[ExI] gofundme question

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Wed Feb 9 15:47:48 UTC 2022



…> On Behalf Of Dave S via extropy-chat
Subject: Re: [ExI] gofundme question


On Tue, Feb 8, 2022 at 12:47 AM spike jones via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org <mailto:extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> > wrote:


>>…In light of recent news, I have been wondering something about Gofundme: if the organization has the theoretical legal ability to not pay the organization for which it is collecting money, then any funds one donates to a cause thru Gofundme actually belongs to Gofundme.  As far as I can tell, that organization owns the money and has the option to give it to whatever the funds were collected for, or to keep it.


Do I understand it correctly?


>…I don't think so. From their FAQ <https://www.gofundme.com/c/questions>:






>…IANAL, but I don't see that GoFundMe has a right to keep anything except their fees. Donations go to the recipient or are refunded.





OK thanks Dave.  That FAQ raises a bunch of new questions.  For instance… in a current trucker’s strike in Canada, Gofundme decided to not give out the money they received.  So the cause for which the money was collected is out of luck.  Gofundme chose to refund the money to the donors.  However… being a political cause for which many Canadians could reasonably fear their employer could retaliate or their own government could prosecute for donating, may have chosen to donate anonymously or under an assumed identity.  Any attempt to collect refunded money could result in the risk that Gofundme would reveal who donated to the truckers.  Canada apparently can prosecute its citizens for arbitrary reasons, such as bringing fuel to the striking truckers. Donating funds could also be made illegal or certainly unadvisable after the fact.  So… the donors could have made it impossible to refund their donations.  Result: Gofundme gets to keep the money.


We can expand the focus beyond this particular situation: anyone can start a Gofundme for any cause, raise a bunch of money, then spend it any way that person pleases.  There is no control at all that I can see.  This could spawn an entire industry, where people start Gofundmes and use the proceeds to fund themselves, or more likely: they would half-heartedly support the cause that raised the cash.



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