard so that I can pursue my dreams."

Understanding my portfolio

How will I be able to access my Gifted Savings portfolio?
We make it easy for you to receive and hold stocks and bitcoin - even if you don’t have an investment account.

Instead of requiring you to open up new accounts, we hold the stocks and bitcoin for you in your Gifted Savings account. When you complete the required actions to unlock your Gifted Savings portfolio, you can decide to keep holding your assets in your account or request to withdraw specific amounts into a virtual debit card. 
Why are you giving bitcoin and stock instead of cash?
One of our long-term goals is to unlock $4.6T of funds that have been promised by those who have signed the Gates’ Giving Pledge. To do that, we want to make it as simple as possible to give at scale, and most of that wealth is held in assets (not cash). 

Additionally, many young people are locked out of owning investment assets until they reach financial stability at a much later age.

By gifting these assets (which tend to outperform cash over the long-term), we empower students to learn about assets through hands-on experience and choose to use it to fund their dream or invest it for their future. 

We recognize that any assets that have a higher potential for growth are by definition more volatile and not everyone is prepared to handle this type of risk. That’s why recipients can’t invest any of their own money into their Gifted Savings portfolio - they can only choose to hold or withdraw the assets that have been gifted to them.
What happens if my portfolio decreases in value?
By definition, the value of investments will go up and down over time. While no one is able to predict the future to say that a given asset will be worth more in the future, over the long run, investment assets tend to outperform cash over the long-term. 

Remember: while cash is typically more stable than investment assets like stock and bitcoin, it’s also inflating every year, which steadily decreases its value over time. 

Learning to ride the highs and lows of investing is part of the experience of owning assets. 

While Gifted Savings does not give financial advice, we share financial literacy best practices to help prepare students to know how to make the best long-term decisions for themselves.