401Gives FAQ's

Q. What is 401Gives?

401Gives is a statewide day of giving, on April 1, 2023 (4-01!) - but April 1 is on a weekend this year - stay tuned for "weekend activities!" The online fundraising campaign is designed to bring a collective voice to the nonprofit community and deepen the state’s culture of giving. This giving challenge combines a state-of-the-art platform with a sophisticated media strategy to highlight the impact of Rhode Island’s nonprofit sector, which accounts for 18 percent of the state’s total workforce.

Now, everyone can make a difference in Rhode Island with just one click. The inaugural 401Gives, on April 1, 2020 brought in $1.3 million to 366 nonprofits across Rhode Island and in 2021 brought in almost $2.3M to 422 nonprofits!  And last year, over $3.1M to 507 nonprofits. 

United Way of Rhode Island is proud to power 401Gives as part of their strategic plan to deepen the culture of philanthropy in Rhode Island and help build capacity of all nonprofits in all sectors and geographic locations.

Q. Who can donate?  

Anyone may donate that has access to a credit/debit card and access to the internet. Donations through the 401Gives online portal to charitable nonprofit organizations are tax-deductible and cannot be refunded.

Q. Who is GiveGab?

GiveGab is the nonprofit giving platform that is hosting 401Gives' website.

GiveGab helps nonprofits to raise money, engage donors and manage volunteers quickly and efficiently. GiveGab offers a full portfolio of simple and easy to use products that allows organizations to function in a more streamlined manner.

Q. How secure is GiveGab's site?

GiveGab takes the highest security measures to ensure your information is protected. They’ve partnered with Stripe as their payment processor and underwriter for nonprofit verification, which is a PCI Service Provider Level 1, the most stringent level of certification possible. You’re welcome to read through their security documentation on their website: https://stripe.com/help/security

In addition, GiveGab forces HTTPS to ensure a secure connection wherever you are on GiveGab, whether you're making a donation or just volunteering. The security of administrators, donors, and volunteers is taken very seriously.

Q. Is the website available in other languages?

We suggest using Google Chrome and using the translate options to change the website to the preferred language.

Q. How will the United Way of Rhode Island promote 401Gives across the community?

Promotional efforts for 401Gives will begin in late fall 2022 and will continue through the event on the weekend April 1, 2023. Participating nonprofits receive training and tool kits for all aspects of marketing, matching gifts, peer-to-peer fundraising, and social media channels. 

Q. Which nonprofits can participate?

Nonprofits that are verified 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofits that are headquartered or provide services in Rhode Island can participate.

Q. When can my nonprofit start registering for 401Gives?

Registration for nonprofits will begin on November 8, 2022. If we have your contact information, you will be notified via email. For questions and to add your name to the newsletter mailing list, email 401Gives@unitedwayri.org.

Q. Is there a fee for nonprofits to participate?

There is a $35 early bird registration fee for nonprofits that register before February 13, 2023 and $50 after that. Fees are used to offset media costs. Volunteer Center members will receive free registration.

The only other fees are the platform and credit card fees which donors always have the option to cover on your organization's behalf. See details under "Donations & Financials" section.

Q. What is a "unique donor"?

For the purposes of awarding prizes to nonprofits, a unique donor is one individual or corporation/business. Multiple donations from one donor to the same nonprofit will count as one gift. Organizations cannot donate to themselves.

Q. Can a nonprofit have a fiscal sponsor?

Yes, a nonprofit can have a fiscal sponsor. You register with the nonprofit’s information and then the banking information of the fiscal sponsor. For further help, please contact a GiveGab representative through the chat messenger.

Q. What if a nonprofit has the 501c3 pending?

You can still register if the nonprofit’s 501c3 is pending. We will verify as it gets closer to the giving day.

Q. What is state charitable solicitation registration?

Nonprofits are held to a high standard of government regulation and public scrutiny. And that is with good reason! Eligible 501(c) nonprofits are exempt from federal corporate taxes and have access to public funding. These benefits are not typically available to for-profit businesses, so laws are in place to protect the public and ensure nonprofits do not abuse their financial advantages. The IRS and states all have requirements for nonprofits.

Q. Why is state charitable solicitation registration compliance important?

While 501(c) nonprofits receive key financial benefits, the penalties for noncompliance can be serious. The IRS can revoke a nonprofit’s tax exemption and impose fines that can accrue daily. The states can administratively dissolve a nonprofit corporation and levy steep financial penalties. Perhaps worst of all, an organization can lose out on a grant or large donation because it has not kept itself in good standing.

Taking a proactive approach to compliance helps ensure the sustained success of the organization. The cost of staying compliant is small in comparison to the much larger costs of noncompliance. The saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” could not be more true in this context.

