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Donating through the Giving Basket
Donating through the Giving Basket
Updated over a week ago
  • What is Charity Navigator's Giving Basket?

    Charity Navigator’s donation tool, the Giving Basket, helps donors easily give directly through the website to the causes they care about. The Giving Basket also makes it simple to donate to multiple nonprofits in one easy transaction. This saves time and reduces the complexity of tracking multiple donation receipts.

  • Why does Charity Navigator offer online giving?

    Charity Navigator’s mission is to make impactful giving easier for all, and our vision is one where giving is inclusive, effective and abundant -- driving greater impact for causes people care about.

    Charity Navigator’s donation tool, the Giving Basket, advances our mission and vision. It’s a safe, easy and convenient way to research and give to the causes you care about -- and it makes it simple to donate to multiple nonprofits in one easy transaction, set up recurring donations, give anonymously and get one tax receipt. This saves time and reduces the complexity of tracking multiple donations. Starting in 2021, we asked Give Lively to power our Giving Basket. Give Lively is a tech company that builds practical and easy-to-use fundraising solutions that are free for nonprofits and intuitive for donors.

  • Why should I give via the Giving Basket?

    Mindful that an online contribution is the fastest, easiest and often the cheapest way for nonprofits to receive donations -- frequently even less expensive than checks sent by mail and credit card contributions made over the phone -- we developed the Giving Basket as a safe, easy and convenient way to research and give to the causes you care about.

    The Giving Basket allows for simultaneous donations to multiple charities with one tax receipt, recurring donations and anonymous gifts. It is also supported by rigorous data, privacy and security mechanisms and a centralized portal for donation records, making your life easier at tax time and when you want to give again.

    Importantly, by donating through the Giving Basket, you are maximizing the impact of your generosity. Charity Navigator charges no administrative fees and Give Lively’s fundraising technology is free for nonprofits, helping charities to devote more resources to their critical work. There are, however, the usual fees charged by third-party services used to process and disburse each donation.

    For more information about the benefits of using the Giving Basket, please visit our site.

  • Can I give to any organizations listed on Charity Navigator?

    Donations through the Giving Basket can be made to most, but not all of the 1.7 million nonprofits on our site, all of which are eligible 501(c)(3) public charities. The only exceptions are those that have opted out of the donation system, those that are not in good standing with the IRS, and those with High Alerts issued. If an organization has opted out of donations, the donation button on their profile will be disabled.

  • What are the minimum and maximum transaction amounts?

    The minimum amount for a single donation is $1 and the maximum is $100,000. However, since the Giving Basket can handle donations to multiple nonprofits in one easy transaction, the maximum amount possible in one cart (containing multiple donations) is $999,999.99. The maximum number of nonprofits that can be in one cart is 20.

  • When will the nonprofit receive donations made through the Giving Basket?

    Donations made through the Giving Basket, powered by Give Lively, will be disbursed one of two ways:

    • For nonprofits that are (a) not a Give Lively member nonprofit, (b) a Give Lively member without a Stripe account in good standing or (c) receiving donations made via PayPal: A check will be mailed to a nonprofit within 30 days of the close of the month in which the donation was made and if the total value of waiting funds for that nonprofit equals $10 or more. For example, a nonprofit with more than $10 of donations made in March will be mailed a check before the end of April. For donation totals of less than $10, once additional donations push the value over $10, a check will be cut during that month’s processing.

    • Nonprofits that are Give Lively members: A direct bank deposit will be sent within 30 days of the close of the month in which the donation was made. Each transfer takes 2-7 business days from the time it is initiated. There is no minimum threshold amount.

  • How do I know if my donation has been sent to the nonprofit?

    *Charity Navigator’s Giving Basket allows donors to contribute to multiple nonprofits all in one transaction. Due to the complex nature of such transactions, there is a delay between when your donation is SENT to the nonprofit and when it is RECEIVED. The following article is divided into two sections to address the details of the disbursement process, from sending to receiving. *

    If you represent a nonprofit, read more about how long it takes to receive donations made through the Giving Basket.

    How do I know if my donation has been sent to the nonprofit?
    When initial processing of your donation is complete, Give Lively, the tech company that powers the Giving Basket, does two things:
    1. It prepares to disburse your donation(s) to the nonprofit(s) you support. It may still take some time for this process to take place and for the nonprofit(s) to receive the funds.
    2. It emails you a receipt detailing your donation(s). This receipt, which can be used for tax purposes, is confirmation that your payment has been processed and preparation is being made for its disbursement to the nonprofit(s) you support. Double-check your spam folder if you have not received an email receipt within one week of your donation. If you still can’t find the email receipt, contact Give Lively support.

