Important Note: Raising funds for a nonprofit? If you're launching a new campaign, please note we're removing support for FirstGiving on February 28. We recommend selecting "Other" when setting up your campaign so you see no disruption to your funding efforts. Please see our article here for additional information.
Contributions to campaigns that raise funds for a nonprofit institution registered as 501(c)(3) in the United States will be processed by our payment processor, FirstGiving. Contributions to these campaigns may be considered tax deductible.
Please note that Apple Pay and PayPal are not available for campaigns raising funds through FirstGiving.
What is a 501(c)(3)?
The IRS defines 501(c)(3) exemption requirements here. In general, this exemption is applied to not-for-profit organizations (scientific, charitable, educational, religious, etc.) that must be registered and verified by the US Government through the IRS. Please note that 501(c)(3) tax exemptions and deductions are only available in the United States.
How do I set up my campaign to offer tax deductions?
U.S. tax laws require all tax-deductible contributions to go directly to a 501(c)(3) organization. If you'd like to ensure that your campaign's funds are going directly to your nonprofit organization, so that your organization may offer tax deductions to your contributors, you must complete the following:
- Click ‘Campaign Editor‘ on the sidebar of your campaign page.
- Click the ‘Funding‘ tab in the sidebar.
- Under the heading 'Funds Recipient' select Nonprofit
- In the section '501(c)(3) Nonprofit Registration*' select 'Yes, this nonprofit is a registered 501(c)(3).'
- Enter the nonprofit's Employer Identification Number (EIN).
- If the nonprofit is not registered as a 501(c)(3) in the United States, please select No. You will still be able to run an Indiegogo campaign!
Note: Once you have saved this selection
- your campaign will be linked to that nonprofit's account and all funds will be sent directly to the nonprofit.
- Your campaign will also be automatically set up with a flexible funding campaign structure, and you will be able to receive contributions via direct credit card only.
- You will not be able to change your campaign's linked nonprofit organization once your campaign is live.
If you don’t have a connection to the nonprofit organization that you'd like to link to your campaign, we recommend that you contact the organization first, to make sure that your funds will be used as intended.
What if my nonprofit organization is not listed in the database?
The nonprofit organization you want to raise funds for on Indiegogo must have 501(c)(3) status in the United States in order for your campaign to receive our nonprofit features.
If you're not able to find your 501(c)(3) nonprofit by EIN, your organization might need to be set up an account with FirstGiving. If you are an employee of the nonprofit, you can setup your free account with FirstGiving on their webform. If you’re not an employee of the nonprofit, please contact the nonprofit directly to encourage them to setup an account with FirstGiving.
Setting up an account on FirstGiving to raise funds on Indiegogo is free of charge.
Federal banking regulations require FirstGiving to have a formal relationship in place with nonprofit organizations receiving funds through a platform like Indiegogo. Therefore, the person reaching out to FirstGiving should be an official representative of the nonprofit, such as a director.
When you fill out the form with FirstGiving, you will provide information about the principal contact for your organization. This contact should be a representative of the nonprofit, and will provide their name, date of birth, and personal address.
How do contributors receive a tax deductible receipt?
When people contribute to a verified nonprofit campaign, they will receive an email confirmation of their donation from FirstGiving, our nonprofit payments processor, as well as a confirmation of their contribution from Indiegogo.
However, any applicable tax receipts will have to be issued directly by the beneficiary nonprofit.
When will my nonprofit organization receive the funds my campaign raises?
FirstGiving, our nonprofit payments processor, disburses funds directly to the nonprofit organization on a monthly or weekly basis. FirstGiving's default method of payment is a monthly check, which will be sent out the middle of each month for the previous month’s total. In other words, if your campaign receives its first contribution in January, the first check will not be sent out until mid-February.
After the nonprofit receives its first two checks, they will be given the option to either continue receiving funds on a monthly basis or to switch to a weekly electronic funds transfer. If the nonprofit decides to set up the weekly electronic funds transfer, funds will be direct-deposited into the nonprofit's account each week, as long as they receive at least $100 in donations that week. If the nonprofit does not receive at least $100 that week, the direct deposit will be delayed until the nonprofit reaches the $100 threshold. If the nonprofit does not reach the $100 threshold after a month, the funds will be direct-deposited to the nonprofit at the end of the month.
Nonprofits will receive their first two checks for free along with messaging surrounding the fee for remaining on paper checks, afterwards they will be charged $20 per check by FirstGiving. If you prefer to avoid the fee around checks, we recommend you opt for Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) after the first two checks. Our article explains how you can switch from checks to EFT.
How do fees work for campaigns linked to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit?
- Indiegogo fee: Indiegogo's platform fee, which is 5%
- Third party fees: 3% plus 30 cents per transaction
Learn more about fees here.