Benevolent FAQs

What are the rules?

We expect our users and members to act with respect for themselves and others on this site. Our Terms of Use details those expectations, and Benevolent reserves the right to remove any and all content which is offensive or lacking in respect for those who share.

How does the money flow?

  • Each donation is a contribution to Benevolent.
  • When a posted need has been met, Benevolent sends a grant to the local validating partner for that need. That local nonprofit or agency then fulfills the need by paying the expense or making the purchase for the recipient.
  • If a specific need isn't funded to at least 95% by its date of expiration, Benevolent will not forward those funds on to the validating partner. Instead, we'll allocate donated funds to a similar need and let the donors know immediately.

How much goes to the need?

100% of your donation goes directly to the need you're supporting. We hope you'll choose to add an additional bit on top of your donation to support Benevolent's work when you're making your contribution. Every little bit helps us cover those credit card processing fees and the cost of achieving the Benevolent mission.

Are donations 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.

Can I give something other than money or donate via PayPal?

  • If you'd like to donate more than money, we suggest reaching out to Benevolent's validating partners directly.
  • We're excited to say that now you can donate in support of needs using your PayPal account. If you'd like to simply make a gift in support of Benevolent, you can use PayPal to do that on our Donate page.

What if I have a personal need?

If you’re an individual hoping to share your need on Benevolent, you can find an organization in your area that is already a Benevolent validating partner, or you can suggest to a provider in your area that their organization sign up!

Find the nearest validating partner »

Does Benevolent fund organizational needs?

Benevolent helps validating partners, such as nonprofits, religious organizations, and public agencies, meet their clients' needs. We don't currently post needs for organizations.

What types of needs does Benevolent help with? »

What makes a need successful?

  • Needs that will clearly and concretely move the person forward.
    People are eager to contribute when they believe their contribution will make a substantial difference. Because a clear action plan from the recipient shows potential givers how their contribution will remove a barrier in the recipient's life, people are more likely to help.
  • The recipient tells a compelling story. 
    Benevolent will only post needs told in the recipient's own words. A strong story helps potential givers understand the recipient's real circumstances and goals, which makes people more eager to help. 
  • $400 or less!
    The smaller the total amount, the bigger the impact a single gift can make. Needs under $400 are consistently more likely to be funded, and to be funded faster!
  • Clear photos and videos. 
    With clear and close-up photos and videos, people see the real person they're helping, which makes them more likely to step in and help.

For answers to other FAQs visit the Benevolent support center.