    IMPORTANT NOTES ABOUT PAYMENT METHODS It can take from a few minutes to a week between when you make your donation and when the email receipt is sent, depending on the payment method you use.

    • Credit and debit card donations are usually processed within minutes. You can confirm this directly by checking your card account for a “Giving Basket donation” charge.

    • Paypal donations may take a little longer, but are also usually processed quickly. PayPal will also show a “Giving Basket donation” charge once it has been processed.

    • ACH/direct debit donations can take up to seven business days for the bank to process. Shortly after you submit your bank donation, Give Lively will send you an automatic email confirmation that your donation is pending, but this is not a tax receipt. Once your bank donation has worked through the system, your bank statement will show a “Giving Basket donation” debit.

    IMPORTANT NOTES ABOUT PAYMENT NOTATION * The “Giving Basket donation” notation on credit card, PayPal and bank statements does not signify that your donation was retained by Charity Navigator or Give Lively. The details on your email receipt will make clear that the funds you donated have indeed been directed to the nonprofit(s) you support. * In select circumstances, funds must first pass through the Give Lively Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that makes it possible for donors to contribute to nearly any 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the United States. When this is the case, it will be listed on your receipt as a "Donation to , Directed through the Give Lively Foundation” with the EIN of the Give Lively Foundation. Otherwise, when the nonprofit is a Give Lively member, this donation will be listed on your receipt as a “Donation to ” with the EIN of the nonprofit you supported.

    When will my donation be received by the nonprofit?
    Donations made through the Giving Basket, powered by Give Lively, will be disbursed one of two ways:
    * For nonprofits that are (a) not a Give Lively member nonprofit, (b) a Give Lively member without a Stripe account in good standing or (c) receiving donations made via PayPal: A check will be mailed to a nonprofit within 30 days of the close of the month in which the donation was made and if the total value of waiting funds for that nonprofit equals $10 or more. For example, a nonprofit with more than $10 of donations made in March will be mailed a check before the end of April. For donation totals of less than $10, once additional donations push the value over $10, a check will be cut during that month’s processing. * Nonprofits that are Give Lively members: A direct bank deposit will be sent within 30 days of the close of the month in which the donation was made. Each transfer takes 2-7 business days from the time it is initiated. There is no minimum threshold amount.

  • Can I give in honor/memory of someone?

    Yes. In the Giving Basket, the donation form allows you to “Donate in honor or memory of a loved one.” By clicking on the plus sign, you open a box with options to donate “In Honor Of” or “In Memory Of” someone and a field for the “Dedicatee’s name”. There's also an optional field for a “Recipient email” address if you wish to share word of the donation with another party. The recipient’s email identifies you as the donor but does not specify the amount of your gift.

  • Can I give anonymously and will I truly be anonymous?

    Yes, you can give anonymously. On every “Make Your Donation” form in the Giving Basket, you can choose which details to share with the nonprofit(s) to which you are donating: your name, email address and/or mailing address. While you can block nonprofits from receiving any information you choose to keep anonymous, you must provide these details on the donation form, and both Charity Navigator and Give Lively will retain them in order to run the Giving Basket.

  • How do I know if my transaction is secure?

    We take your data privacy and security very seriously. We do not sell or otherwise disclose donor information outside our organization. Read our donor privacy policy and user privacy policy.

    For donations made through the Giving Basket, Give Lively, the organization that powers the Giving Basket, also pays purposeful, respectful and careful attention to data privacy and security. Give Lively never sees or stores any donor payment information, and full saved payment details, used only to complete your donation, are captured by and stored securely in an independent payment processor without passing through Give Lively’s servers.

    With any data that is collected and retained, both Charity Navigator and Give Lively take every reasonable precaution to protect against its loss, misuse or alteration, both in transit and at rest. While in transit, it is protected using end-to-end encryption and SSL protected web pages. At rest, it resides in encrypted databases. Most importantly, the data is stored only as long as it is required, and, critically, it will never be sold, rented, leased or traded to third parties other than, with your permission, the nonprofit you supported.

  • Are there fees when giving via the Giving Basket?

    Yes, but they are not charged by Charity Navigator or by Give Lively, which powers the Giving Basket. Charity Navigator charges no administrative fees and Give Lively’s fundraising technology is free for nonprofits.

