VKontakte publishes rules on online charitable giving
This concerns rules and advice that it is necessary for all charitable communities which are involved in raising funds for charitable purposes to adhere to. These conditions of use have been introduced in order to prevent fraud and increase user confidence in charitable work online.
The Support Department of social network VKontakte has dealt with complaints over suspicious fundraising against charitable communities for more than five years. “We cannot replace the police and conduct full investigations, but we can at least check reports of funding received and spent. If all documents are in order neither we nor users will make claims against the community in question. Transparency in such matters creates trust,” claimed the VKontakte Communities Administration in a recent statement.
There are currently 5 mandatory conditions for charity fundraising on the VKontakte website.
In accordance with the new rules, charitable communities must now be prepared to provide documents giving evidence of their purpose for raising funds, must provide proof of the identity of the person or people in need they are planning to support and their parents and finally, in the case of an animal in need, must provide documents proving the identity of the person or people who are legally responsible for the collection of funds on behalf of the animal. This requirement also applies to medical documents which must confirm the claimed diagnosis and treatment necessary. However, these documents proving identity do not have to be publicised in the public domain, but can be simply submitted to the VKontakte Customer Support Team in the form of a photocopy of the original for the fulfilment of these conditions.
Charitable communities should also set up separate legal identities, and documents proving this, for the purpose of raising funds. These separate accounts should not include personal financial transfers or any transactions not to do with the fundraising in question. Revenues and expenditures must then be checked and recorded by the community and be supported by evidence via screenshots of electronic details and bank statements as well as other account documents showing inputs and outputs (receipts, bills of lading etc.)
The social network’s Administration emphasises the need for the timely publication of these account documents and any other news and changes concerning their fundraising to charitable communities. Documents proving the sum and funds raised (account document expenses) must not date back more than six months.
Charitable community pages must be accessible by and available to the public for the entirety of the period they are active. Important documents should not be removed. The social network also recommends that important documents should have watermarks (translucent text which includes the address of the community) on them to prevent monetary fraud.
The development of the charitable community, like any other, must be in accordance with the site rules, the representatives of the Administration of the VKontakte social network also emphasised.
“Remember, gratitude is not only kind words to those who help you in reaching an important aim, but also involves a duty to those who gave their support. Take the time to comunicate with subscribers, do not delay the publication of reports, and show respect for those who ask questions,” requested representatives of the social network.
AUTHOR: Juliya Vyatkina