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The PlanetGiver's Guide

Our PlanetGiver's Guide takes you step by step through the easy instructions on registering, creating your profile page, and making your Circle of Giving. Get started here!

Registering and Using PlanetGive

How do I Register?

On the PlanetGive homepage, click Register. Follow the easy steps to create your account. Add a photo so everyone will know who you are. If you want, make a video telling all your friends what causes you care about most, and attach the link. Express your Purpose and share what you’re all about. Once you’ve registered, you can build your profile page by following the easy steps. Account Settings is where you can edit the information on your profile page once it is set up.

Should I upload a photo for my profile page?

Yes! Upload a photo so everyone will know who you are and can be certain they are on your profile page when making donations on your behalf. Tip: Select a horizontal picture for best results. To change your picture, go to Account Settings.

Should I make a video for my profile page?

Why not? Let others learn more about you by making a short video on YouTube or Vimeo telling the world why giving back, charitable giving, specific charities, etc. are important to you. Share the link to your profile page when creating your account or afterwards by going to Account Settings. If you’re not sure how, ask a friend for help or surf the internet for easy instructions. To change your video, go to Account Settings and upload the link to a new video.

How do I delete a video or add a new one?

Login to your account and go to Account Settings. You can easily delete your video, make a new one on YouTube or Vimeo, and attach the link to your profile page.

Can you help me discover my Purpose?

The option to include your Purpose, or personal mission, on your profile page is your opportunity to tell the world what you really care about. You can describe why charitable giving is important to you, express how you see your place in the world, share why your favorite charities are especially meaningful to you and even describe how you want to positively impact the world. When your friends go to your profile page, they can read about your Purpose, see which charities resonate with you, and select one to support on your behalf. If you need help finding your Purpose, here are some questions to guide you:

  • What is true about you today that would make your 7-yeard-old self cry?

  • What makes you come alive?

  • What difference do you want to make?

  • What are you best at?

  • What makes you forget to eat?

  • How would you choose to fill your day if you had the chance?

  • What makes you feel great about yourself?

  • If you had to teach something, what would it be?

  • What activities make you lose track of time?

  • What are your deepest values?

  • How would you save the world?

  • How would you like to be remembered?

  • Write a couple of sentences about yourself that describe the ideal version of yourself and the impact you want to make.

    Need more help? Think about these questions:

  • What do I want to do? Use action words like improve, empower, organize, produce, share, give, motivate, educate…

  • Who or what do I want to help? List things like people, creatures, organizations, groups, causes and things

  • What value will I create? Describe how you picture a perfect world and your place in it.

  • Combine WHAT you want to do with WHO you want to help, and write how you hope the world will benefit.

  • What is the minimum age to donate?

    If you’re at least 13 years old, you can visit and use our site with the permission of your parent or guardian, but all donations made through PlanetGive must be made by an adult until you are of legal age. Please click here for our Terms and Conditions.

    Can I make a donation on PlanetGive without creating an account?

    Yes. There are two ways to do this:

    • Support your friends’ favorite charities whenever the occasion arises! Use our friend search to navigate to their profile page, select the charity you want to support on their behalf, and securely checkout as a Guest.

    • Support your favorite charities by searching for them in our charity search field, and donate securely as a Guest. You can also find and vet new charities to support in our free comprehensive charity database.

    We do encourage you to Register! It’s completely free to be a PlanetGiver, and you’ll have easy access to many tools that enhance your charitable giving experience. You can create a personal profile page and populate it with all your favorite charities, connect with your friends in a Circle of Giving, make recurring donations, and generate a personal Giving Report for all the donations you make on PlanetGive throughout the year. To print out your personal Giving Report, click on the Giving Report button on your profile page. You’ll make your tax preparer very happy! Register here.

    Can I use the PlanetGive website from anywhere in the world?

    You can be part of the PlanetGive world from anywhere on the planet, both as a registered PlanetGiver and as a Guest.

    Profile Pages

    How do I pick my favorite charities?

    It’s easy.Take advantage of our free comprehensive charity database. Search through all the registered non-profits by category, name, and our filters. Spend some time reading about as many of the 1,800,000 registered charities as you wish, and find out which ones resonate the most.

    How do I populate my profile page with charities?

    To populate a charity onto your profile page, find the specific charity in our charity search field, scroll to the bottom of the charity page, and select “favorite.” The charity will then appear on your profile page.

    Can I change my favorite charities that appear on my profile page?

    Yes. Login and review your charity selections on your profile page.

    To add new charities: use our charity search to find each charity you would like to add to your profile page. Scroll to the bottom of the charity page, and select “favorite.”

    To delete a charity from your profile page: use our charity search to find the charity you would like to delete, scroll to the bottom of the charity page, and select “remove.”

    Can I edit the written information on my profile page?

    Yes. Just login, go to Account Settings, and edit.

    Can I delete a video and add a new one?

    Yes. Login and go to Account Settings. You can easily delete your video, make a new one on YouTube or Vimeo, and attach the link to your profile page.

    Can engaged couples, married couples, and families create profile pages?

    Yes. To do so, each member of the engaged/married couple or family member registers individually and expresses a purpose they wish to share in common. Each member uploads the same picture of the couple or family, and each member populates their profile page with the same favorite charities. Once the profile pages are created, anyone who searches for a member of that couple or family on PlanetGive can donate to one of the favorite charities listed on the members’ page, on their behalf.
    (We’re in the process of developing a joint page for couples and families.)

    Can groups and corporations create profile pages?

    This feature is coming soon … stay tuned!

    How can I let others know about PlanetGive and about my Planet page?

    Use our social media integration tools often to tell the world about your PlanetGive charitable giving activities. Inspire others to become PlanetGivers and create their own Circles of Giving, and together watch charitable giving grow exponentially.

    How can people find me on PlanetGive?

    Anyone can go to the PlanetGive website and search your name using the Friends search on the homepage. You can also email your friends a direct link to your page once you have registered and have set up your profile page.

    Donating

    How can I make charitable donations on PlantGive?

    Using our charity search, enter the name of the charity you’re searching for, or use or filters to help you narrow your search. The filters help you search charities by category, city, state, and EIN* or NTEE** code. EIN and NTEE codes are unique to each organization. If you are unable to find a charity, Google the charity name to find their EIN or NTEE code, and enter that code into our charity search. Still no luck? It’s possible that charity is no longer in good standing with the IRS or has gone out of business. It’s also possible there is a glitch in our database. If you know a charity is in good standing but can’t be found in our database, please contact us at support@planetgive.org.
    * (Employer Identification Number)
    ** (National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities)

    Is there a fee for using the PlanetGive website?

    Use of the PlanetGive website is completely free of charge. Our goal is to encourage more charitable giving in secure, intuitive, social, and meaningful ways.

    Are my donations safe and secure?

    Absolutely. Our website security is provided by Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), a recognized authentication and encryption software. In other words, the site becomes locked while you are giving us your information and unlocks only when you leave the secured area, and your number is “encrypted” so it is unreadable to anyone outside the transaction process. Stripe, the payment processor used by our Donor Advised Fund, DonateWell, maintains PCI DSS Level 1 certification and stores data using the highest levels of encryption and tokenization.

    Will you protect my privacy?

    Yes. PlanetGive will not sell, rent, or trade the personal information you provide to this site to other individuals or companies. When our Donor Advised Fund, DonateWell, disburses your donation, they provide your name, email address and mailing address to the nonprofit you are supporting in order for the nonprofit to document and acknowledge your contribution. If you wish to remain anonymous, please select this option during checkout. Keep in mind, however, that if you are making a contribution for someone’s birthday or in their honor or memory, the recipient won’t know who the donation is from if you choose to remain anonymous. Please click here to read our Privacy & Security Policy.

    Are my charitable donations tax-deductible?

    All donations made to the charities on our site are 100% tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Please check with your tax professional for details or specific questions.

    You will receive a donation receipt via email that you can use for tax-deduction purposes. If you’re asked to provide a paper receipt for the IRS, please print out a copy of your email receipt. If you’re a registered PlanetGiver, you can also print out a report of all the charitable donations you make on PlanetGive by clicking the Giving Report button on your profile page.

    Note: Not all donations can be claimed as charitable deductions, even if the organization is registered as a nonprofit. Please check with the IRS to see if an organization is eligible to receive charitable deductions.

    What are the advantages of donating online?

    Donating online allows for quick and secure transactions. Credit card donations made online are a cost-effective way for charities to receive donations without having to pay staff or ask volunteers to accept donations by phone. In addition, PlanetGive provides you free access to valuable vetting information from both the IRS and ProPublica charity databases, providing you with comprehensive and updated information on over 1,800,000 organizations recognized by the IRS as tax-exempt charities under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service. In addition, you can easily set up recurring donations.

    Can I make a donation over the phone?

    We try our best to keep costs as low as possible to ensure charities benefit as much as possible. For that reason, only online donations are possible.

    What are my payment options?

    You may donate online through our secure credit card donation system using your Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express cards.

    Is there a minimum donation amount?

    We are happy to accept any donation of five dollars ($5.00) or more. Of course, we welcome donations in any amount above the minimum.

    How much of my donation goes to the charity?

    A modest processing fee that covers the transaction cost and maintenance of the site is deducted from each donation. For every dollar donated, the charity receives nearly ninety-three cents. Please refer to our Terms & Conditions for details. Every year, PlanetGive makes a donation to PlanetGivers’ favorite charity, as judged by the number of individual donations the charity has received from PlanetGivers.

    How long does it take for a charity to receive my donation?

    All charitable contributions made on PlanetGive are disbursed monthly by our Donor Advised Fund, DonateWell.

    Will I receive a donation confirmation?

    Yes. The email confirmation you receive jointly from PlanetGive and DonateWell when your donation is processed is sufficient to serve as a receipt for tax purposes. Please keep the receipt for your records. Please note: your credit card bill will reflect that your donation was made from PlanetGive.

    If you are a registered PlanetGiver, all donations you make on the site will be accounted for in your personal Giving Report found on your password-protected profile page.

    What is DonateWell?

    DonateWell is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that sponsors a national Donor-Advised Fund and is registered with the IRS with EIN 46-0942102. DonateWell has hired PlanetGive to use its technology to further DonateWell’s charitable mission. Donations made on the PlanetGive website are actually made to DonateWell as an advisement for making a grant specified by each PlanetGive user to the intended 501(c)(3) charities and other eligible organizations that can receive tax deductible donations per the IRS guidelines. Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for more details.

    What is a Donor Advised Fund?

    A Donor Advised Fund, or DAF, is a philanthropic vehicle established at a public charity. It allows donors to make charitable contributions, receive an immediate tax benefit and then recommend grants from the fund over time. An easy way to think about a DAF is like a charitable savings account: a donor contributes to the fund as frequently as they like and recommends grants to their favorite charities whenever they wish.

    Can I make donations as a Guest without creating an account?

    Yes. There are two ways to do this:

    • Support your friends’ favorite charities whenever the occasion arises! Use our friend search to navigate to their profile page, select the charity you want to support on their behalf, and securely checkout as a Guest.

    • Support your favorite charities by searching for them in our charity search field, and donate securely as a Guest. You can also find and vet new charities to support in our free comprehensive charity database.

    We do encourage you to Register! It’s completely free to be a PlanetGiver, and you’ll have easy access to many tools that enhance your charitable giving experience. You can create a personal profile page and populate it with all your favorite charities, connect with your friends in a Circle of Giving, make recurring donations, and generate a personal Giving Report for all the donations you make on PlanetGive throughout the year. To print out your personal Giving Report, click on the Giving Report button on your profile page. You’ll make your tax preparer very happy! Register here.

    Can I keep track of the donations I make on PlanetGive?

    One of the benefits of being a registered PlanetGiver is that all the donations you make on PlanetGive will automatically appear on your password-protected personal Giving Report viewable on your profile page. You can view and print your Giving Report any time.

    Can anyone else get access to my personal Giving Report?

    No. Your personal Giving Report is private and viewable only by you. To access your report, you must be a registered PlanetGiver and must login to the site with your username and password. Please keep your username and password confidential to protect your privacy.

    Can I cancel a donation?

    No. All donations made on PlanetGive are non-refundable.

    What if a charity doesn't receive my donation?

    If the charity you have selected is no longer in business or has lost its tax-exempt status, you’ll be contacted by DonateWell, our Donor Advised Fund, notifying you of the charity’s status, and you can select another charity to receive your contribution.

    What if I have a problem making a donation?

    Please email PlanetGive customer support at support@planetgive.org and we’ll be happy to help.

    Can I make a donation In Honor or In Memory of someone?

    Absolutely. If someone is celebrating a special occasion, going through a tough time, is ill or has passed away, you can easily make an honorary or memorial donation. To do so, navigate to their profile page and donate to one of their favorite charities. During checkout, indicate if the contributions is being made in their honor or memory. The recipient will receive an acknowledgement that includes your sentiments.

    If the recipient isn’t registered on PlanetGive, you can offer to register and create a profile page for them, populate it with their favorite charities, and invite their friends and family to contribute to the recipient’s favorite charities in their honor or memory in a meaningful way.

    Can I create a profile page on someone’s behalf after they pass away?

    Show you care for someone who has passed away by registering for the decedent on PlanetGive and creating a profile page on their behalf. Convey their essence by personalizing the page with a photo, expressing his/her Purpose, and even uploading the link to a video you create on YouTube or Vimeo sharing why charitable giving and specific charities were important to the decedent. After you populate the page with his/her favorite charities, invite friends, family members, and others to visit the decedent’s profile page and make memorial contributions. These contributions will be especially meaningful to the family and to everyone mourning the loss.

