Frequently asked questions
How does Zakatify work?
At its heart, Zakatify simplifies the process of discovering charities that tackle issues that matter to you, streamlines the zakat donation process, and maximizes the charitable potential of Muslim communities. It is designed for Muslims who feel the experience of zakat should be more than just an obligation; it should be a fun, social, and fulfilling experience with secure, tax-exempt transactions. In minutes, users can set an annual zakat goal amount, discover zakat-eligible charities that fit their interests, create and manage charity portfolios, automate their monthly giving, and return to their busy lives. Zakatify is an easier and more meaningful way to do your zakat.
Who can use Zakatify?
While Zakatify is designed for the specific needs of Muslim communities (all charities are Zakat eligible, for example), anyone with a PayPal account or credit card (coming soon) can use it.
What is Zakatify’s relationship with PayPal Giving Fund?
Zakatify has a formal partnership with PayPal Giving Fund, an independent Donor Advised Fund recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) public charity. PayPal Giving Fund receives the donations made on Zakatify as the charity of record, and regrants the funds to the donors’ recommended charities, subject to its terms of service. PayPal Giving Fund is a separate entity from PayPal. PayPal is the payment processor. For more information, please go to PayPal Giving Fund’s website.
Are the charities in Zakatify vetted?
All the charities listed in Zakatify have met the eligibility requirements in PayPal Giving Fund’s Nonprofit Certification Policy. PayPal Giving Fund verifies the charities’ tax-exempt status in the United States as a 501(c)3 organization, confirms that they are in good standing with the Internal Revenue Service, and confirms that the charities have not been identified by the United States, European Union, United Nations, or other relevant authority as being subject to sanctions.
What are the fees involved in Zakatify?
Zakatify charges a 5% platform fee. In addition, PayPal charges reduced transaction fees of 2.2% + $0.30 per transaction on charitable donations, as opposed to the normal 2.9% + $0.30 when making payments through PayPal.
Is my donation tax deductible? Are the fees tax deductible?
Yes, your entire donation is tax deductible, including the Zakatify platform fee and the PayPal transaction fees.
Will I receive a receipt for tax purposes?
Yes. As charity of record, PayPal Giving Fund will email you a tax receipt for each transaction you make.
What is the difference between the manual and automatic donation settings?
The automatic donation setting enables users to make monthly distributions to the charities saved in your portfolio (divided equally among these charities based on the monthly amount needed to reach your annual zakat goal). The manual donation setting enables you to make a one-time donation to specific charities and counts towards reaching your annual goal.
What is my charity portfolio? How does it work?
The charity portfolio consists of charities you discovered on Zakatify and bookmarked for automatic monthly donations. On or around the 15th of each month, an amount is withdrawn from your account and donated to PayPal Giving Fund, which will grant the funds equally to each of the charities in your portfolio based on this formula:
Amount withdrawn = Annual zakat goal at time of withdrawal / Months remaining in calendar year
You can change the charities for your automatic monthly donation at any time. Changes made before the 15th of the next month will be reflected in the donation disbursement for that month. Because the automatic donations are processed on or around the 15th, any changes made after this date will reflected in the subsequent month.
Can I change my annual zakat goal?
Yes, you can change this at any time and any automatic monthly donation amounts will be recalculated based on this change. This change will be reflected in your progress towards your goal. You also should consider changing your zakat goal at the beginning of each year, depending on any changes in your circumstances or wealth that might impact your zakat requirements.
How do you determine whether a charity is zakat eligible?
In consultation with various sources, we have elected to cast as wide a net as possible over the more than one million US-based charities that we have available to us, including charities that may not be specifically Islam-related or Muslim-run. We have tagged each charity with categories that are defined as zakat-eligible and applied them to charities if a substantial portion of their work fits one or more of these categories. We aim to provide users with as much information as we can so that they can make their own informed decisions. For further information, see “Zakat-Related Questions” below.
I don’t see a charity that I want to donate to. Can you add it to Zakatify?
Absolutely! As long as the charity is a 501(c)3 non-profit, zakat eligible, and has enrolled with PayPal Giving Fund, it can be added. Just go to our suggest a charity page and enter the information requested, and we’ll take care of the rest!
If a charity in my portfolio is removed from Zakatify, what happens to my donation?
As charities shut down, no longer meet PayPal Giving Fund’s criteria, or lose their zakat-eligible status, they may be removed from our database. When this happens, we will remove the charity from your portfolio and notify you of that charity’s removal. If there are remaining charities in your portfolio, your monthly donation amount will be divided equally among them, but you can go into the app and add other charities or modify your portfolio at any time. Donations will not be sent to any charity that has been removed from Zakatify.
How are automatic monthly donations processed by Zakatify?
Around the 15th of each month, Zakatify calculates your monthly donation amount and initiates a transaction between you and PayPal Giving Fund, a 501(c)(3) charity, which then distributes the funds to the charities you’ve saved in your portfolio. Zakatify users can modify their preferences at any point prior to that day by changing their annual donation goals, delete or add charities to their portfolio, or switch back to manual donations and stop automatic withdrawals.
Can I set up my Zakatify profile with a credit card rather than PayPal?
