Goodness does not consist in turning your face towards East or West. The truly good are those who believe in God and the Last Day, in the angels, the Scripture, and the prophets; who give away some of their wealth, however much they cherish it, to their relatives, to orphans, the needy, travelers and beggars, and to liberate those in bondage; those who keep up the prayer and pay the prescribed alms (zakat); who keep pledges whenever they make them; who are steadfast in misfortune, adversity, and times of danger. These are the ones who are true, and it is they who are aware of God. (Qur'an 2:177)
Paying zakat is only an obligation on those whose wealth is greater than a certain minimum amount. Those who do not have this minimum amount for a determined period of time, and meet certain other conditions, are eligible to receive zakat.
It is an individual obligation (fard 'ayn) on all Muslims to determine whether and how much zakat they are responsible to pay. If you are not sure about how to do this, please reach out to any of the mosques or institutions for guidance. In addition, here is a useful primer by Imam Tahir Anwar: "All Things Zakat: From Stocks to Livestock."
If you have zakat to pay...
Only certain categories of persons and causes are eligible to receive zakat. Within those parameters, it is up to you how to distribute these funds. Most local mosques collect zakat from community members and distribute those funds, either locally or internationally. In addition, there are multiple ways to give money to the needy online.
If you are eligible to receive zakat...
Most local mosques collect zakat from community members. If you are eligible to receive zakat, please reach out to your local mosque to request their assistance.