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All our programs are Zakat-Eligible.

Your Zakat fuels change. At Penny Appeal USA, all of our programs are zakat-eligible. That means your zakat can bring nutritious meals to families, sponsor an orphan, provide a well, and more!

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"I’m proud to be a Penny Appeal USA Donor. Ramadan is an opportunity to give back to communities in need. I’m honored to help serve the most vulnerable, and hopefully change thousands of lives with Penny Appeal USA." - Hasan Minhaj

Emergency Response

You Zakat can bring change in the lives of those suffering in India, Yemen, Gaza, Syria and Bangladesh. Humanitarian crisis coupled with Covid-19 has marginalized communities around the world left in a dire situation.

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Make a contribution where it really counts.

Join us this Ramadan. You are the change. Together we can make a big difference!

Our unique approach makes charitable giving affordable and rewardable, and allows you to transform lives in ways that cost you just a few pennies (or cents) each day.

Learn more about our impactful and Zakat-eligible programs below:

Education First

Help open new schools so more children can learn to build brighter futures.


Feed Our World

Go beyond a one-time gift, and help feed our world every month. Provide millions of life-saving, nutritious meals to families in need starting at $45 per month.


Thirst Relief

We believe the best gifts are those that impact the lives of many. Show someone you love how much you care by building a well in their honor.



Your generous gift of $30/mo can help support one orphaned child.


Emergency Response

When it comes to disasters, whether natural or man-made, there's no time to waste. You can provide immediate aid to communitites in need.


Income Generation

We’re promoting sustainability and resilience among rural farmers. Provide either a goat or a garden for a farming family in need today.


Automate your giving with MyTenNights.

We’ve partnered with MyTenNights to help you automate your giving during the last ten nights of Ramadan. By automating your donations and zakat, you don’t have to go online every night and donate.

Automate your Giving

Boost your rewards with small yet impactful gifts



Below you'll find some FAQs about our campaign. If you have any more questions, please feel free to chat with our team.

What is the meaning and purpose of zakat?
In Arabic, zakat means purification, growth and blessing. It is a charitable practice that requires all able Muslims (those who meet the requirement of zakat as dependent upon nisab and hawl—see below) to contribute a fixed portion of their wealth – 2.5% of savings — to help the needy.

Zakat is not only a means to purify one’s wealth but it is also a spiritual purification which serves as a means to draw an individual closer to God. As one of the scholars said, “the soul of one who gives zakat is blessed and so is his wealth”. It is quite clear from the above narration that in addition to being a moral obligation, Zakat is also a spiritual one which is why millions of Muslims every year give Zakat to the poor.

'In their wealth there is a known share for the beggars and the destitute.’ (70:24-25)
What is nisab?
Nisab is the minimum amount of wealth a Muslim must have—after calculating necessary expenses—to be eligible to contribute zakat. The nisab is determined by the current value of gold or silver. While some scholars encourage everyone to use the silver nisab value because it is the safest opinion and increases charity for those in need, it is ultimately up to the Zakat giver to determine which value they prefer to use. The majority today use the gold nisab equivalent.

Nisab is equivalent to the current value of 3 ounces of gold or 21 ounces of silver. The nisab we’ve calculated for our Zakat Calculator is based on the most-recent report available to us (disclaimer: this number may change daily depending on fluctuations in the gold exchange rate).
What is hawl?
Hawl is defined as the completion period for a zakat asset, which is one lunar year. In other words, the wealth on which zakat should be paid must have been held for at least one full year. There are some forms of zakat that do not require hawl, such as for crops, when zakat should be paid at the time of the harvest. For clarification, it is recommended that you consult with your local imam or scholar.
Who is obligated to pay zakat?
Every adult Muslim who meets the requirements of nisab and hawl in a calendar year must pay zakat for that year. There are some conditions that may require others, a wali (guardian) of a minor for instance, to pay zakat too. As always, it is best to consult with your local imam or scholar for clarification.
Must I have the intention to pay zakat for it to be accepted?
Yes. In Islam, intention is an essential part of any act of worship, including the payment of zakat. The intention must be made at the time the zakat is paid.
What kinds of wealth are included in the calculation of zakat?
For a detailed list of wealth to include, please see our Zakat Calculator