    Circles of Giving and Getting Social

    What is a Circle of Giving?

    A Circle of Giving is the group of people you want to receive birthday notifications for to remind you to donate to one of their favorite charities in celebration of their special day. In turn, they will be notified when you’re celebrating a birthday and can support one of your favorite charities. Collaborating with members of your Circle of Giving to support each other’s favorite charities when the occasion arises throughout the year elevates the giving experience in a meaningful way and amplifies the positive impact you’re making together in the world.

    How can I connect with my friends and create a Circle of Giving?

    Our Circles of Giving allow registered users to connect with friends and family in supporting each others’ favorite charities. To create your Circle of Giving, use our friend search to find each of your friends’ profile pages. Once you’ve clicked on their page, select Add Friend to add them to your Circle of Giving. You’ll be notified whenever someone in your Circle of Giving celebrates a birthday, and you can easily contribute to one of their favorite causes on their behalf, if you wish. Of course, there are occasions, holidays, special times and events throughout the year that are Causes for Celebration, too, and are perfect times to support each other philanthropically. If the person you’re searching for isn’t registered yet (your friend search yields no results), select More Results and use our Invite button to invite them to register and create their own profile page so they can join in the fun of giving! To remove a friend from your Circle of Giving, simply select Remove Friend.

    Use our friend search and invite all your friends, family, coworkers, team members, and everyone else whom you want to join your Circle of Giving.

    How can I let others know about PlanetGive and about My Planet page?

    Use our social media integration tools often to tell the world about your PlanetGive charitable giving activities. Inspire others to become PlanetGivers and create their own Circles of Giving, and together watch charitable giving grow exponentially.

    How can people find my profile page?

    Anyone can go to the PlanetGive website, search your name in our Friend search, and find your profile page. Use our friend search to send an email to all your friends inviting them to register for PlanetGive and join your Circle of Giving. The more good we do together, the better!

    How will I know when a friend makes a donation on my behalf?

    When someone makes a donation on your behalf, you will receive an email from PlanetGive notifying you of their contribution.

    How will you notify someone that I’ve made a charitable donation on their behalf?

    During checkout, you will enter information into the appropriate fields. An email acknowledging your donation will be sent to the recipient as soon as it is processed. The amount of the donation will not be shared, unless you select the option to include the amount.

    PDF: PlanetGive provides you with the free option to print out a document populated with the details of your donation, including the recipient’s name, the occasion for the donation, the charity donated to, and your name, that you can present to the recipient. The amount of the donation is not included, for privacy purposes, but you can easily include the amount, along with a personal message, if you wish.

    What is #givingbeatsgetting?

    #gettingbeatsgiving is PlanetGive’s official hashtag to celebrate supporting the causes we love. Use #gettingbeatsgiving on your posts on Instagram, Facebook, and blogs to join our community and get a chance to be reposted on our social media pages!

    PlanetGive Databases

    What is the IRS Database?

    This is a list of organizations recognized as tax-exempt by the Internal Revenue Service. These organizations must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of their earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, they may not be action organizations, i.e., they may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of their activities and may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates. Organizations described in section 501(c)(3) are commonly referred to as charitable organizations and are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions in accordance with Code section 170.

    What is ProPublica?

    ProPublica is an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. Their Nonprofit Explorer includes data for nonprofit tax returns processed by the IRS. This generally consists of filings for the past few fiscal years, but may include older records. The IRS data release includes only a subset of what can be found in the full Form 990s. In addition to the raw data, ProPublica has provided linked to PDFs of full Form 990 documents wherever possible.

    Which Organizations Are Here?
    Every organization that has been recognized as tax exempt by the IRS has to file Form 990 every year, unless they make less than $200,000 in revenue and have less than $500,000 in assets, in which case they have to file form 990-EZ. Organizations making less than $50,000 don’t have to file either form but do have to let the IRS they’re still in business via a Form 990N “e-Postcard.”

    Nonprofit Explorer has organizations claiming tax exemption in each of the 27 subsections of the 501(c) section of the tax code, and which have filed a Form 990, Form 990EZ or Form 990PF. Taxable trusts and private foundations that are required to file a form 990PF are also included. Small organizations filing a Form 990N “e-Postcard” are not included in this data.

    Use this database to search over 2.2 million tax returns from tax-exempt organizations and see financial details such as their executive compensation and revenue and expenses. You can browse raw IRS data released since 2013 and access over 8.3 million tax filing documents going back as far as 2001.