January 14, 2020
Carson City, NV - Today, Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford together with 22 state law enforcement partners, reached an agreement with PayPal Charitable Giving Fund, Inc. The agreement was created to ensure donors receive adequate information and disclosures when making charitable contributions through the company's online fundraising platform.
PayPal Charitable Giving Fund, Inc. (PPGF) is the charitable arm of PayPal, Inc. PPGF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that allows donors to contribute funds electronically to PPGF and select a charity that will ultimately receive the benefit of their contribution. Donors' contributions are combined and distributed to the donors' chosen charities. PPGF does not collect fees from donors or charities for this service; however, a charity receives contributions more quickly if the charity maintains a PayPal account, a fact that had not been adequately disclosed to donors. In some instances, PPGF redirected donors' contributions from the charity selected by the donor to other organizations with similar purposes without informing donors.
"Charitable contributions are the financial backbone of many worthy causes," said AG Ford. "Consumers should always have the information they need to make informed decisions about their donations. Today's settlement with PayPal's Charitable Giving Fund ensures every donor's wishes are honored."
Nationwide, charities regulators joined the effort to investigate PPGF's fundraising activities, including its disclosures, vetting practices and treatment of charitable contributions. To address the states' concerns, PPGF agreed to adopt reforms to its disclosures to ensure that donors know:
- That they are contributing to PPGF;
- The timeframe in which a selected charity may receive funds from PPGF; and
- The implication of being an enrolled versus an unenrolled charity on the PPGF platform.
Under the terms of the settlement, PPGF agreed to notify donors when it redirects a donor's charitable contribution to an organization other than the one selected by the donor. PPGF will also provide regulators with future campaign data to ensure the organization is complying with its obligations under the agreement.
PPGF also 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 has been established to defray costs associated with the investigation and litigation of cases brought by state charities regulators, and to provide training and education to those regulators.
In addition to Nevada, attorneys general from the following states and territory participated in this settlement: Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina Secretary of State, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania Texas and Wisconsin.
The Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection represented Nevada in this matter.