Many people who are donating to Newtown's relief funds in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy will not have to pay transaction and processing fees thanks to efforts from U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.
Blumenthal sent letters to organizations asking that they waive the fees for any donation made in relation to the tragedy. And the senator announced on his website that MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express and PayPal/eBay decided to wave fees. The credit card companies decided to waive fees - they ranged from six to 13 percent of each contribution - 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 stated.
"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," Blumenthal stated in a news release.
"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.”
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, the news release states. Five of the 13 companies heeded Blumenthal’s call, according to the release.
The United Way Sandy Hook Fund raised close to $3 million in its first week. Several other organizations have collected donations, as well.