Commonwealth of Virginia
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Jason S. Miyares
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Richmond, Virginia 23219
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Attorney General Miyares Joins Bipartisan Coalition of 28 Attorneys General to Urge Better Disclosure and Clarity from GoFundMe
RICHMOND, VA – Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares today joined a bipartisan coalition of 28 Attorneys General, led by New Mexico, Mississippi, and Louisiana, to urge GoFundMe to adopt better disclosure policies and greater clarity in terms of service for consumers who use their platform.
"GoFundMe creates an easy, digital platform for people all over the world to donate to causes of their choice. Individuals put their trust in GoFundMe that their money will go to their selected cause, but the company's position on how they refund, block, freeze, and redirect donations is unclear. GoFundMe needs to be more transparent with consumers,” said Attorney General Miyares.
GoFundMe, a popular crowdfunding platform, has served over 50 million donors and helped organizers raise more than $5 billion since 2010. Individuals, businesses, and charities pay a fee of 2.2-2.9%, plus $0.3 per transaction. But information on the terms of service and policies, particularly related to blocking, freezing, refunding, and re-directing donations, is hard to find and unclear.
As the Attorneys General state in their letter, "[P]latforms like GoFundMe are not and should not be empowered to unilaterally make decisions regarding where donated funds will go or why. If GoFundMe is making opaque and unilateral decisions about which fundraisers are legitimate and which fundraisers to re-route donations to irrespective of initial donor choice, GoFundMe has likely crossed the line from fundraising platform to fundraiser itself. Such a role implicates significantly different regulatory schemes directed at ensuring transparency in charitable giving.”
A copy of the letter is HERE.