FAQ for families

Does Helpen work with older versions of Alexa or Google Assistant?

Yes. As long as your device supports Alexa or Google Assistant and you've signed up for Helpen, you should be all set.

Is Helpen a nonprofit?

Helpen is for profit C corp. We believe that it is time to prove that you can build a successful business that benefits humanity in a multitude of ways. It is an ambitious vision, but one that we believe we can pull off.

Who do I contact if I have a donation issue?

If you have a donation issue, you can check out your giving session history on your profile. There you should be able to cancel any transaction.If that doesn't help, please contact Helpen through our contact page. Select "Donation Issue" from the dropdown menu.

Why are there only three charities per card?

We usually believe we want as many choices as possible. But in truth, it becomes much more difficult to make decisions after three options. And that's for adults! Helpen is built around allowing kids to choose who to help and we are able to maintain that goal by keeping it at three nonprofits.

Our postcard is damaged. Can you send another?

We sincerely apologize that your card became damaged in the mail. By the time you actually receive your postcard, another one is already in route. If you cannot use postcards, login to Helpen and ask for a printable version. We will email you a set of nonprofits right away.

I see you use postcards. What about sustainability?

Helpen's mission is to shape the next generation into the generous and empathetic leaders of tomorrow. This includes having a wider circle of care, not only for people, but for our planet as well. Our postcards come from a direct mailer that partners with Eden Reforestation Projects to plant trees wherever they are needed most in Ethiopia, Madagascar, Nepal, Haiti, Indonesia, Mozambique, Kenya, and Central America. The mailer offsets their paper consumption by planting significantly more trees than they deplete in the fulfillment of their print and mail products. Since November 2017, they've planted over 160,000 trees—more than twice the paper used for the mail sent through their platform. Helpen takes it a step further by making sure that your first postcards will enable your family to plant trees right away, drastically offsetting your paper consumption while on the Helpen platform.

Is a smart speaker required to use Helpen?

Nope! While we connect to smart speakers so helpers can hear right away how they're making a difference, we understand they're not for everyone. Ultimately, Helpen is meant to be a nudge to meaningful family discussions about helping others. The only thing you really need is each other.

Will charities get our contact information?

We do not pass along your personal identifiable information to nonprofits.

What ages do you recommend for Helpen?

Ages 5 - 12 are the prime range for Helpen. Please note: There are millions of children who may not find smart speakers inviting due to imperfect technology and challenges with speech. From the start, Helpen is built to include as many families as possible. If your child is able to say their name, they will be able to use Helpen right away.

Does Helpen store our payment information?

Helpen is a customer of Stripe, a payment platform that securely stores your payment information. Helpen does not have access to your payment details.

Do you sell our personal data to third parties?

We do not sell your personal information to any third parties. Our entire business model is built around providing value to our helpers and nonprofits. We make it a priority to work towards providing you with the most impactful experience with as little identifiable information as possible.

Does Helpen control the donations?

We use Stripe as our payment provider. So when your family gives, the platform handles the routing of your choices. We do not interfere with where your money goes.

Can we change the amount of the micro-donation?

Yes! Currently, the default donation amount is set to $1 for each helper. Once you start your Helpen session, there will be an opportunity for helpers to change their individual amounts to up to $5.

Does the entire micro-donation go to the charity?

Yes. We are paying the transaction fees so that the entire donation will go to the charity.

Can I customize which nonprofits I want to be on the cards?

We are starting out with a group of preselected nonprofits that will soon morph to be much more. Eventually, we will enable you to select which main categories you would like your family to see and when.

What is the vetting process for the nonprofits?

Significant checks are made to insure that all charities are registered 501(c)(3) organizations. We will be using several ratings agencies including, but not limited to, Charity Navigator, GuideStar, and GiveWell to ensure that the operations are legit. Additional key metrics like full time employees, annual revenue, and achievable goals will play a role in validating nonprofits.

How do you select the nonprofits to include on the platform?

First, it's important to know, because of our structure, the nonprofit must agree to connect with our platform. We strive to identify nonprofits that are appropriate for kids of all ages. We focus on education, animals, environment, poverty/disadvantaged, and health. We're starting off by establishing a group of nonprofits from across the country that have proven they can execute, but more importantly have bought in to Helpen's mission of shaping today's youth into a generation of helpers. We also use ratings agencies like GuideStar, Charity Navigator and Givewell. We hope to continue to grow the nonprofit pool substantially as we move forward and include as many diverse causes and organizations as we can. That said we start from an understanding, first and foremost, that families have invited us into their homes. We understand that is a privilege we cannot take for granted. We will work tirelessly to create a system for parents that not only gives them the ability to decide what comes across their table but also when.

We've linked Alexa to Helpen but when we say "Open Helpen", it doesn't recognize. What do we do?

Did you say "please"? All kidding aside, in order to experience Helpen on Alexa, you must say, "Alexa, open Helpen, please."

Google Assistant is saying I need to turn on "Personal results". What do I do?

We're sorry about the delay in getting started. We can help you fix this.

First, go to your Google Home app. Click on the top right icon to pull up your profile. Then click on "Assistant settings".
Select "Devices" highlighted in blue.
Finally, choose your device and turn on "Personal results"

How do I cancel my subscription?

If you would like to cancel your subscription, go to your Helpen profile and click on the subscription tab on the left hand side.