Settlement Announced with PayPal Charitable Giving Fund, Inc.

January 14, 2020
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Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum joined 23 state law enforcement partners in an agreement with PayPal Charitable Giving Fund (PPGF), Inc. The agreement ensures that donors receive necessary information and disclosures when making charitable contributions through the company’s online fundraising platform.  The platform conveniently allows donors to contribute funds electronically and select a charity that will receive their contribution. But there have been significant problems with the platform that have resulted in a multi-state investigation, including Oregon, and this settlement.

“Every donor who uses a charity fundraising platform like PPGF has a right to know clearly —and upfront—how it will process the donor’s gift. This settlement will ensure that donors are given accurate information about how their gifts are provided to their selected charities,” said Attorney General Rosenblum. “As state charity regulators, we will continue to work together to make sure that all charity-related platforms are regulated fairly and properly.”

PayPal Charitable Giving Fund, Inc. (PPGF) is the charitable arm of PayPal, Inc. PPGF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Donors’ contributions are aggregated 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.

PPGF also 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 provide regulators with future fundraising campaign data to ensure the organization is complying with its obligations under the agreement.  To address the states’ concerns, PPGF adopted reforms to ensure that donors know:

  • that they are contributing to PPGF
  • the timeframe in which a selected charity may receive funds from PPGF
  • the implication of being an enrolled rather than an unenrolled charity on the PPGF platform.

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.

The Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) is led by Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, and serves as the state’s law firm. The Oregon DOJ advocates for and protects all Oregonians, especially the most vulnerable, such as children and seniors.