At least one crowdfunding site is willing to allow users to fund armed forces.
On Wednesday night, Valleywag’s Nitasha Tiku reported on a Crowdtilt campaign run by a soldier in the Israeli Defence Forces that’s raising money for the 97th Battalion, which “is known for its speciality in urban warfare and counter terrorism.” The soldier sent Business Insider a photo of his IDF identification to prove his bonafides. It turns out that several other campaigns
are also using the crowdfunding platform to raise money in support of IDF troops.
One campaign in particular sought $US100,000 and ultimately raised just shy of $US50,000. It is being run in partnership with an organisation called Help Tzahal. Here’s that group’s Facebook page, and here’s how it describes what it does:
We provide soldiers with the equipment necessary for combat in/outside Gaza. Every dollar donated goes DIRECTLY to benefit the soldiers. [emphasis theirs]
According to Crowdtilt’s fee policies, the company collects a 2.5% fee of the total money raised from campaigns that tilt or otherwise successfully meet their goal.
A spokesperson for the company, which rebranded from “Crowdtilt” to the punchier “Tilt” on Thursday, told Business Insider the company is allowing campaigns that support the IDF. They said the company deals with campaigns that provide funding to armed groups on a “case-by-case basis.”
“Tilt is permitting campaigns that fundraise for the IDF to purchase protective and safety equipment. The IDF is a part of the armed forces of Israel. Israel is a foreign government recognised by the United States and not on any list of the United States government prohibiting us from processing transactions related to that country,” the spokesperson said. “Furthermore the IDF is not a part of any list prohibiting us from processing transactions related to that organisation or group, specifically. Tilt cannot comment on armed groups in general or their legality under the laws and regulations of the United States or the countries in which they operate, as other laws or restrictions may apply to them. Such situations are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.”
This begs the question about how other crowdfunding sites might approach the same issue. A Kickstarter spokesperson told us the site would not permit projects that provide money to militant groups.
“Kickstarter’s mission to help fund creative projects wouldn’t encompass resources to armed forces,” the spokesperson said.
We requested comment from crowdfunding heavyweight IndieGogo as well and haven’t heard from them all day.
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