Not yet, but we are working to bring this functionality to Zakatify shortly.
When is my account charged for manual donations?
It will be charged at the time you make the donation.
When will charities receive my donation?
Charities typically will receive the funds within 15-45 days of your original donation, subject to PayPal Giving Fund’s Donation Delivery Policy.
Are my donation amounts publicly visible?
No. As a matter of policy, Zakatify will not publicly disclose the amount of your individual or aggregate donations. We seek to level the playing field for donors by rewarding donation activity, not total amounts donated, as the spirit of the platform is to reach your own zakat goals not to create comparisons based on someone’s wealth. You can elect to disclose the charities you support on your personal profile (if you want to encourage others to contribute to those charities as well), but not the amounts you have donated.
Why does the Zakatfier score matter?
Zakatifiers earn points by meeting donation milestones and influencing others. Top Zakatifiers win bonus donations to their portfolios. The highest scoring Zakatifiers (most recent month & all time) are displayed on the leaderboard in the app.
How is the Zakatfier score calculated?
The Zakatifier score is calculated based on a host of criteria such as progress towards your goal, level of engagement and contributions on the platform, getting others to sign up, and other factors. Basically, the scoring rewards people who are active and engaged in the Zakatify community. We have a monthly and annual Zakatifier leaderboard in the app, and you can choose to follow individual Zakatifiers if you are interested in seeing the charities they donate to, so long as they have allowed their portfolio to be seen publicly.
What is a verified Zakatifier?
Verified Zakatifiers are users who have agreed to display their charity portfolios and other activity on Zakatify in exchange for special status on the Zakatify platform. This allows users to showcase their activity to inspire others to donate to their favorite charities through Zakatify, and models Muslim charitable behavior for the general public. Verified Zakatifiers have public, searchable, and shareable pages that display portfolios and donation activity and are identified by a green check mark next to their name on both the app and website. Donation amounts are still kept private throughout the platform. Registered users in good standing can request verification, though submitting a request does not guarantee that your account will be verified.
Is my information secure?
Do you have a refund policy?
We do not typically provide refunds on donations, including the Zakatify fee, that have already been sent to PayPal Giving Fund. Donors who wish to request a refund for a donation that has been sent to PayPal Giving Fund but not yet granted to a charity should contact PayPal Giving Fund. PayPal Giving Fund only provides refunds on donations in exceptional circumstances, as detailed in its Donation Refund Policy.
How can I suggest new features for Zakatify?
We are always looking to improve Zakatify! Please feel free to submit feature requests using our bug/feature request form.
ZAKAT RELATED QUESTIONS
Do I owe zakat?
If you have wealth over the minimum amount (nisab), then you owe zakat. You can use our zakat calculator to find out just how much you need to pay and then select from our database of zakat-eligible charities to donate.
My spouse handles the finances, do I potentially owe zakat?
It depends. If you personally have wealth over the nisab, then yes, you owe zakat. There is no equivalent of a “married filing jointly” tax designation in zakat.
Can I give more than my zakat amount?
Yes, please do! Our philosophy is that zakat should be your starting point for giving – not your ending point. Note that zakat over your annual minimum is considered charity (sadaqa), and cannot be rolled over to cover future years’ zakat.
What is the basis for the zakat calculator?
We take an open approach to calculating zakat and include as comprehensive a list of inputs as possible, taken from the different schools of jurisprudence. Meaning, we are not here to tell you how it must be done. There are many opinions on how to calculate zakat, and we leave it to you to choose how you would like to do it. We try to lay out all of the various issues and types of wealth so that you have a complete picture. In our exhaustive research, no other service does this.
How does Zakatify calculate the nisab amount?
Nisab is calculated as the value of 85 grams of gold or 595 grams of silver. Our default is to use gold for the nisab calculation. While some opinions suggest using silver instead, this yields a much lower threshold for zakat than gold. You are free to do so manually and then editing your zakat goal amount (see above). The price of gold and silver fluctuates, but we use the most recent price on the day you calculate your zakat.
How are charities deemed “zakat eligible”?
We apply the categories of zakat eligibility in order to list charities: helping the destitute, alleviating poverty, softening of hearts, freeing of people, forgiving debt, serving in God’s path, and assisting travelers.
Does Zakatify consult with Islamic scholars?
Yes. We regularly reach out to scholars from different schools of thought, recognizing that there are various opinions and that Zakatify as a platform will evolve over time.
What if I made a zakat donation outside Zakatify?
You can account for donations made external to Zakatify (for example, if you write a check at an in-person fundraiser, go to a website, or any other method). Go to your preferences and deduct your external donation from your annual zakat goal. Zakatify will then recalculate your monthly donation amounts, if applicable.
Are Zakatify’s platform fees and PayPal transaction fees zakat-eligible?
Yes. Zakat collectors & distributors such as Zakatify are one of the categories of zakat-eligible recipients.
I forgot my username or password. How do I access my account?
Go to our login tools section (on our website) and enter your email address to reset your password, retrieve your username, or resend your account verification email. In the app, you can click on “Forgot password?” in the email login screen to send a password reset link to your email.
Can I cancel my account?
Contact us at email@example.com if you want to cancel your account.
Updated 25 September 2018