In Islam, the distribution of Zakat is restricted to specific groups of Muslims 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:
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.
This is the most frequently-used Zakat category at LaunchGood. Any campaign that benefits poor and needy Muslims qualifies as Zakat-verified. Examples of verified campaigns in this category are:
The recipients in this category must be Muslims.
Examples of campaigns that are ineligible include:
Zakat ul Fitr/Fitrana campaigns are also Zakat-verified under this category.
Historically, the recipients of this category were those employed by a Muslim ruler to calculate, collect and distribute Zakat. In modern times, there’s a scholarly difference of opinion on whether employees of nonprofit organizations qualify under this category.
As such, for any campaign to qualify as Zakat-verified under this category requires the campaign creator to produce a fatwa from their local scholarly body to verify that the employees of that organization are eligible to receive Zakat as ‘administrators.’
Note: LaunchGood does not collect any Zakat for its own employees.
The recipients in this category are Muslims of weak faith, non-Muslims inclined towards Islam, or those working to prevent Islam from being disparaged by non-Muslims. Examples of verified campaigns in this category are:
Examples of ineligible campaigns include generic pamphlet distribution for dawah and interfaith iftars.
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. To date, LaunchGood has not hosted a campaign for a cause in this category.
The recipients in this category are indebted Muslims. Examples of verified campaigns include:
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.
There is a healthy diversity of opinions in modern Islamic scholarship about what constitutes “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/community centers, are ineligible.
For a campaign to qualify as Zakat-verified under this category outside of the aforementioned categories requires the campaign creator to produce a fatwa from their local scholarly body vouching for its Shariah compliance.
Historically, the recipients of this category were stranded travelers in foreign lands unable to return home or access their wealth. In modern 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’s Zakat policy has been compiled and endorsed by:
Shaykh Joe Bradford is an entrepreneur and an American scholar of Islam. He holds a Master of Islamic Law from the University of Medina, and has studied traditionally in the Muslim world for the past 20+ years. Shaykh Joe is the author of the Simple Zakat Guide.
Shaykh Yaser Birjas is the Imam of Valley Ranch Islamic Center. He graduated as Valedictorian with highest honors from the University of Medina. Shaykh Yaser is an expert in Fiqh, Usul and financial literacy.
Shaykh Aarij Anwer is the Zakat Program Manager at LaunchGood and oversees the Zakat verification of campaigns. He also 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).
At LaunchGood, every Zakat campaign is individually verified for Zakat eligibility by our team Zakat experts.
For any questions about our Zakat policy or verification process, please contact our Zakat Manager.
The Zakat-verified badge allows Zakat givers to quickly identify Zakat campaigns on LaunchGood.
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.
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. We encourage all donors to add an additional 3% to their Zakat donation as a best practice.
LaunchGood charges 0% platform fees. Supporters have the option of leaving a tip at checkout to support LaunchGood’s operational costs.
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:
4) Campaigns that are ineligible for Zakat can still collect sadaqah. Sadaqah can be distributed to anyone unconditionally.