PayPal Dumps GiveSendGo, the ‘Christian’ Crowdfunding Site Used By Proud Boys

PayPal Dumps GiveSendGo, the ‘Christian’ Crowdfunding Site Used By Proud Boys
Photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

This morning PayPal confirmed to Gizmodo that it has cut ties with GiveSendGo, the Christian crowdfunding platform which hosts fundraisers for, among other causes, Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse and Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio.

Since a Trumpist mob descended on D.C. last week with pipe bombs, zip ties, and faeces, ultimately storming the Capitol Building in a siege that left five dead, there have been renewed calls for payment processors to stop working with sites sympathetic to these insurrectionists. Among them: GiveSendGo, which became a viable second-tier fundraising option for causes which GoFundMe and others refused to be associated with.

As a result of the Capitol riot, PayPal has decided to sever ties with GiveSendGo, leaving an uncertain financial future for pro-Trump conspiracies, anti-mask efforts, and other “Christian” fundraising causes.

PayPal noted to Gizmodo that it sometimes makes an exception to its acceptable use policy for “legal defence,” a category used by both Rittenhouse’s and Tarrio’s fundraisers. Beyond that, the company has long deplatformed white supremacist groups, especially after the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia — another marauding white nationalist revolt that came to a fatal end. In 2018, PayPal banned the Proud Boys altogether (along with, somewhat controversially, a few Antifa groups).

While PayPal still shows up as the automatic donation portal for some GiveSendGo fundraisers, including Rittenhouse’s, PayPal told Gizmodo that this is a backend issue on GiveSendGo’s site, and that PayPal transactions originating from GiveSendGo would not transact. (We can confirm that another fundraiser for a dog’s veterinary care, which leads directly to a credit card processing portal, still works. It’s unclear how the site is currently processing credit cards.)

A GiveSendGo spokesperson confirmed that it’s parted ways with mainstream fintech companies, for unnamed reasons. “We have/are changing/moved away from our previous payment solutions (examples. WePay, Stripe, Paypal etc) and are implementing/working with our own solutions to continue providing efficient service to our users,” the spokesperson told Gizmodo via email. They added that the company would prefer not to divulge its current payment processing method at this time.

The site continues to be hosted by Amazon Web Services — which is relevant because AWS made the unusual decision to cut ties with conservative Twitter clone Parler late last week.

In the days since the riot, companies have linked arms to reject customers who support violent insurrection — so much so that a hoax statement from Olive Garden seemed credible. Virtually all social media companies deplatformed Trump, and Apple and Google kicked Parler out of their app stores. Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup paused all political contributions. American Express and Morgan Stanley have specifically pledged not to give to the cabal of 147 lawmakers who voted to overturn election results, including Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Ted Cruz (R-TX). Stripe has cut off the Trump campaign’s account, joining Shopify, which took the Trump store offline last week; Stripe also made allusions on Twitter to possibly cutting off GiveSendGo but have yet to confirm that information with Gizmodo.

Over the past few months, GoFundMe, too, has removed several fundraisers “attempting to challenge the legitimate results of the 2020 election,” it said in a statement shared with Gizmodo. The company said that it will continue to remove such fundraisers, as well as those “for travel expenses to a future political event where there’s risk of violence by the attendees.”

Gizmodo has reached out to Amazon Web Services, as well as Visa, Mastercard, and Discover. If you see something, seize this moment, because companies are checking their mentions.