FAQs

How much should I donate?

How much you want to donate is of course ultimately your own personal decision, but perhaps you will find some inspiration in the articles "How much should I donate?" and "Why and how I donate.

Can I deduct my donation from tax?

Yes, you can make your donation in Germany and the Switzerland tax deductible, even if the recommended organizations are based abroad. We will automatically send you a donation receipt for all your donations by e-mail at the end of February of the following year. You don't have to do anything else.

I live in Austria, can I deduct my donations from my taxes?

Unfortunately, it is currently not possible to make tax-deductible donations via our platform in Austria. This is mainly due to the fact that we are registered in Germany and our statutes are therefore based on German non-profit law. Nevertheless, we are working on being included on the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance's list of donations and will update this FAQ section as soon as we are able to do so.

Can I donate as a company?

Of course, companies can also donate through us. Donation receipts can be issued to both private individuals and companies. To do this, click on "Donate as a company" in our donation form when entering your details.

How can I cancel my standing donation?

You can cancel your permanent donation at any time and without giving reasons. Simply send us an informal e-mail at info@effektiv-spenden.org or call us at +49 (0)30 / 260 355 19.

How can I change my permanent donation?

If you want to increase or decrease the amount of your donation, simply contact us by e-mail at info@effektiv-spenden.org . We are also happy to change the organizations/ projects/funds to which you donate if you wish. Unfortunately, we cannot change payment methods of already existing donations. To do this, you will need to cancel your donation and then set it up again.

How and when will I receive my donation receipt?

We will automatically send you your donation receipt for all your donations by e-mail at the end of February of the following year. You don't have to do anything else. If you have moved after registering your donation, please let us know your new address at info@effektiv-spenden.org so that your donation receipt can be issued to your current address.
If you need a donation receipt earlier than the end of February of the following year, please contact us at info@effektiv-spenden.org. In urgent cases, we are happy to issue the donation receipt earlier. If you need it very quickly, we advise you to donate not by direct debit, as otherwise we will unfortunately have to wait for the 8-week direct debit chargeback period before we can certify the donation.

Help, I can no longer find my donation receipt!

That's no problem at all. Just contact us at info@effektiv-spenden.org . We will be happy to send you your donation receipt again by e-mail.

How can I update the payment method of my standing donation?

For technical reasons, the means of payment stored for recurring donations cannot currently be changed without further ado. As a rule, it is necessary to cancel the permanent donation (by sending an informal e-mail to info@effektiv-spenden.org) and to create a new permanent donation with the desired payment method via the donation form. This applies in particular to changing the payment method, but also to switching to a new direct debit account or a new credit card. If you enter the same name and e-mail address for the new permanent donation as for your previous donation, the new donation will also be automatically assigned to your contact and all donations will be certified in a donation receipt.  

I don't want to donate online, can I also transfer the money?

You are also welcome to make a traditional bank transfer. Please use our donation form under "Payment method", select the "Bank transfer" tab, enter your details, which we need for the donation receipt, and register your donation. You will then receive an e-mail with our donation account and a reference that will enable us to allocate your donation correctly as soon as you have transferred the donation.

What are the fees in Germany? Will you forward my donation to 100%?

We process donations free of charge, i.e. we do not keep any of your donation for ourselves. However, credit card or PayPal fees are charged by the payment providers we work with. These depend on the chosen payment method and are calculated as follows for Germany:

  • Bank transfer: Free of charge within the SEPA payment area
  • SEPA-direct debit: 0.35 Euro
  • Credit card: 1.2% + 0.25 Euro (for European cards)
  • PayPal: 1.5% + 0.35 Euro

Therefore, for donations with amounts < 10,000 euros, we recommend to use our particularly easy to process SEPA-direct debit and for amounts > 10,000 euros the free of charge Bank transfer. For security reasons, we only offer direct debit payments < 10,000 euros, as PayPal and credit card are not recommended for high amounts for cost reasons.
Comparable fees would also be charged for a direct donation to the respective organizations. We have already negotiated with all payment providers and received particularly favorable conditions for non-profit organizations. we ourselves are also financed by donations, but completely independently.

You can find out more here .

What are the fees in Switzerland? Will you forward my donation to 100%?

We process donations free of charge, i.e. we do not keep any of your donation for ourselves. However, credit card fees are charged by the payment providers we work with. These depend on the chosen payment method and are calculated as follows for Switzerland:

  • Bank transfer: Free of charge within the SEPA payment area 
  • Credit card: 2.9% + 0.30 francs 

Therefore, for donations with amounts < 10,000 euros, we recommend the Bank transfer.
Comparable fees would also be charged for a direct donation to the respective organizations. We have already negotiated with all payment providers and received particularly favorable conditions for non-profit organizations. we ourselves are also financed by donations, but completely independently. You can find out more here .

Where should I donate?

