Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions?
Get in touch at hello@ivyco.eco

What is IvyCo?

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IvyCo is a Climate Fintech company dedicated to decarbonizing our political-economic system. IvyCo's Carbon Intensity analysis shows the connection between our everyday purchases and the ongoing climate crisis. This empowers you to "speak with your wallet", make more informed choices, and pressure companies to do better. Then you can amplify your impact by choosing to directly fund decarbonization through Smart Round Ups.

How much does IvyCo cost?

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It’s free to connect IvyCo to your spending accounts and receive weekly reports on the Carbon Intensity of your purchases. If you want to do more to fight climate change, you can also set up Smart Round Ups. Smart Round Ups direct your spare change to projects taking bold action to save our planet. With IvyCo, you decide how much you contribute by setting up a monthly budget for round ups. You can also choose to fund the development of additional Climate Fintech products by making a monthly contribution to IvyCo.

How does IvyCo make money?

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When you use Smart Round Ups, IvyCo retains 4% of each transaction in order to cover the cost of setting up and processing Smart Round Ups. IvyCo only makes a meaningful profit when users make an optional monthly contribution to fund further product development. We trust our users to support IvyCo if it is truly valuable to them (and as, or if, they can afford to do so), and if they see the impact we can make in the fight against climate change.
The short answer is: we make whatever you think our products are worth.

And IvyCo will never sell your data.

Is IvyCo good for the climate?

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Yes, but know that it will take more than an app to save the planet. If you take only one action in the fight against climate change, it shouldn't be signing up for IvyCo. The IvyCo team suggests supporting and volunteering with organizations like the Citizen's Climate Lobby, Moms Clean Air Force, or 350.org.
However, products like ours have an important role to play by providing long-term solutions to climate change.

IvyCo is designed with four purposes in mind — Our "Theory of Change" —

  1. Make prices for goods and services reflect their impact on the environment. (Someday, the government may require this; until then, IvyCo helps you get ahead of the curve.)
  2. Increase funding for decarbonization efforts. The systemic level of change we need will require a significant investment, and you can help make that happen.
  3. Encourage and help consumers make more sustainable spending decisions — Whether it's by spending (and buying) less, using your money on greener products, or buying from sustainable companies.
  4. Pressure companies to accelerate their investment in sustainability.


We recognize that these four outcomes will not be enough to meet the Paris Agreement's goal to prevent more than 1.5*C of warming, but they are the outcomes IvyCo is best suited to support. We believe every company and every individual needs to find ways to combat climate change, and this is ours.

I'm only one person; am I really making a difference by using IvyCo?

add

"Changing the system, not perfecting our own lives, is the point. “Hypocrisy” is the price of admission in this battle." - Climate Activist Bill McKibben

The IvyCo team knows that our product focuses on individual purchasing decisions, and so it will not solve climate change on its own. The choices we make in our everyday spending can help us to feel better aligned with our values, but conscious consumption choices are not going to change the political and economic systems that are causing the climate crisis.
Transforming these systems will require the collective power of many individuals demanding change. IvyCo hopes to be a tool that can organize and direct individuals’ choices towards global sustainability, while also recognizing this will be a small piece in the large, complex effort to end climate change.

It’s important to remember that we all have to start somewhere, and our own spending is a demonstration of our values which can encourage others to care as well.

IvyCo hopes to be a catalyst for change that's bigger than any one of us; but it starts with you.

How do I unsubscribe and delete my IvyCo account?

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IvyCo is free to use to learn about your spending's Carbon Intensity. If you've activated Smart Round Ups or a Monthly Contribution, you can always turn them off by visiting the Settings page and setting the sliders to $0. You can remove bank accounts on the Connect page. If you want to fully delete your IvyCo account and delete your data from IvyCo's database, visit the bottom section of the Settings page.

Is my bank account safe and my data secure?

