The 411 on UTC: Understanding donation timestamps

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FEATURED NONPROFIT FAQ:
Understanding UTC

When your donors make a donation through JustGive, the date and time of their transaction is recorded in the UTC/GMT time zone (Coordinated Universal Time). This is the primary time standard by which the world regulates clocks and time, and is the usual time zone internet companies use when storing transaction data.

Question
What does UTC mean for donations?

Answer
Donations in your organization’s online donation report are recorded in the UTC/GMT time zone. When compared to Eastern Standard Time (EST) or Pacific Standard Time (PST):

  • UTC is 8 hours ahead of PST. So if it’s 10 p.m. UTC, it’s 2 p.m. PST (i.e. 8 hours earlier)
  • UTC is 5 hours ahead of EST. So if it’s 10 p.m. UTC, it’s 5 p.m. EST (i.e. 5 hours earlier)

Here’s a handy time converter you can use to convert JustGive UTC donations to any donor’s time zone.

Standard_World_Time_Zones.png

Payments made to your nonprofit for donations received through JustGive are also based on UTC transaction times. For example, if an East Coast donor makes a donation at 9 p.m. local time on January 31, which is 2 a.m. UTC on February 1, the donation is considered part of the payment for February’s donations. This will be reflected in your online donation report for February, and paid out in a JustGive check mailed in March.

For tax purposes, the transaction time can be converted back to your donor’s time zone when claiming a tax deduction.

For example, if the donation date and time on JustGive is 2 a.m. on January 1, 2016, the EST time would be 9 p.m. and the PST time would be 6 p.m. on December 31, 2015.

When this donation is converted to the donor’s U.S. time zone, it falls within the 2015 calendar year, and is acceptable to the IRS for claiming a tax deduction.

– Sarah Bacon
Director of Product

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