State Officials Debate How to Prevent Fraud in Online Fund Raising
without yielding much useful
information about fraud.
Jeffrey Even, deputy solicitor
general in Washington State,
says it might make more sense
to require those doing the actual solicitations to register. “The
charity or commercial fund raisers who are using Facebook to
raise money could very well be
subject to registration requirements,” he says.
Continued from Page 15
derstanding of the terms,” Mr.
Cash says. “Of all the money
being raised, how much is the
charity getting, and are they
okay with it?”
payment processors to report
any irregular activity involving
charities might have aided him
in the Love the Animals case.
SOCIAL NETWORKS AND DONOR SAFEGUARDS
A Matter of Trust
The increasing interest of regulators is not a topic that some
social-networking sites are eager to discuss.
Officials at Jumo, which was
started in November by Chris
Hughes, a co-founder of Facebook, and bills itself as a “social
network connecting individuals
and organizations who want to
change the world,” did not return numerous calls or e-mail
messages. Officials at Causes
and Crowdrise declined phone
interviews but did answer some
questions by e-mail.
Officials at Network for Good
also declined an interview, saying they could not get clearance
from their lawyers to speak.
Ken Berger, president of
Charity Navigator, a watchdog
group, says the networking sites
put too much emphasis on celebrating nonprofits and don’t do
enough to arm consumers with
“Trying to engage donors is
great, but it better not be all
that you’re doing,” Mr. Berger
says. “The public is getting a
disservice if you’re not telling
them the difference between the
good, the bad, and the ugly. The
potential for fraud and abuse is
consumers have adequate in-
formation about charities rais-
ing money on networking sites,
regulators also want to make
sure that charities retain con-
trol over their own fund-raising
Online Sleuthing Skills
These and other issues are
likely to come up at the meeting
of regulators in New York this
month. Missouri’s Mr. Carlson
argues that investments in new
technology and employees with
online sleuthing skills might
have a bigger impact than new
laws or regulations.
But Hawaii’s Mr. Jones points
out that a law requiring social-
networking site operators and
Learn what steps social networks take to protect donors and
charities from fraud. Go to:
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