    The fees are charged by the independent services used to process and disburse each donation. As of November 2021, those third-party fees are as follows:

    • 0.8% (with a cap of $5, no matter how large the donation) for ACH/bank transfers

    • 2.2% + $0.30 for major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Diner Club and JCB

    • 3.5% for American Express

    • 1.99% + $0.49 for PayPal.

    • $0.93 per check processing fee when we use a check to disburse funds to nonprofits: this is subtracted from the lump-sum check, applied proportionally across all donations included in the check.

    These figures are based on special nonprofit rates offered by Stripe and PayPal, the primary payment processors. All nonprofits receiving donations through the Giving Basket automatically benefit from these special rates through Give Lively. Standard rates are slightly different.

    Again, these fees do not go to Charity Navigator or Give Lively. They are automatically deducted from each donation by the third-party payment processors. That said, depending on the payment method, you may have the option of covering the processing fees (as an additional tax-deductible gift) at checkout in the Giving Basket.

  • To avoid fees, why shouldn't I give directly to the charity?

    We provide each rated nonprofit’s mailing address and website so that you can give directly if you choose. However, electing to contribute directly to a nonprofit does not mean that you avoid payment processing fees. The charities themselves incur fees when processing your gift. The difference is that Charity Navigator and Give Lively transparently explain these costs, which do not go to either company, but pay banks, credit card companies and other administrative costs. You may also have the opportunity to cover these fees.

    Even when you do not elect to cover the fee, using the Giving Basket can still save your favorite nonprofit money because the Giving Basket processing fees are relatively low. Many nonprofits have to pay just as much, or more, to credit card companies to process online donations themselves. Furthermore, giving online saves your charity postage and check processing costs.

  • How is the third party payment processing fee distributed when making multiple donations?

    The processing fee is proportional to each donation amount in the Giving Basket.

    There is also an $0.93 per check processing fee when we use a check to disburse funds to nonprofits that receive donations through the Giving Basket. The $0.93 fee is subtracted from the lump-sum check, applied proportionally across all donations included in the check.

  • Can I cover the payment processing fee?

    In most cases, yes. At present, this is possible (as an additional tax-deductible gift) when you pay by bank/ACH transfer, credit/debit card and PayPal. On the “Choose a Payment Method” page of the Giving Basket donation form, you are advised that “You will have the opportunity to cover the payment processing fees on the next screen.” Once you have selected your preferred payment method (“Credit Card” or “Bank Account” or “PayPal”), the form displays a check box where you may elect to “Add to cover payment processing fees so that the nonprofits in your basket will receive the full donation.”

    Fee coverage does not include the $0.93 per check processing fee when we use a check to disburse funds to nonprofits that receive donations through the Giving Basket. The $0.93 fee is subtracted from the lump-sum check, applied proportionally across all donations included in the check.

  • How do I setup or edit my recurring donations?

    To set up a recurring donation, go to the Giving Basket and add the nonprofits to which you would like to make recurring monthly donations. Be sure to select “Monthly” and complete the donation.

    To stop an existing recurring donation, you must log in into your Charity Navigator account and go to your My Donations section. There, find the tab that says "Manage Recurring Donations". On that tab, you will see a "Stop" button next to each of your recurring donations. Use these “Stop” buttons to end recurring donations.

    To set up new recurring donations or change the credit card details, first stop the existing ones. Then go to the Giving Basket, add your chosen charities, select “Monthly” donations and check out with your new credit card information.

    Neither Charity Navigator nor Give Lively has access to any of your payment information regarding these donations, so we are unable to help you complete these actions.

  • What is Give Lively and how is it related to Charity Navigator?

    Give Lively powers Charity Navigator’s Giving Basket. Give Lively is a tech company that builds practical and easy-to-use fundraising solutions that are free for nonprofits and intuitive for donors. Recognizing this, Charity Navigator asked Give Lively to turn its secure and intuitive platform to the advantage of the Giving Basket.

  • What do Charity Navigator and Give Lively do with donor data?

    While Charity Navigator and Give Lively collect and have access to some data, both organizations take donors’ privacy and security very seriously. Read about our donor privacy policy and user privacy policy. Give Lively pays equally purposeful and careful attention to data privacy and security.

  • Why did Charity Navigator choose to partner with Give Lively for the Giving Basket?

    Give Lively is a tech company that believes nonprofits should not sacrifice their means to satisfy their missions. It builds practical and easy-to-use fundraising solutions that are free for nonprofits and intuitive for donors. Recognizing this, we asked Give Lively to turn its secure and intuitive platform to the advantage of the Giving Basket. We believe this partnership is an opportunity to positively benefit you and the thousands of organizations you support with access to a rich and rewarding philanthropic experience.