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Yes and Yes! IvyCo never has access to your bank account directly — we use Plaid, the leading financial data aggregator in the United States, to securely receive data from your bank accounts. One in four Americans have used Plaid to enable access to their financial data. Plaid partners with your bank to access your data, and is a trusted intermediary in the financial industry.  Both IvyCo and Plaid's information security programs meet or exceed industry standards, with multiple controls in place to keep your personal information safe.
The security tools we use include data encryption, strong authentication, cloud infrastructure, robust monitoring, and security testing.

IvyCo uses an innovative partnership between Plaid and payment processor Stripe to conduct micro-transactions for Smart Round Ups from your account, *without ever sending sensitive data such as your bank account number to IvyCo*. You can read more in our Privacy Policy.

Should I connect all of my bank accounts?

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In order to get as complete a picture as possible of your spending’s Carbon Intensity levels, we recommend connecting IvyCo to all bank accounts and credit cards that you make purchases with.

How does IvyCo use my data?

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IvyCo uses your data to analyze your purchases and determine your spending's Carbon Intensity. We never sell or otherwise monetize your data.

I'm having trouble connecting my bank - how do I fix it?

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Please get in touch by emailing hello@ivyco.eco and we'll do our best to resolve the issue. Some banks in the United States may limit or block access to Open Banking apps like IvyCo and we may not be able to successfully connect to your bank at this time. The Open Banking ecosystem is constantly evolving, and we hope to have more stable access to all US banks in the future.

Can I still contribute without linking my bank account?

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Yes! Check out our monthly subscription program. You can skip connecting a bank account and sign up with a credit or debit card.

What is Carbon Intensity?

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Carbon Intensity is a climate impact score of your spending, calculated just for you by the IvyCo algorithm. Since Carbon Intensity is personalized, there's no right or wrong number. Just focus on keeping your Carbon Intensity steady or decreasing over time.  IvyCo will keep you updated on how your spending compares to last month's baseline.

A Deep Dive into the Carbon Intensity methodology can be found on the IvyCo Blog: https://ivyco.eco/blog-post/a-deep-dive-into-ivycos-carbon-intensity

Why is knowing my spending's Carbon Intensity useful?

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IvyCo created Carbon Intensity for a couple of reasons:

  • To provide insights specific to your spending at a level of granularity appropriate to the accuracy Open Banking data can provide. For example, we may know you spent money on groceries, but can't tell if you bought carbon-intensive beef or loaded up on greener options like local fruits and vegetables. Carbon Intensity enables a like-to-like comparison based on your own habits.
  • Most of the spending we do as individual consumers is insignificant in the overall goal of making our political and economic systems more sustainable. An indicator like Carbon Intensity helps you understand the few purchases you make that do have a significant impact relative to your own life.
  • Carbon Intensity data feeds into Smart Round Ups to make a determination of how much to round up for each transaction you make. The higher the Carbon Intensity, the higher the round up will be in order to better indicate to you which of your spending has the biggest impact.

How is Carbon Intensity calculated?

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IvyCo's algorithm relies upon key data from each purchase you make:

  • What You Buy (Categories): Certain categories, like filling up your gas tank, have a bigger impact on the climate. While IvyCo doesn't know exactly what you bought, your bank assigns every purchase to one of 600+ categories. IvyCo then assigns a score from 0 to 10 to each category relative to the category's broad climate impact - the higher the score, the higher the Carbon Intensity.
  • How Much You Buy (Amounts): The Amount of money you spend has a significant impact on your Carbon Intensity, since in general the total amount is tightly related to the raw materials and energy that went into the purchase. For example, your house or apartment is likely one of the most Carbon Intense aspects of your life if you consider all the raw materials and energy that went into building it - so your rent or mortgage will be a higher Carbon Intensity transaction. IvyCo approximates this by looking at the order of magnitude of your purchases - a $100 transaction is generally twice as Carbon Intense as a $10 transaction.
  • Where You Buy From (Merchants): Some companies have worked hard to make their supply chains sustainable, while some are lagging. Your Carbon Intensity adjusts up or down to reflect the practices of companies you buy from when that data is available. Our options as consumers are limited, but by spending less at lagging companies, your Carbon Intensity goes down. Data on companies at the moment is very limited - as standards are advanced, IvyCo will incorporate more of this aspect into our data.


