Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, together with 22 other state law enforcement partners, has reached an agreement with PayPal Charitable Giving Fund, Inc. (PPGF) to ensure donors receive adequate information and disclosures when making charitable contributions through the company’s online fundraising platform.
PPGF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and the charitable arm of PayPal, Inc. The organization allows donors to give money online to PPGF and to select the charity that ultimately will receive the donation. The funds are combined with other donations to PPGF for the chosen charity and then distributed. PPGF does not collect fees from donors or charities for this service.
“I commend PPGF for providing a platform where 100 percent of a donor’s contribution benefits a charitable purpose,” Wasden said. “I hope other third-party fundraisers will also step up and agree to hold themselves to this standard.”
Charity regulators nationwide joined the effort to investigate PPGF’s fundraising activities, including its disclosures, vetting practices, and treatment of charitable contributions during PPGF’s 2016 giving campaign. Investigators looked at whether PPGF adequately disclosed to donors that their donations through PPGF’s website were made to the PPGF entity, not donors’ selected charities, and that PPGF didn’t have a prior relationship with all the charities listed on its website.
Wasden applauded PPGF for cooperating with regulators throughout the investigation and for its willingness to reform its disclosures. Going forward, PPGF will ensure that donors know:
* their donations go to PPGF;
* the timeframe of when the donor’s chosen charity may receive funds from PPGF; and
* the difference between an “enrolled” charity on the PPGF platform and an “unenrolled” charity on the PPGF platform.
PPGF also agreed to:
* notify the donor if it redirects a donor’s contribution to a charity different from the donor’s selected organization;
* provide regulators with future campaign data to ensure the organization is complying with its obligations under the agreement; and
* pay $200,000 to the National Association of Attorneys General for its Charities Enforcement and Training Fund.
As a result of today’s settlement, online donors will continue to have the information they need to make informed decisions about their charitable contributions.