What do we check in 4fund.com, or when to report a suspicious fundraiser?

Published 27 July, 2023. Update: 14 November, 2023.
What do we check in 4fund.com, or when to report a suspicious fundraiser?

Since the beginning of our existence, all Users of our portal have been able to report suspected abuse made by the Organiser of any fundraiser created with us. Check out when you should use it!

Using the "report abuse" button, anyone can share their suspicions about the fundraisers created on our portal. Our staff analyse all such reports. It has happened more than once that it was through this method that we obtained the first information that led to the detection of attempts of fraud on our site, which we always report to the appropriate law enforcement agencies, or to determine the existence of another type of abuse, leading to the removal or blocking of a particular campaign.

We are pleased that our Users remain vigilant, as this helps us detect all possible abuses more quickly and efficiently. 

Nevertheless, we also receive a significant number of unreasonable reports through this channel, which do not indicate that a given Organiser has violated the law or the terms of our regulations. It's frequent when the goal of a given fundraiser is controversial (rather than forbidden) and the fundraiser receives significant media publicity. For this reason, we decided to prepare a small guide that indicates what types of reports are most useful.

As a 4fund.com, we are aware that our Users represent a whole range of social and political views or religious beliefs. In creating the rules of our portal, we decided that we would never judge whether such views are valid. Therefore, in this regard, we follow the principle of complete worldview neutrality. The slogan of our portal - raise for what you want - is the basis of our functioning, and the only limitation on this freedom is the rules of generally applicable law - we described them in this article.

Another rule follows from this. Well, the fact that a particular fundraiser is set up on our portal does not mean that we, as 4fund.com, give it any support. It is only our Users who, when deciding to donate to a particular Organiser, recognize that the goal they describe is worthy of attention and deserves to be supported. The amount raised in the collection comes entirely from the contributions of such Users. Until the goal of a particular fundraiser itself would violate the applicable law, we do not feel entitled to judge it. Therefore, although our employees - like every person - have their views and beliefs, when conducting verification of collections or assessing the legitimacy of the applications we receive, they must put their emotions aside. 

It is also worth noting that the funds donated by Donators to the Organiser do not become our property at any time. We maintain a separate payment account for each fundraiser, and the owner of all funds collected there becomes the Organiser as soon as the payment is received from the Donators. As a Payment Services Provider, we are subject to the laws in force, which indicate when we can block the funds raised on such an account. Also, they are precise definitions in our regulations, which comprehensively describe also when we can stop a given fundraiser and return the accumulated funds to the Donators. These regulations cannot be interpreted extensively - in every case in which we decide to block or forcibly remove a fundraiser we must have a strong legal basis for doing so, supported by solid justification. After all, by taking such a step, we are interfering with someone else's property rights. On the other hand, the security of the payment system is based on the fact that anyone who stores their money there should be confident that no one will ever be able to unjustly deprive them of access to those funds.

Our portal uses some of the most advanced verification procedures among all crowdfunding sites in Poland and Europe. However, they focus on detecting such abuses of fundraiser Organisers for which we will be able to take appropriate steps, i.e. abuses made directly on our portal and directly related to the fundraiser run with us. You need to remember that 4fund.com is not - and does not aspire to be - a court, prosecutor's office or any other organisation set up to investigate illegal acts. That means we will not always be able to follow the suggestions of the submitter, even though, if reported to the appropriate authority, they could ultimately prove to be correct. 

Thus, while we go to great lengths to ensure that fundraisers created with us are always for a legitimate goal, honest, and the Organiser's stated goal is genuine, we cannot step into the role of judge and adjudicate private disputes on our portal. Similarly, we do not have the authority to judge the Organiser's overall behaviour outside of our portal or conduct investigations to detect or confirm his behaviour that is not directly related to the fundraiser he is running. When deciding whether to remove a collection, we also cannot rely solely on rumours, gossip or media information - although these sometimes cause us to initiate additional verification activities to determine their veracity. 

To make reporting easier for our Users, we have prepared a list of the most common situations in which the reports obtained help us to properly verify fundraisers, as well as those in which we will have to evaluate them as unfounded:

So what's worth reporting?