IvyCo then finds your Carbon Intensity by taking each transaction's Category score, adding the Amount factor, and adjusting for Companies. Then, the number for each transaction in the past week (or any other time frame) is simply added together to get your total Carbon Intensity.

If a transaction's Carbon Intensity seems wrong, you can flag it for review from within your IvyCo dashboard. This helps the algorithm get smarter over time.

You can learn more about Carbon Intensity on the IvyCo Blog: https://ivyco.ec/blog-post/a-deep-dive-into-ivycos-carbon-intensity

How is Carbon Intensity different than my Carbon Footprint?

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Carbon Footprint refers to the idea that you are individually responsible for a certain amount of climate change causing Carbon Dioxide (and equivalents) being released into the atmosphere. The average American has a carbon footprint of 16.2 tonnes per year - higher than any other country in the world.
While Carbon Footprints are a useful way to think about your individual purchasing decision's impact on the planet, reducing your carbon footprint is not going to solve climate change. There's also significant reporting that the fossil fuel industry was responsible for popularizing the concept of the carbon footprint in the first place, which should lead to skepticism on its usefulness as a metric.  This is why IvyCo does not attempt to be a Carbon Accounting solution that shows your impact in units of Carbon Dioxide. While applications exist to help you understand your carbon footprint, we view this carbon accounting approach as both lacking useful precision given the available data and irresponsible given the small role of individual footprints in fighting climate change.

IvyCo's goal is system change, not elimination or even reduction of your own Carbon Footprint. IvyCo's Carbon Intensity metric is tailored to your spending specifically, and is designed to highlight the highest climate impacts of your purchases. Armed with this information, you can make changes to your spending or, more likely, be aware of the places in your life that will require more changes to the overall political-economic system in order to decarbonize.

IvyCo Smart Round Ups are designed not to offset your footprint, but to contribute to decarbonization projects that will have an impact on the overall system.

How do I decrease the Carbon Intensity of my purchases?

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IvyCo’s Carbon Intensity Reports highlight the purchases with the highest impact. By focusing on theses first, you can try to purchase alternative products or services (taking the bus instead of driving), buy high Carbon Intensity-purchases less often (taking fewer plane trips), or spend your money at companies that are leaders in addressing climate change.  As IvyCo analyzes your spending, some recommendations will be sent to you.
Ultimately, however, our individual spending decisions will not successfully fight climate change. We can and should do our part to make our lives and spending more sustainable, but even more important is advocating for climate change policy, influencing companies to make their supply chains greener, and taking climate into account with decisions at every level of our economy.

How do Smart Round Ups work?

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Smart Round Ups work like the jar of physical coins you empty change into when you get home. Over time, the loose change adds up to a significant sum of money. IvyCo Smart Round Ups follow the same principle, but instead of a jar on your kitchen counter the spare change is automatically rounded up to make an impact in the fight against climate change.
Based on the Carbon Intensity of a purchase, IvyCo will round up the transaction to an even dollar amount - for instance, $5.34 might round up to $6.00 and the spare change ($0.66) would go towards decarbonization efforts. The IvyCo algorithm looks at the previous day's spending across all of your connected accounts, and automatically deducts the collected spare change from your connected checking account once a day.

Why do I need to connect a checking account to use Smart Round Ups?

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IvyCo relies upon ACH transactions to power Smart Round Ups. ACH transactions are only allowed to be made with checking accounts, so a checking account must be connected in order to use IvyCo Smart Round Ups.

Can I set a limit to the amount of Smart Round Ups each month?