These stipulations delineate the type of wealth that should be accounted for when calculating zakat:
  • The wealth is yours and under your control. You do not need to include outstanding debts when calculating zakat.
  • The wealth is subject to development and increasing.
  • After calculating necessary expenses, the wealth meets the requirements of nisab.
  • Personal belongings, such as clothes, primary homes, food, cars, are exempt from zakat.
When can I pay my zakat?
Zakat should be paid as soon as possible prior to or at the time that you’ve earned the requisite amount of nisab each lunar year, or one year after you last paid it. Tip: A good way to ensure zakat is made in a timely fashion is to pay your zakat during Ramadan.
Can I pay my zakat toward any of your funds, or does the fund have to specify zakat?
You may make your zakat contributions toward any of our funds or projects. It is your intention that counts in this case. However, if your contribution is specifically made to our Zakat Fund then we will follow specific zakat guidelines.
Who can my zakat be given to?
Zakat-eligible projects are identified based upon need and in accordance with the eight categories noted in the holy Quran:
  • ‘al fuqara' (the poor)
  • ‘al masakin’ (the chronically needy / indigent)
  • ‘al amilina alayha' (the administrators of zakat funds)
  • ‘al mualafati qulubhum’ (those that incline their hearts towards good)
  • 'f’il riqabi' (freeing of slaves / those in bondage)
  • ‘al gharimina' (those in debt)
  • 'f’il sabili-llahi' (in the way of god)
  • ‘al sabili' (the traveller)
Is there an administrative cost on zakat donations?
In line with the category c above, (‘the administrators of the funds’), a portion of the zakat we collect does go towards paying for administrative costs which enable us to collect zakat, distribute zakat, and monitor the programs we fund.
Do I have to pay my zakat on my home?
One does not have to pay zakat on a primary place of residence. Zakat is due on investment properties however after subtracting necessary expenses from the income generated.
Do I have to pay my zakat on jewelry?
For everyday jewelry the answer is no. However, you do have to pay zakat on jewelry you do not regularly wear and that you own for investment purposes.
Do I have to pay my zakat on stocks?
Yes. You may use the current value on stocks.
What’s the difference between zakat and sadaqah?
In the language of the Holy Qur’an, zakat and sadaqah are the same. In practice, however, sadaqah is the term used to indicate voluntary charitable giving while zakat is obligatory.
What is the difference between zakat and Zakat al-Fitr?
Zakat al-Mal (commonly called “zakat“) is due when a person’s wealth reaches the nisab amount and can be paid anytime during the year. Zakat al-Fitr is paid by the head of the household for each member of the family, before Eid al-Fitr prayer. Zakat al-Fitr is about the price of one meal—estimated at $10 in 2021.
On whose behalf do I have to pay Zakat al-Fitr? What if I have young children?
Zakat al-Fitr should be paid on behalf of everyone in the family. There are some scholars that recommend that Zakat al-Fitr is also paid on behalf of unborn children after the 120th day of pregnancy, but do not view it as obligatory. Most scholars do agree, however, that Zakat al-Fitr should be paid on behalf of the baby after his/her birth. Please do consult with your local imam or scholar for further clarification.
When should I pay my Zakat al-Fitr?
It should be paid before Eid prayer (or any day during Ramadan). There are some schools of thought that also allow for Zakat al-Fitr to be paid even before Ramadan. Consult with your local imam or scholar if you need additional information.
Can Zakat Be Used to Build a Water Well, Pump or Sanitation Service?
Infrastructure projects are valid as Zakat payments as long as the beneficiaries are eligible. Our Zakat water wells and water pumps meet these criteria, providing essential support to some of the poorest and most vulnerable members of our society.

Confused about Zakat? Download our Zakat Guide!

Our team has put together a Zakat guidebook to help you with all your Zakat questions.

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