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Understand how Give Lively uses UTC for donation receipt times and dates

Understand how Give Lively uses UTC for donation receipt times and dates

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Give Lively uses UTC to note the time and date of a completed donation. 

What is UTC?

UTC, which stands for Coordinated Universal Time, is used as the 24-hour time standard across the entire planet. UTC today is what people referred to as Greenwich Mean Time (or GMT) up until 1972, when GMT became the name of a time zone, not a time standard.

The local time anywhere on the planet can be calculated against UTC. For example, Eastern Standard Time (EST) in the U.S. is always UTC-5 (or UTC minus 5), meaning 16:00 UTC is 11:00am EST.

What does it mean that Give Lively uses UTC?

When a donor completes a donation, the time and date of the completed donation is recorded in UTC. We do not presently gather or store a donor’s timezone.

This means that donation dates and times are, by default, noted in UTC on a donor’s receipt and within the donor's User Portal. That said, donors have the option to change their timezone in the User Portal. Changing the timezone will only affect donor's annual tax summary; UTC will still be the default timezone elsewhere in the donor's User Portal and used for automatic email receipts.

Why is this important?

In some cases, donors may have been attempting to complete donations before a tax deadline — such as before midnight on December 31. The receipt may not immediately look like the deadline was met, but it is accurate in UTC and can be confirmed as valid with a tax expert or accountant when filing taxes.

For example, a donor based in San Francisco who completes a donation at 7pm PST on December 31 will see it as having been completed at 03:00 UTC on January 1. That is not a mistake. Since PST is UTC-8, the UTC time is 8 hours later, or 3am. But the receipt, although it shows it in UTC, accurately reflects a donation time of 7pm on December 31 for a person located in Pacific Standard Time.

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