Zakat Policy

Zakat Policy

In Islam, the distribution of Zakat is restricted to certain groups who are eligible to receive it. These groups are defined in the Qur’an (9:60) - “Zakat is meant only for the poor, the needy, those who administer Zakat, those whose hearts need winning over, to free slaves, to help those in debt, for Allah’s cause, and for travelers in need. This is ordained by Allah; for Allah is all-knowing and wise.”

This verse clearly specifies the eight categories of people eligible to receive Zakat:

  1. The poor
  2. The needy
  3. Those who administer Zakat
  4. Those whose hearts need winning over
  5. Freeing slaves
  6. The indebted
  7. Those in Allah’s cause
  8. Travelers in need

At LaunchGood, we work with a diverse group of campaign creators worldwide. We try our best to ensure that each Zakat-verified campaign falls under one or more of the eight aforementioned categories.

(1) The poor and (2) The needy

Any campaign that benefits poor and needy Muslims qualifies as Zakat-verified. Examples of verified campaigns in this category are:

  • Food aid for the poor
  • Sponsoring needy orphans
  • Food/shelter/medical facilities for refugees
  • Water wells in areas of drought or areas experiencing a clean water crisis
  • Education programs for refugees
  • Job/skill development projects to help the poor and needy escape poverty
  • Cost of food production and distribution in war zones

The recipients in this category must be Muslims.

Examples of campaigns that are ineligible include:

  • Generic orphan sponsorship campaigns (country/region/ nature of crisis or need is not specified by the campaign creator)
  • Generic water projects (country/region/ nature of crisis or need is not specified by the campaign creator)

Zakat ul Fitr/Fitrana campaigns are also Zakat-verified under this category.

(3) Those who administer Zakat

Historically, the recipients of this category were those employed by a Muslim ruler to calculate, collect and distribute Zakat. Recently, a few scholars have opined on whether Muslim employees of nonprofit organizations qualify under this category, subject to certain conditions such as transparent accounting practices and oversight, whether by an independent auditing body or zakat paying donors themselves.

Note: LaunchGood does not collect any Zakat for its own employees. Campaigns that are going to use Zakat funds for this category must indicate this to donors for transparency.

(4) Those whose hearts need winning over

LaunchGood’s Zakat advisors take the view that the recipients in this category are Muslims whose faith needs material support, or non-Muslims inclined towards Islam. Examples of verified campaigns in this category are:

  • Specific dawah efforts to a particular non-Muslim audience
  • New Muslim support
  • Convert care programs
  • Specific products/services for Muslims with disabilities
  • Shelters for Muslim women and children

Examples of ineligible campaigns include generic pamphlet distribution for dawah and interfaith iftars.

(5) Freeing slaves

Historically, the Zakat funds in this category were given to Muslim slaves in bondage trying to purchase their freedom. The funds in this category were also used to free Muslim prisoners.

(6) The indebted

The recipients in this category are indebted Muslims. Examples of verified campaigns include:

  • Raising funds for those indebted out of necessity or due to a disaster
  • For medical debt relief
  • Student Loans which create a great hardship and requires support

A patient must have started or completed treatment for medical debt relief campaigns. It is also necessary to specify the recipient and the loan amount.

Examples of ineligible campaigns include medical debt relief when the treatment has not begun and debt taken by mosques/schools/community centers.

Note: Limited exceptions can be made for mosques in low-income areas that are unable to pay their rent or utility bills.

(7) Those in Allah’s cause

The position adopted by LaunchGood is that the funds raised in this category are exclusively for combating Islamophobia or for supporting needy students of Islamic sciences. Capital projects, such as the construction of mosques, schools, and community centers, are ineligible.

For a campaign to qualify as Zakat-verified under this category outside of the two aforementioned subcategories requires the campaign creator to produce a fatwa from their local scholarly body.

(8) Travelers in need

Historically, the recipients of this category were stranded Muslim travelers in foreign lands unable to return home or access their wealth. In our times, these exact circumstances are extremely rare. Refugees may be included in this category - however, we favor their inclusion in the category of the poor and the needy.

