November 17, 2011 •
FEC Approves GivingSphere’s Mobile Platform Plan for Political Contributions
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has issued an advisory opinion approving plans of a for-profit company’s mobile-based financial processing platform to collect and distribute funds to candidates, committees, and PACs.
GivingSphere, which allows individuals to make donations to charitable groups through the internet and mobile devices, requested an opinion about implementing contributions to political entities. Customer funds for contributions are accumulated by rebates earned by purchasing goods from merchants who participate in the GivingSphere affiliate program.
Advisory Opinion 2011-19 allows GivingSphere to transmit its customers’ funds in the form of political contributions. Additionally, the company may sell advertising space to political committees on its website, provide a searchable database of political committees to its customers, and permit political committees to post a ‘badge’ of the GivingSphere on their website.
Because GivingSphere is merely processing contributions, it will not be subject to any reporting requirements. The FEC press release can be found here.
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