LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel wants GoFundMe to have better disclosure policies and greater clarity in terms of service for visitors who use the website. Nessel is one of 28 attorneys speaking out against the website.
GoFundMe was launched in 2010. The site allows users to raise money for a cause of their choosing. According to GoFundMe, the site has had over 50 million donors visit and raised more than $5 billion. Users pay a feel between 2.2% and 2.9%, along with a $0.30 transaction. However, according to Nessel and the other attorneys, the terms of service and policies are difficult to find on the site. These would include information on blocking, freezing, refunding, and redirecting donations.
“[P]latforms like GoFundMe are not and should not be empowered to unilaterally make decisions regarding where donated funds will go or why,” the 28 attorney generals wrote in a letter. “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.”
The group wants GoFundMe to better explain what the site does with the money it receives, as well as what makes them determine to stop donations.
“While crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe have become a great resource in times of need and tragedy, it remains imperative there are checks and balances in place to protect and inform those using the site,” said Nessel. “I stand with this bipartisan coalition in urging GoFundMe to revisit its approach to transparency with users.”