  • A suspicion that the fundraiser's goal itself is unlawful. Remember that through our website Donators make voluntary donations to the Organiser, or enter into a contract of another type (sales, provision of certain services). Nevertheless, some fundraisers, already based on the description, can be directly qualified as violating the law. The fundraisers we blocked in the past based on their illegal goals were, for example, arranging a gambling game, which the Organiser did not have the appropriate license to conduct, the collection of funds to cover a fine or mandate, the creation of, "financial vehicles", which could be qualified as a financial pyramid.
  • Suspicion that the description of the fundraiser itself violates applicable law. Such a situation occurs, for example, when the description incites hatred or constitutes praise of a crime or calls for its commission. Note, however, that many fundraisers descriptions can use strong language without violating the boundaries of the applicable law - there are groups whose views you may deeply disagree with, but they too enjoy constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech. As long as they do not include anything explicitly prohibited in the description of the fundraiser, their freedom for such expression must be respected.
  • Reasonable suspicion that the goal of the fundraiser is unreal. In the situations specified in our regulations, we check the genuineness of the description of all fundraisers that exceed the established level of the amount collected from the donations of Donators. In such a situation we always ask the Organiser to confirm the described circumstances with documents. If we have a justified suspicion of a given fundraiser, we apply this verification procedure at an earlier stage. If you have convincing evidence that a collection is an attempted fraud - definitely report it. We take all attempts of fraud made on the portal very seriously, as we want Users to be sure that the donated money will go to the indicated goal. In this regard, specific "first-hand" information is particularly valuable. If, for example, you are the person described in the content of the collection, e.g. its alleged Beneficiary, or a member of his/her family, and you do not know the Organiser and have never contacted him/her, or in case you know the situation of the Organiser and know that he/she includes untrue circumstances in the description of the fundraiser - we will certainly want to hear about such fact.
  • Reasonable suspicion that the Organiser is not transferring funds for the declared goal. To the extent specified in our regulations, we may ask the Organiser of the fundraiser to prove that he or she is properly spending the raised funds. Particularly important for us in initiating this type of verification is information received directly from the Beneficiaries of the fundraisers, who indicate that the Organiser, contrary to his declarations, refrains from transferring funds to them or spending money on their behalf.

And what is not worth reporting?

  • Fundraisers that contradict your worldview. There are many fundraisers on our portal with descriptions that present strong political, social or ethical views. If you present opposing views, such fundraisers may arouse your dislike. However, this is never a sufficient reason for us to block it.
  • Personal allegations against the Organiser. On our website, we carry out verification of the fundraisers, not verification of the whole person of the Organiser (we verify only his/her identity, under the relevant regulations). Just as we do not assess whether the goal of a fundraiser - as long as it is legal - is worthy of support, we do not assess our clients and do not decide whether they or the organisations they represent deserve the opportunity to raise funds on 4fund.com. On our portal, anyone can create a legitimate fundraiser.
  • Organiser's behaviour manifested outside the 4fund.com portal. Again, we must emphasize that we are not a body set up to prosecute crimes, and we cannot draw consequences against the Organisers due to their behaviour that is not directly related to the fundraiser they are running and does not make the fundraiser unreliable or its goal illegal itself. If the Organiser or persons affiliated with the Organiser violate the law in the "real world", the proper place to report this fact is the Police or Prosecutor's Office.
  • Content the Organiser posts on sites other than 4fund.com. We cannot be responsible for what the Organiser publishes elsewhere - the proper place to report it is then the portal where such content was published.
  • Doubts about the tax settlements of the Organiser of the collection. 4fund.com does not conduct tax settlements for its Users. They are alone responsible for the correct calculation, declaration and payment of tax.
  • Accusations from the media or social media, which are impossible to prove true. 4fund.com cannot draw consequences against its customers based on unverifiable information.
  • Multiple reports with the same or similar content, sent from many User Accounts. It is always the legitimacy of the submissions, not their number, that determines our appropriate action against the Organiser. We often encounter a situation in which a group of people dissatisfied with the existence of a collection contrary to their views, make mass, unsupported by useful information reports. All reports are always verified by our staff, and just one assessed as legitimate causes initiation of certain verification procedures against the collection.

Thinking about creating your fundraiser? Get to know us better and find out why it's worth a try!

First of all - how does it work?

It's simple - go to 4fund.com, enter how much money you want to raise, what are you going to spend them on and you're done! After a short verification, you will be able to use all the features of the portal without limitations. You can withdraw funds from your fundraiser whenever you want as often as you need, and thanks to the express withdrawal option, you will receive the funds in your account within minutes of ordering it! What's important - 4fund.com is maintained mainly by donations - you can use the portal 100% free of charge. We do not charge any mandatory fees from fundraisers or supporters.  

Secondly - does it work?

After 10 years of development, we are coming to you as the leaders of the Polish crowdfunding market. Poles have fundraised over one billion PLN on zrzutka.pl (the Polish name for 4fund.com)! Our biggest actions include the #TogetherForUkraine fundraiser, which raised almost €700,000, or the fundraiser for the Crisis Helpline, which raised more than €380,000 in just two days. 

However, 4fund.com is above all tens of thousands of private fundraisers - birthdays, trips, settle joint initiatives and others. 

Collect one-off or in a subscription model and realise your goals with 4fund.com!

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