Q. What are the key aspects of state charitable solicitation registration compliance?

The IRS provides tax exemptions to eligible nonprofits under IRC 501(c). Public charities and private foundations receive 501(c)(3) tax exemption. The IRS scrutinizes organizations when they apply for 501(c)(3) but also ensures that those organizations meet the ongoing obligations to remain eligible. Nonprofits must file a 990 tax form each year with the IRS to disclose their financial data for the year.

Each state has their own set of requirements. Nonprofits are typically incorporated in a given state as a nonprofit corporation. The state in which the nonprofit has incorporated will impose requirements on the nonprofit, and those responsibilities typically span across multiple state agencies. Usually nonprofits must submit an annual filing to the corporations division of the secretary of state, maintain its license to fundraise (charitable solicitation registration), file for a state business license, and maintain state-level tax exemption with the revenue department. As nonprofits expand outside of the state or operate nationwide, they must comply with the same items in each other state as well.

In addition to IRS and state filing requirements, nonprofits must keep adequate records. Keeping accurate and complete records is critical in the event that an organization is audited. It is also common that board members or donors request information from the organization. Finally, records are necessary for submitting applications and renewal filings with various government agencies.

Q. When I check the box on GiveGab to declare state charitable solicitation registration compliance, what am I attesting to?

When you check the box you are attesting (defined as "declaring that something exists or is the case") that your organization is compliant with applicable state fundraising requirements in the states in which you may solicit donors using the GiveGab platform.

Q. Do you have additional resources to reference about state charitable solicitation registration?

Yes! Here are a few more resources from Harbor Compliance to help you:

Q. What donor information does a nonprofit receive?

The nonprofit receives the donor’s name, address and email information, and will indicate if the donor wished to remain publicly anonymous.

Q. How will my donor information be used?

Your donor information is strictly yours. Each nonprofit has their own dashboard with their donor information. Donor information will not be used in any other manner by United Way of Rhode Island or the GiveGab website.

Q. Does United Way of Rhode Island/GiveGab sell any of the data?

NO, the data is not used in any other way.

Q. When can individuals start setting up a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign?

Individuals that would like to set up a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign for nonprofits can start once your nonprofit page is complete. Fundraisers can start taking donations on 3/30/2023 at 6am.

Q. Will peer-to-peer fundraising money roll up into the nonprofits' totals?

Yes, you will see the individuals fundraising for the nonprofit on that page. All the money rolls up into your page and then into the overall totals.

Q. Can a donor pre-schedule a donation for 401Gives?

Donors cannot pre-schedule their 401Gives gift, but may make a donation to a participating nonprofit starting 3/31/2023, 6am until 4/3/2023, 6pm. 

Q. What is considered an eligible gift?

Gift made from 3/31/2023, 6am until 4/3/2023, 6pm will be accepted. See rules for prizes and matching money – they vary. Gifts by check, cash, or stock cannot be accepted as a part of this event – they will be deemed offline gifts. 401Gives is designed to generate new support, not to pay off existing pledges. Donations may not be used to pay for anything that might be perceived as a tangible benefit to the donor – including dinner tickets, membership fees, golf fees, admission tickets, or other gifts. All gifts are tax deductible, irrevocable, and for the unrestricted use of the nonprofits.

Q. Is there a minimum or maximum credit card gift?

The minimum donation is $5. The maximum gift will be determined by the donor’s credit card limit. Any donor that anticipates making large credit card donations during the giving day should contact their credit card company for pre-authorization.

Q. How will nonprofit donations be distributed?

Each donation made to a participating nonprofit will be disbursed directly from GiveGab via direct deposit within 5 business days.

All offline donations received through 401Gives including MyFund (donor advised fund), plus bonus and incentive funds earned, will be distributed by the latest, by the end of May 2023. Nonprofits are responsible for collecting other donor advised fund donations.

Q. How can I ensure my nonprofit receives its donations?

In order to receive your donations via ACH transfer, GiveGab requires a checking account eligible to receive ACH transfers and withdrawals. Your donations will be deposited within 24-48 hours after the first transfer is successful, which can take up to 7 business days.

If your organization supplies the wrong type of bank account (such as a savings account), or the wrong account numbers, GiveGab will be in touch. After 30 days, if GiveGab hasn't heard from your organization, they will refund your gifts back to your donors.

Q. What trainings are available to my nonprofit?

You can visit the nonprofit toolkit to see available slides/videos as well as upcoming trainings. Trainings will also be communicated via newsletter.

Q. Will the live webinars be available as recordings once they are complete?

Yes, once a nonprofit registers, they will have access to the training section and after the live webinars, the recordings will be posted.

Q. Can a nonprofit embed their own link / URL onto their website or social media?

Yes, you will have a personalized URL / microsite you can embed on your website or social media.