  • How do nonprofits benefit from Give Lively powering the Giving Basket?

    Some of the benefits that nonprofits receive from Charity Navigator’s partnership with Give Lively include:

    • low payment processing fees especially for donations made via ACH/bank transfers

    • $1 (minimum) to $100,000 (maximum) for a single donation, and up $999,999.99 for one cart (containing multiple donations)

    • streamlined, one click payments using digital wallets like Google Pay

    • an intuitively designed donation interface, built by and for donors

    • donation designations or targeted use of funds

    • options for donors to give anonymously by withholding name, email and/or address from nonprofits

    • donation dedications in honor or in memory of another (with notifications, if desired)

    • reliable, speedy disbursement

    • secure, anytime access to donor and donation data

    • seamless integration between the Giving Basket data and Give Lively’s fundraising software

    • purposeful and careful attention to data privacy and security

  • Which digital wallet works for the Giving Basket?

    The Giving Basket supports Google Pay.

    For donors who have enabled Google Pay, it will appear automatically when using any Chrome or Android devices.

  • Will I be notified before/after a recurring donation is processed?

    You will receive an automated email after your donation is processed. This will serve as the official tax receipt for your donation. Your recurring donation will be charged on the same date each month, but you will not be notified in advance of the donation. If your card is unable to be charged, we will notify you via email so that you may update your credit card information.

What if the card I use for recurring donations expires?

The company, named Stripe, that processes credit card transactions works directly with credit card networks to automatically update most saved credit card information when a new card is issued by a bank. This feature works with most Visa, Mastercard and Discover cards.

  • Where do I go to get donations receipts?

    You will automatically receive a donation receipt by email shortly after your Giving Basket donation has been fully processed. This may take between a few minutes and a week, depending on the payment method you use. You may also log in to your Charity Navigator account to review your donation history. This too is where you can verify your recurring donations.

  • Where can I find tax receipt information and an annual summary of my donations?

    When you donate through the Giving Basket, you will receive a tax acknowledgement via email. Additionally, when you log into your Charity Navigator account, you can access your donation history via the My Donations section.

  • Why am I not getting a full refund?

    Give Lively powers Charity Navigator’s Giving Basket. In accordance with Give Lively’s Terms of Use, a donation may not be cancelled or returned once it has been processed.

    In the case of accidental donations, however, some exceptions may be possible. That being said, payment processing fees, already deducted by the processor, cannot be refunded. The refundable amount will be the total originally donated minus the payment processing fees.

    For all questions about donations, including refunds, cancellations and changes, contact Giving Basket support at givingbasket@charitynavigator.org. Please note that refunds, if possible, can only be issued during the same calendar month of the completed transaction.

  • I had a problem processing my donation via the Giving Basket and need assistance?

    If you need help or have questions about your donations, contact Giving Basket support at givingbasket@charitynavigator.org.

  • Why is my Giving Basket donation receipt showing inaccurate times and dates?

    Give Lively uses UTC to note the time and date of a completed donation.

    What is UTC? UTC, which stands for Coordinated Universal Time, is used as the 24-hour time standard across the entire planet. UTC today is what people referred to as Greenwich Mean Time (or GMT) up until 1972, when GMT became the name of a time zone, not a time standard.

    The local time anywhere on the planet can be calculated against UTC. For example, Eastern Standard Time (EST) in the U.S. is always UTC-5 (or UTC minus 5), meaning 16:00 UTC is 11:00am EST.

    What does it mean that Give Lively uses UTC? When you complete a donation, the time and date of your completed donation is recorded in UTC. Your local timezone is not presently gathered or stored.

    This means that donation dates and times are noted in UTC on your receipt.

    ‍*Why is this important?* In some cases, you may have been attempting to complete donations before a tax deadline — such as before midnight on December 31. The receipt may not immediately look like the deadline was met, but it is accurate in UTC and can be confirmed as valid with a tax expert or accountant when you file taxes.

    For example, a donor based in San Francisco who completes a donation at 7pm PST on December 31 will see it as having been completed at 03:00 UTC on January 1. That is not a mistake. Since PST is UTC-8, the UTC time is 8 hours later, or 3am. But the receipt, although it shows it in UTC, accurately reflects a donation time of 7pm on December 31 for a person located in Pacific Standard Time.

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