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Yes! We know its important that you remain in control of your budget. You can set a Cap on the amount of Smart Round Ups IvyCo will collect for decarbonization each month. Visit the Settings page to set your Cap.

How much of my Smart Round Ups go to decarbonization projects?

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Smart Round Ups do not qualify as donations for tax purposes in the United States. The bulk of decarbonization funding goes towards Carbon Removal projects that result in Carbon Credits being purchased and retired, and this return of value prevents classification as a donation.

Are Smart Round Ups considered donations for tax purposes?

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Smart Round Ups do not qualify as donations for tax purposes in the United States. While most of the organizations receiving funding for decarbonization projects are non-profits, that is not universally true. Additionally, if the funding results in Carbon Credits being purchased and retired that could be considered value in return for a donation.

Can I contribute funds without enabling Smart Round Ups?

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Yes - you can add to your Impact using the The Top Off Your Impact feature. This allows you to add any dollar amount to your Impact immediately. Visit the Round Ups page to Top Off Your Contribution.

Where does the money from my Smart Round Ups go?

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96% of the funds collected through IvyCo Smart Round Ups and Top Offs goes towards making a decarbonization impact. The IvyCo Impact is divided between Carbon Removal (66%) and Climate Activism (30%) portfolios. IvyCo's exclusive Carbon Removal program is the American Forest Foundation's Family Forest Carbon Program, which implements Improved Forest Management practices with United States rural landholders. Climate Activism funds are sent to a group of high-impact non-profits working on various decarbonization strategies including legal action and lobbying. A list of projects and the funds directed to them can be found at https://ivyco.eco/impact.
A list of projects and the funds directed to them can be found at https://ivyco.eco/impact.

We use 4% of each Smart Round Up to cover the technology fees and operating costs of IvyCo’s services. Meaningful profits are made only through users’ voluntary and direct monthly contributions to IvyCo.

How does IvyCo measure their impact?

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IvyCo measures Impact in dollars, not in the amount of carbon or carbon dioxide (CO2) removed. Together we can change the system by looking beyond our footprints.
You can see the impact IvyCo users have made by visiting https://ivyco.app/impact.

Can I choose which projects to fund with my Smart Round Ups?

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Currently, there is a default portfolio of projects that all Smart Round Ups fund. In the future IvyCo hopes to let you have more control over which projects and organizations your Smart Round Ups fund. Additionally, IvyCo plans to create a group of dedicated users to guide the long-term evolution of our funding efforts — if you're interested in joining this group, get in touch at hello@ivyco.eco.

How can I verify that IvyCo is using the Smart Round Up funds properly?

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Get in touch with us at hello@ivyco.eco — we'll gladly provide additional documentation showing how the funds are being distributed. We're also working on making this documentation publicly accessible and auditable.

What is the American Forest Foundation's Family Forest Carbon Program?

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66% of IvyCo Impact funds are provided to the American Forest Foundation's Family Forest Carbon Program to unlock the potential of the second largest natural climate solution in the United States. Every $11 helps protect one acre of family forest land through this program.
The Family Forest Carbon Program pays family forest landowners owning 20 - 1,000 acres of forestland to implement climate-smart forestry practices that are not common in that region, for a 10 or 20 year time period. The program also provides landowners with professional expertise and guidance, to help them transition to sustainable forest management long-term. The result is increased carbon sequestration and storage, as well as improved wildlife habitat and forest health. The program generates Carbon Credits, verified by leading carbon registry Verra, which are retired on behalf of IvyCo users.

You can learn more about IvyCo's partnership with the American Forest Foundation in this blog post.

Are trees being planted with funds raised through IvyCo?

