FAQs

Some general frequently asked questions...

What is GiveStep?

GiveStep is a donation platform that uses sports to create an entirely new giving experience (think fantasy sports meets charitable crowdfunding). With GiveStep, you can make donations to charitable causes whenever your favorite sports team or athlete wins, scores, or makes a play. You choose the cause to support, the team (or athlete) to pledge with, and the stat that triggers the donation. We call this new way to give "event-based giving".

What is "event-based giving"?

Event-based giving is the term we’ve created to describe making a donation based on the occurrence of an "event". Currently, GiveStep focuses exclusively on events that occur in sports (wins, scores, plays, etc.), but really, anything could be used as a donation generating event. And who knows, maybe GiveStep will one day support events outside of sports. Just sayin’ :)

Who can donate?

As long as you’re a human being, over 18 years old, and have a U.S.-based credit card, you’re able to donate on GiveStep. Both personal and corporate cards are accepted, so you can take part as an individual or as a business. Create your account today to start giving!

Can I make a donation anonymously?

Yes. Your display name is how you are identified on the site. By default, it’s your real name, but you can always change it to conceal your identity.

What’s the difference between a pledge and a donation?

A pledge defines how you want to give. For example, your pledge could be something like: "I will give $2 to the XYZ Foundation when the Shermer Bulldogs win a game." A donation is the amount you actually give as a result of your pledge. So working off of the same example, if the Shermer Bulldogs won 5 games, your total donation would be $10 (assuming your credit card was successfully charged).

My pledge says my total is X dollars, but I haven’t been charged that amount. What gives?

Your pledge total is simply a way to follow how many times your donation-generating event (stat) has occurred multiplied by the amount you pledged to give when it does. It wouldn’t be feasible to charge your credit card every time a win, score, or play happens, so actual charges are made at the following intervals:

  • Every time your pledge total exceeds $25 OR
  • At the end of a season OR
  • When a pledge ends.

Check out our page explaining pledges, donations, and charges to learn more.

How can I tell how much I’ve been charged for a given pledge?

If you go to your dashboard and view your pledges, you will see a field called "Collected". This will tell you how much money has actually been charged and collected for a given pledge.

When is my credit card charged?

There are three scenarios that will trigger charges:

  • Every time your pledge total exceeds $25 OR
  • At the end of a season OR
  • When a pledge ends.

To learn more and see some examples, check out our page explaining pledges, donations, and charges.

How do I make a pledge?

Creating a pledge is easy! Start by logging into GiveStep.com. Once you’ve done that, click on the Create a Pledge link at the top of any GiveStep page. This will take you to the pledge creation wizard.

Don’t have an account yet? Create one here.

Which teams, athletes, and stats can I pledge with?

Currently, GiveStep provides stats for all teams and athletes from the NFL, MLB, NBA, or NHL, as well as all teams from NCAA Division 1 football or basketball.

GiveStep also allows you to create and manage your own team for people to pledge with. In this way, non-D1 colleges, high schools, little leagues, etc. can all become a part of the GiveStep experience.

To learn more about the stats available for each sport, check out our Teams, Athletes, and Stats page.

Is there a minimum donation amount?

To better understand this, you should probably read the question above entitled "What’s the difference between a pledge and a donation?"

Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

All caught up?

Great! This is how it works:

You can pledge to give any amount you want per stat occurrence, whether it’s $0.25, $1.00, or $1,000—BUT the minimum amount your card can be charged is $3.00. Here’s an example:

You create a pledge to give $0.10 each time the Shermer Bulldogs win a game. If they end up winning 15 games during their season, you’re total donation should be $1.50. However, since this amount is under the minimum of $3.00, we can’t charge your card for that donation. If this does occur, you will have the option of bumping the donation total up to $3.00 or cancelling your pledge.

Is there a maximum donation amount?

Not unless you set one yourself. You can set a donation limit when you create a pledge that would cap your total donation at a specific amount.

How many active pledges am I able to have running at once?

As many as you want! Just remember that each pledge may result in a donation.

When do pledges end?

A number of different ways:

  • If you set a pledge to last for a certain season, game, or date range, the pledge will automatically end when you reach that point.
  • If you set a donation limit on your pledge, your pledge will end if that limit is reached.
  • You can always manually stop a pledge at any time.

How do I manually stop a pledge?

