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PayPal Charitable Giving Fund agrees to transparency in donations to charities

Computer-338967_1920Twenty-three state officials have reached an agreement with PayPal Charitable Giving Fund Inc. or PPGF to ensure donors receive adequate information and disclosures when making contributions to charities through the company’s online fundraising platform. 

“Every individual who chooses to donate funds deserves transparency and honesty throughout the process,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James.

PayPal Charitable Giving Fund Inc. is the arm of PayPal for donating to charities. It’s a nonprofit corporation where donors contribute funds electronically to PPGF and select a charity. PPFG puts the donations together then distributes them to the charities. PPGF doesn’t collect fees from donors or charities; however, a charity receives contributions more quickly if the charity has a PayPal account, a fact that wasn’t disclosed to donors. In some cases, PPGF redirected contributions from the charity selected by the donor to other organizations with similar purposes without telling donors.

Charities regulators nationwide investigated PPGF’s fundraising activities, including its disclosures, vetting practices, and treatment of contributions. To address the states’ concerns, PPGF agreed to adopt changes to its disclosures so donors know: 

  • That they’re contributing to PPGF. 
  • The time it will take for selected charity to receive funds from PPGF.  
  • The difference of being an enrolled or unenrolled charity on the PPGF platform. 

PPGF also agreed to let donors know when it redirects a donor’s contribution to an organization other than the one selected by the donor.

In addition, PPGF agreed to make a payment of $200,000 to the National Association of Attorneys General for deposit into the NAAG Charities Enforcement and Training Fund. This fund investigations and litigation of cases brought by state charities regulators and to provide training and education for regulators. 

In addition to New York, attorneys general from Connecticut, Nebraska, Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin participated in the case as well as the secretary of state for North Carolina.

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