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Forest based climate solutions generally break down into three categories: Afforestation or Re-forestation (broadly, tree planting), preventing de-forestation (which takes many forms, including conservation districts), and Improved Forest Management (changing management practices of existing forests). Given there is already significant energy around afforestation, or tree planting, approaches, IvyCo has decided to focus on a different area of impact - specifically, that of protecting existing forests. One study from The Nature Conservancy shows that implementing Improved Forest Management practices has the potential to be the second largest Natural Climate Solution in the United States.
IvyCo is collaborating with the American Forest Foundation's Family Forest Carbon program, which will receive 66% of IvyCo Impact funds. The Family Forest Carbon Program helps family landowners implement Improved Forest Management practices on their land across the United States. You can learn more about the specific practices being deployed here: https://www.familyforestcarbon.org/the-practices

How does IvyCo select the Climate Activism organizations to fund?

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IvyCo seeks out leading activism groups focused on driving policy change and ensuring environmental justice. The groups we fund are generally accepted by the climate change community as leaders in the fight to create political and economic change at the system level.
Get in touch with us by emailing hello@ivyco.eco to suggest more Climate Advocacy organizations to fund with Smart Round Ups.

Will Carbon Offsets or Credits be generated?

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Yes, if projects are successful then carbon offsets or verified carbon units will eventually be generated and retired as a result of funds contributed for Carbon Removal. These offsets and credits are not the goal of our funding, however. Since IvyCo funds early-stage carbon removal projects and projects where the benefit goes beyond carbon credits, the timeline for recognizing a carbon credit is longer than buying credits on the open market. Learn more about the specific projects and their potential for generating carbon credits at https://ivyco.eco/impact.

How do monthly subscriptions work?

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Instead of connecting your bank account, sign up with your credit or debit card to jumpstart your climate action. Every month you’ll contribute to a  portfolio of environmental non-profits working to protect American family forests, advocate for climate policy, fund conservation efforts, and fight for indigenous rights. You can cancel your subscription at any time. 90% of your contribution goes directly to the organizations working to make a climate impact, and the rest is used to support IvyCo’s work to engage even more people in climate action.

Can I set the amount for subscriptions each month?

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Yes! You can set the amount you want to contribute each month, starting at $3 per month, and change the amount at any time.

How can I track the impact of my subscriptions?

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Each month, we’ll send you a report with details of where your money is having an impact. You can sign in to your dashboard any time too.

When does my monthly contribution renew?

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Your contribution will renew each month on the same day you sign up. You can view, manage and cancel your subscription anytime under the settings in your dashboard.

IvyCo Basics

Connecting Bank Accounts

Carbon Intensity

smart round ups

making a
decarbonization impact

subscription

What is IvyCo?

IvyCo is a Climate Fintech company dedicated to decarbonizing our political-economic system. IvyCo's Carbon Intensity analysis shows the connection between our everyday purchases and the ongoing climate crisis. This empowers you to "speak with your wallet", make more informed choices, and pressure companies to do better. Then you can amplify your impact by choosing to directly fund decarbonization through Smart Round Ups.

How much does IvyCo cost?

It’s free to connect IvyCo to your spending accounts and receive weekly reports on the Carbon Intensity of your purchases. If you want to do more to fight climate change, you can also set up Smart Round Ups. Smart Round Ups direct your spare change to projects taking bold action to save our planet. With IvyCo, you decide how much you contribute by setting up a monthly budget for round ups. You can also choose to fund the development of additional Climate Fintech products by making a monthly contribution to IvyCo.

How does IvyCo make money?

When you use Smart Round Ups, IvyCo retains 4% of each transaction in order to cover the cost of setting up and processing Smart Round Ups. IvyCo only makes a meaningful profit when users make an optional monthly contribution to fund further product development. We trust our users to support IvyCo if it is truly valuable to them (and as, or if, they can afford to do so), and if they see the impact we can make in the fight against climate change.
The short answer is: we make whatever you think our products are worth.

And IvyCo will never sell your data.

Is IvyCo good for the climate?

Yes, but know that it will take more than an app to save the planet. If you take only one action in the fight against climate change, it shouldn't be signing up for IvyCo. The IvyCo team suggests supporting and volunteering with organizations like the Citizen's Climate Lobby, Moms Clean Air Force, or 350.org.
However, products like ours have an important role to play by providing long-term solutions to climate change.