Pledges can be stopped at any time by clicking the "stop pledge" link in your dashboard. If you stop a pledge and there is a remaining amount that has yet to be collected, you will be asked if you still want to be charged that final amount.

Which payment methods are accepted?

You can use any major credit card to create a pledge: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.

Are donations tax-deductible?

All donations are 100% tax-deductible.

Which causes can I support?

The starter list of supportable causes is based on the IRS’s listing of active 501(c)(3) organizations (Publication 78). Currently there are over 1.4 million organizations in the listing and you can select any one as the recipient of your donation. We’ll be adding other causes and organizations to this list as we grow, so if you have one you’d like added, make sure to let us know.

What if I want to donate to a cause that does not appear on the site?

If a cause is not in our listing and you think it should be, get in touch using our contact page and we’ll work on adding it!

Can I donate to non-US based causes?

Not at this time. There are very strict regulations as it relates to charitable donations and fundraising. And because different countries have different laws and legal requirements, it makes supporting non-US based causes very difficult.

Why does my donation receipt say GiveStep Charitable Foundation (GCF)?

Unless a participating cause prefers otherwise, all donations are received and receipted by the GiveStep Charitable Foundation, Inc. (which is a 501 (c)(3) organization). The GCF is a donor-directed fund, which means that it will use your donations to support whichever charitable cause you select when you make your pledge.

Why are some donations made to the GiveStep Charitable Foundation (GCF) and not directly to the cause I select?

The logistics and overhead required to process and receipt a large number of individual donations are significant. GiveStep and the GiveStep Charitable Foundation work together to handle this function so causes are able to benefit from donations made via the GiveStep platform while avoiding the logistics involved with processing individual donations, making GiveStep a more efficient source of donor support. By default, all donations are receipted and processed by the GiveStep Charitable Foundation, but causes always have the option of doing their own tax receipting if they request it. For donors supporting these causes, they will receive their tax receipts directly from the cause and not through GiveStep.

Is GiveStep affiliated with the GiveStep Charitable Foundation?

GiveStep, Inc. and the GiveStep Charitable Foundation, Inc. are independent organizations, but work together to operate the GiveStep donation platform.

Where can I learn more about the GiveStep Charitable Foundation?

The GiveStep Charitable Foundation has its own website, located at http://www.givestep.org

Can I donate directly to the GiveStep Foundation, without designating another cause?

Of course! The GiveStep Charitable Foundation is listed on the GiveStep website just like any other cause. To direct your donation to the GCF, simply select it when you create a pledge.

Can I get a refund of my donation?

Please contact us with any questions regarding refunds.

How do I know my donation is going to the cause I choose?

To provide peace of mind to users, GiveStep uses an escrow servicing company to oversee and distribute all collected donations to the proper recipient causes. In addition, because the GiveStep Charitable Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization, all of its financial statements are audited and available for public viewing on the foundation’s website: http://www.givestep.org.

Is the website secure?

Security is one of our top-priorities, and as such, we adhere to industry-standard security practices. We utilize 256-bit encryption to secure all data that is submitted to the GiveStep website, including credit card numbers. We also frequently test the GiveStep site with trusted third party vulnerability scanners.

Is my credit card information safe?

GiveStep is PCI DSS Compliant. This means we adhere to the security standards established by VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover to protect your information. Credit card info is always transmitted using 256-bit encryption and never stored on GiveStep servers. Our payment gateway, Authorize.net, handles all card processing and storage. Authorize.net is owned by VISA and is one of the largest (and most trusted) gateway providers on the Internet.

Does GiveStep store my credit card information?

No. Our payment gateway, Authorize.net, handles all card processing and storage. Authorize.net is owned by VISA and is one of the largest (and most trusted) gateway providers on the Internet.

How can I remove my stored credit card information?

Your stored card info can be removed at any time. Head over to your GiveStep Dashboard. Click on "Update Profile", then "Payment Method" from the nav menu on the left. Select the option "Deactivate Card" and your stored card info will be deleted.

What if I forget my password or login information?

You can reset your password here.

Who do I contact if I need help with my account, using the site, or any other issue?

We’re here to help via email or telephone. Just head over to our contact page.

What if I notice an error in the sports statistics on the site?

Please shoot us an email at info@givestep.com and we will take care of it ASAP.

Does GiveStep give my contact information to the causes I donate to?

Only if you say so. To change your preference, go to your Dashboard. Select "Update Profile". Then select "Contact Preferences".