New HampshireDepartment of JusticeOffice of the Attorney General

News Release

For Immediate Release
January 14, 2020

Contact:
Kate Spiner, Director of Communications
(603) 573-6103 kate.spiner@doj.nh.gov

Thomas Donovan, Director, Charitable Trusts Unit
(603) 271- 1288 / Thomas.donovan@doj.nh.gov

State Charities Regulators Announce Settlement with PayPal Charitable Giving Fund, Inc. to Ensure Donors Have Adequate Information When Making Charitable Donations

Concord, NH – Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald joins 22 state law enforcement partners, in an agreement with PayPal Charitable Giving Fund, Inc. 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 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.

"Donors in New Hampshire often use internet giving sites, some operated by PayPal Charitable Giving Fund, to make contributions to their favorite charities. It is vital that donors are fully informed about how long it takes their gifts to reach the charities, whether there are any fees collected, and whether the ultimate charities are able to receive the intended donation. This agreement goes a long way to help New Hampshire donors stay better informed about their online giving," said Attorney General MacDonald.

Charities regulators nationwide 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
  • the implication of being an enrolled rather than an unenrolled charity on the PPGF platform.

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 campaign data to ensure the organization is complying with its obligations under the agreement.

Finally, 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 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.

As a result of today's settlement, online donors will continue to have the information they need to make informed decisions about their charitable contributions.

About the Charitable Trust Unit

In 1943, New Hampshire became the first state to create an office dedicated to the oversight of charitable trusts and organizations. Today, the mission of the Charitable Trusts Unit (CTU) is to protect the public's interest in the organizations and assets committed to charitable purposes in New Hampshire. We do this through effective registration, education and enforcement.

New Hampshire Department of Justice
33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301
Telephone: 603-271-3658