IvyCo is designed with four purposes in mind — Our "Theory of Change" —

  1. Make prices for goods and services reflect their impact on the environment. (Someday, the government may require this; until then, IvyCo helps you get ahead of the curve.)
  2. Increase funding for decarbonization efforts. The systemic level of change we need will require a significant investment, and you can help make that happen.
  3. Encourage and help consumers make more sustainable spending decisions — Whether it's by spending (and buying) less, using your money on greener products, or buying from sustainable companies.
  4. Pressure companies to accelerate their investment in sustainability.


We recognize that these four outcomes will not be enough to meet the Paris Agreement's goal to prevent more than 1.5*C of warming, but they are the outcomes IvyCo is best suited to support. We believe every company and every individual needs to find ways to combat climate change, and this is ours.

I'm only one person; am I really making a difference by using IvyCo?

"Changing the system, not perfecting our own lives, is the point. “Hypocrisy” is the price of admission in this battle." - Climate Activist Bill McKibben

The IvyCo team knows that our product focuses on individual purchasing decisions, and so it will not solve climate change on its own. The choices we make in our everyday spending can help us to feel better aligned with our values, but conscious consumption choices are not going to change the political and economic systems that are causing the climate crisis.
Transforming these systems will require the collective power of many individuals demanding change. IvyCo hopes to be a tool that can organize and direct individuals’ choices towards global sustainability, while also recognizing this will be a small piece in the large, complex effort to end climate change.

It’s important to remember that we all have to start somewhere, and our own spending is a demonstration of our values which can encourage others to care as well.

IvyCo hopes to be a catalyst for change that's bigger than any one of us; but it starts with you.

How do I unsubscribe and delete my IvyCo account?

IvyCo is free to use to learn about your spending's Carbon Intensity. If you've activated Smart Round Ups or a Monthly Contribution, you can always turn them off by visiting the Settings page and setting the sliders to $0. You can remove bank accounts on the Connect page. If you want to fully delete your IvyCo account and delete your data from IvyCo's database, visit the bottom section of the Settings page.

Is my bank account safe and my data secure?

expand_more

Should I connect all of my bank accounts?

expand_more

How does IvyCo use my data?

expand_more

I'm having trouble connecting my bank - how do I fix it?

expand_more

Can I still contribute without linking my bank account?

expand_more

What is Carbon Intensity?

expand_more

Why is knowing my spending's Carbon Intensity useful?

expand_more

How is Carbon Intensity calculated?

expand_more

How is Carbon Intensity different than my Carbon Footprint?

expand_more

How do I decrease the Carbon Intensity of my purchases?

expand_more

How do Smart Round Ups work?

expand_more

Why do I need to connect a checking account to use Smart Round Ups?

expand_more

Can I set a limit to the amount of Smart Round Ups each month?

expand_more

How much of my Smart Round Ups go to decarbonization projects?

expand_more

Are Smart Round Ups considered donations for tax purposes?

expand_more

Can I contribute funds without enabling Smart Round Ups?

expand_more

Where does the money from my Smart Round Ups go?

expand_more

How does IvyCo measure their impact?

expand_more

Can I choose which projects to fund with my Smart Round Ups?

expand_more

How can I verify that IvyCo is using the Smart Round Up funds properly?

expand_more

What is the American Forest Foundation's Family Forest Carbon Program?

expand_more

Are trees being planted with funds raised through IvyCo?

expand_more

How does IvyCo select the Climate Activism organizations to fund?

expand_more

Will Carbon Offsets or Credits be generated?

expand_more

How do monthly subscriptions work?

expand_more

Can I set the amount for subscriptions each month?

expand_more

How can I track the impact of my subscriptions?

expand_more

When does my monthly contribution renew?

expand_more
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