The PayPal Charitable Giving Fund, Inc. (PPGF), is an independent charitable organization that provides companies such as PayPal, eBay and other technology platforms, with a secure and easy way for their customers to support causes that matters to them. Donors can choose to make donations to organizations that are among the PPGF participating charities. PPGF then ensures that 100% of every donation reaches the donor’s chosen charity.
The benefit of giving through PPGF or any other Giving Fund is that it provides donors with a professionally managed platform where they give to desired causes at a fraction of cost of donating through a private foundation. Apart from having an exposure to millions of potential online donors, the benefit to participating charities is the relatively low fundraising costs.
To be included in the PayPal Giving Fund, charities must meet the following criteria:
When a selected charity does not pass PPGF’s vetting requirements or does not maintain criteria to remain eligible, PPGF could remove the charity and redirect the charitable funds to a similar charity.
For whatever reason, on December 23, 2016, PPGF began listing charities on its giving website, Cause Hub, that were not enrolled with PPGF but that were on a list received from GuideStar of 501(c)(3) charitable organizations. It is worth noting that other third-party fundraising platforms also did the same.
PPGF’s additional of ‘unenrolled’ charities led to a multi-state groups consisting of representatives of state Attorneys General, Secretaries of the State, and state consumer protection agencies to issue a Civil Investigative Demand and Subpoena, through the Nebraska Attorney General’s office. The multi-state group raised a number of issues, including question as to whether PPGF adequately disclosed that:
In response, PPGF suspended the listing of unenrolled charities on is Cause Hub to address this issue. PPGF fully cooperated with the multi-state group and raised the bar for other third-party giving funds by implementing industry-leading disclosure standards for the protection of consumers.
PPGF agreed with the Multistate Group to implement the following disclosure provisions, with the effective date being January 14, 2020:
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By Franklin Asongwe