AG pairs with site to verify donations
Gofundme launches verified donation hub for victims’ families
Popular fundraising site Gofundme launched a centralized hub Friday for all verified campaigns benefiting the families of the 20 people killed in the Schoharie limousine crash.
The move was announced by state Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood, whose office asked Gofundme to take the step in order “to ensure donations are, in fact, going to beneficiaries of the victims.”
“New Yorkers are heartbroken by the Schoharie tragedy — and are eager to support the victims’ families as they deal with this unfathomable loss. We’re grateful to Gofundme for partnering with our office ... so that New Yorkers can rest assured that their donations will indeed support the victims’ families,” Underwood said in a news release.
Daniel Gordon, a Gofundme vice president, said the company guarantees money donated to campaigns listed on the centralized hub will go to the right people.
“We have reviewed all the related Gofundme campaigns and are working with all parties to ensure the money goes directly to the victims and surviving family members of this tragedy,” Gordon said.
The 12 campaigns listed on the verified hub had gathered more than $350,000 in donations as of 1:30 p.m. Friday.
The verified list is available at: https://www.gofundme.com/ cause/schoharie-crash.
“It’s important to remember that when a Gofundme is created on behalf of another individual, the funds are only released to the person intended as the beneficiary and the Gofundme organizer does not have access to the funds,” Gordon said.
New Yorkers are urged to consult the Attorney General’s charitable giving tips before making any donations. Here is some of the advice:
■ Use charitiesnys.com to verify the charity is legitimate. Check Pennies for Charity to verify how a charity uses donated funds.
■ You can also verify information using Charitywatch, Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, Guidestar and Charity Navigator.
■ Give to established charities you’re familiar with, and be cautious with telephone or text message solicitations. Don’t respond to unsolicited emails.
■ Check the donating website to be sure your contribution will go directly to the charity, not the person raising the funds.
■ Never give cash. Donate money by credit card or check made payable to the charity.
■ Avoid sharing credit card or personal information over the phone or via text message.
■ Report anything suspicious to the Attorney General’s Charities Bureau at charities.complaints@ ag.ny.gov or 212-416-8401.