Online giving portals: What should you know?

Share This Page

A common phrase in the world of charities is that there are many ways to give. Making an online donation is one way, and using an “online giving portal” is becoming a popular option. Check out our new articles – one for consumers and one for businesses – that describe these portals and what to consider before using them. Read the full articles for more information, but here are the basics:

  • An online giving portal is a website that makes it quick and easy for you to donate to one of several charities listed on the website.
  • When you donate this way, your money may not go directly to that charity. Another company may get your money first, take some of it as a fee, and then pass on the rest to the charity. And it may take a while for the charity to get it.
  • If your business wants to offer an online giving portal, make sure that donors can easily get clear and truthful answers to questions about where the money is sent, how much of it gets to the charity, and how long it takes to get there. Doing so will help keep your business from violating basic FTC advertising law principles.
  • Donors who can’t easily find these answers – or who don’t like the answers they find – can always donate another way, like going directly to a charity’s own website.

Along with these new articles, the FTC has a wealth of information on wise giving at ftc.gov/charity. Check it out before you donate.

Add new comment

Comment Policy

Privacy Act Statement

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system (PDF), and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system (PDF). We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.