How do the money processes and flows work in this crowd-funding model?
- When a pledge to donate is made, the donor’s credit card is charged for his or her chosen amount. Funds from donations made flow to Benevolent.
- Benevolent holds these funds specifically designated per the donor's request until more donors contribute to meet the need.
- If a posted need has been met:
- Benevolent sends a grant to the local nonprofit organization that validated the need;
- That local nonprofit then fulfils the need by paying the expense or making the purchase for the recipient;
- The local nonprofit and recipient communicate back to let us know the result of the Benevolent community meeting the need.
How much of each contribution actually goes to the person with the need?
Benevolent holds on to 3.5% of contributions to cover credit card, processing and banking fees and 6.75% for Benevolent’s operating costs. That fee structure is rolled into the total amount we post as necessary to meet each need, so that a recipient whose need is funded winds up with the funds he or she needs. When a need is successfully funded, 89.75% of all the contributions go to the validating nonprofit as a grant and that organization fulfils the need.
Is my donation tax deductible?
Benevolent, NFP is incorporated in the State of Illinois as a Not For Profit Corporation and has applied to receive 501(c)3 status with the Internal Revenue Service. We will inform donors when Benevolent receives notification of its 501(c)3 status. Each time a donor’s credit card is charged, Benevolent sends an email thank-you letter that can be used for tax reporting purposes. Once Benevolent has its 501(c)3 status, all donations can be taken as deductions to the extent allowable.
What if I want to send a check?
You can send a check to: Benevolent, 820 Davis Street, #409, Evanston, IL 60201. Please note in writing the need or needs you wish to support with your check. If we receive your funds too late to meet the need you’ve indicated, we will allocate your contribution to a similar need and let you know, so please include your email address if you have one.
How can I follow up and connect with others on the site?
We encourage recipients and their validators to write updates. Donors and visitors to the site may also wish to send messages of encouragement to recipients by using the "send a message" link on the left-hand side of the need page.
What if a need changes after it is posted and people have started to support it?
- Individuals and validators are encouraged to enter updates to the need as it is posted on the site. Those updates will be emailed to everyone who is already supporting that need.
- Both Benevolent and the validating nonprofit reserve the right to pull a need from the site. In this instance, contributions will be allocated to another need, and all supporters will be notified.
What if a situation changes after a need is funded?
The local nonprofit will act as a good steward of the money it has received and ensure that it goes to support the need of another constituent in the spirit of the original contributions. Donors will receive an update if this occurs. This is an extremely rare occurrence, but we want to be transparent about the possibilities.
What if the need I donated to is not funded?
If the specific need is not funded to at least 95% by its date of expiration, Benevolent will not forward those funds on to the nonprofit validator. Benevolent will allocate those funds to a similar need and notify the donor immediately. If your donation is reallocated like this, please let us know within 48 hours of the email you receive if you'd like us to change the reallocation of your contribution. We'll always do our best to accomodate.
What are the rules for those who use the site?