You are welcome to read our recommendations on the various topics Fighting Poverty, Protecting the Climate, Reducing Animal Suffering , Preserving the Future to understand which topic area you are most interested in. If you are not quite sure which organization you prefer within the topic area, we recommend donating to our donation funds. Your donation will then be used within the selected topic area where it will have the greatest impact.

Do you have any questions? Then please get in touch with us by email at info@effektiv-spenden.org or call us at +49 (0)30 / 260 355 19. For larger donations, we are also happy to offer you a Free donation advice . You can read more and directly book an appointment here .

What does "donation fund" mean?

If you opt for our effective "donation funds" per topic area, we will always forward your donation to 100% to the organizations with the greatest current funding needs. This allows us to flexibly support the most promising initiatives of highly effective organizations and thus use your donation even more effectively. Donations to the fund generally benefit the organizations we recommend. However, depending on the subject area, we also support initiatives or organizations that we consider to be extremely promising, but which we do not (yet) present as a separate recommendation on our platform. This is also important in some subject areas because there are often many relatively small but highly effective initiatives, but their ability to use additional funds is limited. You can find more information on our funds on the respective pages on Fighting Poverty, Protecting the Climate, Reducing Animal Suffering , Preserving the Future.

Do you also offer donation advice?

Yes, the Effektiv Spenden team also offers Free donation consultations . You can read more and directly book an appointment here .

How long are your donation vouchers valid for?

The Donation voucher-codes are valid for 12 months from the date of issue. If vouchers are not redeemed during this period, the voucher amount is automatically credited to our Donation fund "Fighting poverty's" benefit. In any case, all donations fully support the organizations recommended by us.
We set the deadline so that the donations arrive quickly where they are needed, as the law requires charitable organizations to use the funds promptly.

Who receives the donation receipt for a donation voucher purchase?

The purchaser of the voucher receives the donation receipt. This is because although the person receiving the gift voucher decides exactly which organization the donation goes to, from a tax law perspective the donation comes from the purchaser. As with a normal donation through us, we will automatically send the receipt by the end of the following year's February.

Does your donation voucher cost any fees?

No, we do not charge any fees for voucher purchases. However, payment fees may apply (see "What fees apply in Germany/Switzerland?"). This means that the actual voucher amount may be slightly less than the selected amount. Apart from that, however, the donation will go entirely to the organizations selected by the recipient.

How do you cover your costs?

Effective donations are made possible by private sponsors. This support enables us to cover all administrative costs. This allows us to pass on your donation in full to our top organizations. Of course, we also welcome your donation to us as a platform. You can find out more about our funding here.

Why should I support effective donations?

With every euro we spent on the operation and further development of our platform between 2021 and 2023, we were able to raise more than 30 euros in donations for the organizations we recommended. The evaluators Founders Pledge and Giving What We Can have therefore recognized us as a promising "Donation multiplier" and "Top-rated charity" recommended. We would be delighted to have your support in the coming years to encourage many, many more people to make effective donations.

Is it also possible to donate to Effective Altruism?

This is currently not possible on effektiv-spenden.org. However, you can find here various donation options that explicitly focus on the community of Effective Altruism. These donations are also processed by us.

What is the difference between effektiv-spenden.org and effektiveraltruismus.de?

While effektiv-spenden.org is aimed at all people who would like to donate, the effectivealtruism.com especially aimed at those who already have experience with Effective Altruism and therefore already know more precisely which organizations they would like to donate to. For this reason effectivealtruism.com also offers more organizations to which you can donate without introducing them in detail.

Donations via both websites are processed by UES - Gemeinnützige GmbH für effektives Spenden (for donations from Germany) and Effektiv Spenden Schweiz (ESS) (for donations from Switzerland). Donors receive the same donation receipts regardless of which website they donate through.

Why do you need my address?

We only need your address for the donation receipt. We will also send you this automatically by e-mail (at the end of February of the following year), but in order for it to be tax deductible, the postal address must be listed there.

What does "Allow data transfer to organization" mean?

f you tick the box "Allow data transfer to organization?", we will forward your name, the amount of your donation and your email to the organization you have selected. We have agreed with the organizations that they can use this data to contact you once by e-mail. You are not automatically subscribed to their newsletter etc.

As we only forward the donations twice a year and the organizations sometimes do not become active immediately, it may take several months before you receive a response. In exceptional cases, you may not receive an email from the selected organization at all. However, this does not mean that your donation has not been forwarded. We guarantee that.

Why don't you use gender?

On our German website, we use the generic feminine and masculine alternately in texts on our website and in everyday business. If only the masculine or feminine form has been chosen for certain terms that refer to groups of people, this is not meant to be gender-specific. Unless the context explicitly indicates otherwise, all genders are always meant.

My question has not been answered here. Who can I contact?

Please get in touch with us. You can either send us an e-mail to info@effektiv-spenden.org or contact us at +49 (0)30 / 260 355 19 call.