Q. Does social media bury my nonprofit's microsite?

The algorithms tend to do that but you can help by immediately "liking" your own post and having others comments on it so it moves up for viewing.

Q. Who sends out receipts and Thank You’s?

Donations will be processed and receipted by GiveGab. Thank you emails will be sent from notifications@givegab.com, and will include your organization's chosen information and "reply to".

Q. Can a nonprofit edit their auto generated thank you email?

Yes, they have the capabilities to customize the Thank You message, video and/or photo that will appear.

Q. Who will receive my contact information?

The nonprofit(s) you choose to support will have access to your name and email address. This information is used solely to send thank you messages, provide the option to receive future notifications, and to notify you of future activities. You do have the option to make your donation and/or your name anonymous during 401Gives. Anonymous donations will be displayed as "Anonymous" on the nonprofit’s page. The nonprofit will receive your name and email address, but they will be notified that you have chosen to remain publicly anonymous.

Q. What type of payments can I use and what are the fees?

Giving payment options include credit / debit card, ACH, Apple Pay, Google pay, and Microsoft Pay. “Offline gifts” can include checks/cash and Donor Advised Funds, i.e. United Way of Rhode Island's MyFund, Fidelity, Rhode Island Foundation.

Website and credit card fees: Website fee 2.5%. Credit card fees additional 2.5% fees +.30 for each transaction. Donors have the option of paying the fees to help the nonprofits 

In addition, if you use ACH, the fee replaces the 2.5% + $0.30 for a flat $3, requiring the donor is giving at least $100 for ACH to be an eligible payment option. The flat $3 ensures larger donors aren't being charged excessively, and are incentivized to use that instead if they want to give online. .

Q. As a donor, do I need to create an account with GiveGab?

No. You do not need to create an account to make a donation. The benefits of creating an account include having your tax receipts collected in one location, being able to track your donations, follow the charities you support, and engage in future volunteering and donations. Your tax receipt is emailed immediately upon processing your donation. To claim a donation as a deduction on U.S. taxes, you should retain the donation receipt as an official record.

Q. How many nonprofits can I make a gift to?

All of them!  But because of website bandwidth, you can only donate to 10 nonprofits per gift transaction or it will time out.  If you wish to donate to more than 10, please choose 10, complete your gift and then start another gift.

Q. If I opt to pay the fees are they tax deductible?

Yes, your receipt will show the total amount you paid and what is deductible.  See here for more details.

Q. Q. Is there a minimum or maximum credit card gift?

The minimum donation is $5. The maximum gift will be determined by the donor’s credit card limit. Any donor that anticipates making large credit card donations during the giving day should contact their credit card company for pre-authorization.

Q. How much of my donation goes to the nonprofit?

GiveGab retains a 2.5% campaign management fee from all donations. Credit Card processing fees are an additional 2.5% + $0.30 for all major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover). None of these fees go to United Way of Rhode Island. You are given the option to cover the fees and if you choose this option, 100% of your online charitable gift will go to the receiving organization. Individuals who donate more than $100 will be given the opportunity to pay via electronic debit. The associated fee is $3.00 per transaction and would take place of the 2.5% + $0.30 credit card fee. All donations are final and cannot be refunded.

Q. Can I make donations via a mobile device?

Yes! Simply visit https://www.401gives.org on your mobile device.

Q. Can I pre-schedule a donation for 401Gives?

You cannot pre-schedule your 401Gives gift, but you may make a donation to a participating nonprofit starting 3/31/2023, 6am until 4/3/2023, 6pm.

Q. What if my preferred organization is not listed?

Please send an email to 401Gives@unitedwayri.org to request that we contact your organization of choice to be included in future 401Gives.

Q. May I pay a pledge with my gift?

Since 401Gives is designed to generate new support, we are unable to accept gifts to pay off existing pledges.

Q. How will a donation be reported on my credit card statement?

The statement will show a charge for each nonprofit that the donor supported. It will show the name of the nonprofit that was donated to.

Q. Will I receive a receipt for tax purposes?

Yes. You will automatically receive an emailed receipt acknowledging your gift.

Q. May I designate how a nonprofit should use their gifts?

No. 401Gives gifts are considered unrestricted gifts to the nonprofit. However, you may express your desire that your gift be used for a specific program or project (in the notes field of the giving form).

Q. Is my donation tax-deductible?

When donations are received through the website, a receipt is automatically generated for the gross amount of your gift and emailed to the address you provide. Your tax professional can advise you on the tax deductibility of the donation.

Q. May I use my donation to buy event tickets, museum memberships, or other things that provide me a benefit?

No, donations may not be used to pay for anything that might be perceived as a material benefit to the donor, advisor or other disqualified person - including dinner tickets, membership fees, golf fees, admission tickets or other gifts.