LaunchGood Zakat Policy Endorsement

LaunchGood’s Zakat policy has been compiled and endorsed by:

Shaykh Aarij Anwer

Shaykh Aarij Anwer advised on the policy as well as the Zakat verification process for campaigns on LaunchGood. He advises the National Zakat Foundation Canada and ShariahPortfolio on Zakat-related matters. In the past, he served as the Director of Religious Affairs at the London Muslim Mosque. He holds a Bachelor of Computer Science (Waterloo), a Bachelor of Education (Toronto), and a Bachelor of Islamic Sciences in Islamic Jurisprudence (Al-Madinah International University, Malaysia).

From Policy to Verification

Shaykh Joe Bradford and Shaykh Yaser Birjas developed the Zakat Policy for LaunchGood in 2021 and provided their endorsement for the policy. The verification process for campaigns was led by Shaykh Aarij Anwer for some time, supported by LaunchGood’s team of Zakat verifiers. In 2024, this policy was revised in consultation with Shaykh Aarij Anwer, and our team of Zakat verifiers continues to implement this policy when reviewing campaigns seeking Zakat eligibility.

Verification Process & Zakat-Verified Badge

At LaunchGood, every Zakat campaign is individually verified for eligibility by our Zakat team. The Zakat-verified badge allows Zakat givers to quickly identify Zakat campaigns on LaunchGood.

The Zakat-verified badge allows Zakat givers to quickly identify Zakat campaigns on LaunchGood.

For any questions about our Zakat policy or verification process, please contact our Zakat Team.

What LaunchGood Does Not Do

In accordance with our Terms of Use, LaunchGood does not review the internal procedures, accounting, handling or distribution of Zakat funds that are managed by a campaign creator. Users are advised to do their due diligence for any campaign they are funding and follow up with campaign creators to hold them accountable for their use of funds and delivering impact as specified in their campaigns. After a campaign is closed and the funds are released, donors may be notified so that any further follow ups may be directed to the organization collecting Zakat for accountability and reporting.

What LaunchGood does do: All campaigns, including those that are Zakat-verified, undergo our standard review for safety and compliance for authenticity and legitimacy as further detailed here by our Trust & Safety team.

Which Campaigns are eligible for Zakat Verification?

Any campaign that selects the Zakat eligible option in the Admin tab will go through the Zakat verification process by our team of Zakat experts according to LaunchGood’s Zakat policy.

Zakat-verified badges can only be applied to campaigns that are approved by LaunchGood’s team of Zakat experts. In order to maintain accuracy, campaigns that include a Zakat-verified badge on the cover, profile photo, or within the campaign pitch may be subject to deletion.

Credit Card Processing Fees

Credit card fees are not considered part of your Zakat donation. For all donations, mandatory industry-standard credit card processing fees apply. Depending on the payment processor, country, or card, these processing fees are typically 2.9% + $0.30 “per transaction”. We strongly advise all donors to add an additional 3% to their Zakat donation as a best practice.

Does LaunchGood make any money from my donations?

LaunchGood charges 0% platform fees. Supporters have the option of leaving a tip at checkout to support LaunchGood’s operational costs.

LaunchGood allows campaigns to promote their pages by purchasing LaunchGood Ads. This offering also supports LaunchGood’s operational costs, and are charged before a campaign is launched. None of the funds collected by a campaign may be used to pay for Ads on LaunchGood. This means whatever a campaign raises is given directly to the campaigns.

Best Practices for Campaign Creators

1) We encourage campaign creators to select the Zakat eligibility option for their campaigns, even if they are unsure of the eligibility. This will allow us to review it and let you know if your campaign qualifies.

2) For campaigns that are collecting for a mix of eligible and ineligible causes, we encourage the following wording:

All Zakat donations will go to <cause 1> and <cause 2>. All other donations will go towards <cause 3> as Sadaqah.


All Zakat donations will go towards orphan sponsorship and providing food. All other donations will be considered sadaqah and will go towards building the mosque.

Campaigns with such wording will be marked as Zakat-verified.

3) We encourage providing details pertinent to Zakat eligibility, for example:

  • In which country is the beneficiary orphan being sponsored?
  • What is the amount of the medical loan?
  • Who is the specific audience for the dawah initiative?

4) Campaigns that are ineligible for Zakat can still collect sadaqah. Sadaqah can be distributed to anyone unconditionally.