(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) praised MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express, and PayPal/eBay for waiving processing and transaction fees – as he asked them to do last week – for donations made to organizations providing relief to Newtown, Conn. in the wake of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school. The credit card companies decided to waive fees for donations made to the United Way Sandy Hook Fund, and PayPal/eBay decided to waive fees for any donation made in relation to the tragedy.
Blumenthal said, “I hope others follow these companies in waiving fees for donations made to worthwhile charities that will benefit the families and Newtown community that were victims of this horrific tragedy. The people of Newtown deserve every dollar of every donation of these charitable contributions. Charging up to 13 percent of every contribution, some companies are reaping sizable profits at the expense of contributors and the important cause they’re laudably seeking to support. There’s clear, recent, precedent for waiving the fees during Superstorm Sandy, and the companies should do it again.
“Contributors can do worthy causes and themselves a favor by donating through organizations that charge no fee.”
On Thursday, Blumenthal sent three letters – one letter to five fundraising websites, one letter to four credit card companies, and one letter to four wireless companies – calling on them to waive processing and transaction fees for donations made to organizations providing relief to Newtown. Five of the 13 companies heeded Blumenthal’s call. The charges range from six to 13 percent of each contribution.
Copies of the letters can be found here: