"Network for Good" CEO Responds to JIDF Regarding their Decision to Not Do Business with Israel

The saga continues. In a nutshell, the Facebook "Causes" app doesn't do business with Israel. They had "Palestine" listed, but not Israel. Due to JIDF efforts, Palestine is no longer listed. "Causes" blamed the software for the existence of "Palestine." We are waiting to hear back for the name of said software company. "Causes" also blamed "Network for Good" for the fact that they don't do business with Israel. We just heard back from the CEO of Network for Good.

Please bear in mind that Network for Good is not small potatoes. They have raised over $175 million in online donations to more than 30,000 different nonprofit organizations

Here is the exchange:


From: katya.andresen@networkforgood.org
Subject: Your post on the JIDF
Date: June 16, 2008 2:04:30 PM CDT
To: david
Cc: bill.strathmann@networkforgood.org

Hi David,

Nice to meet you via Facebook, and thanks for passing on your email address so we can connect. I’m forwarding this message from Bill, our CEO. I hope this answers all of your questions – if not, feel free to contact me or Bill directly.

All best,
Katya
Katya Andresen
VP Marketing, Network for Good
www.networkforgood.org
www.nonprofitmarketingblog.com
Office - 240 482 3208


David,

I’m Bill Strathmann, CEO of Network for Good, and I want to address your concerns.

First, let me assure you, the ultimate goal of both Causes and Network for Good is to enable any valid donation, from any donor, in any country, to any US nonprofit organization. As a first step toward that goal we are currently in the first phase of offering some international donations and plan to accept donations from all countries, including Israel, later this year. So it is a short-term problem that we have not added all countries to our system, but a problem nonetheless. We recognize that, which is why we’re implementing a system that will allow us to ultimately accept all of those donations.

Until then, we have had to unfortunately block donations from certain countries that financial security experts have identified as having very high incidences of fraud. Please understand that this was in no way a political statement. In fact, it is a fundamental tenet of Network for Good that we allow donors to choose freely from the entire universe of tax-deductible, US-based nonprofit organizations not in violation of the Patriot Act, regardless of cause, mission or political agenda. However, as a nonprofit organization and a processor of donations, Network for Good must continually protect its donors, the nonprofit organizations we serve, and itself from the constant threat of credit card fraud. Unfortunately, charitable websites are often targets for fraud, because they are used to test stolen card data. To prevent Network for Good from being used in this way, when taking our first step toward the processing of international donations, we consulted with experts in the field to determine how fraud could be mitigated. What resulted was the list of blocked countries, which included Israel. If you’re interested in knowing how financial security experts devised this list, I’d refer you to Maxmind and ClearCommerce-eFunds, which study fraud and have determined which countries have a high incidence of this problem.

I hope this is useful background. Please let me know if you have any further concerns or questions, which I will be happy to address. We will also keep you apprised as to when we have completed our international donation work and can therefore accept donations from all nations.

Bill


Bill Strathmann
CEO, Network for Good
www.networkforgood.org
240.482.3219
7920 Norfolk Ave
Bethesda, MD 20814
Do Good. Feel Good.


The JIDF response:

Dear Katya and Bill,

Thank you very much for your timely response and we are happy to hear you will be doing business with Israel this year. It is our hope that this will happen sooner, as opposed to later, since Israel is oftentimes ostracized and demonized---especially by many of the NGO's, charities, and countries with whom you DO do business.

Our original complaint was to "Causes" - who, along with "Network for Good" was apparently doing business with a place which has never existed and does not currently exist as a country, called "Palestine." Due to our complaint, that problem has since been removed.

In your retort, you first sent us to Wikipedia to learn about fraud. We'd like to send you here to learn how Wikipedia has recently been exposed for its Anti-Israeli subversion. Therefore, it's is not a reliable source for much information. Perhaps this is why colleges and universities do not accept it as a credible source.

The list you shared is also problematic, since it is based upon a "study" which we cannot find any specifics or stats in which it was based, and it appears to be over six years old.

You then shared that part of your decision was based upon a company called Maxmind. We conducted several thorough searches on their site and found nothing indicative of Israel being a country which is "high risk" for fraud.

You also referenced ClearCommerce-eFund, where again, we conducted a search on their site and couldn't find one mention of Israel being associated with fraud. We have searched and searched for any specific stats as to why these companies have listed Israel as "high risk" and have found none. Anywhere. Certainly if this information was valid and conducted appropriately then it would be made available to the worldwide business community at large, no? Can you find any actual statistics? We can't.

Due to these facts and the lack of solid evidence, we find it highly unlikely that any of this actually has anything to do with credit card fraud.

In fact, from our research we found there are plenty of high risk countries in which you continue to do business, despite the fact that Israel remains excluded. These include: Vietnam, Singapore, Uganda, Hungary, Belarus, Benin, Estonia, Latvia, Macedonia, Philippines, Thailand, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, and Sudan----many of which are certain to be far riskier than Israel.

We'd appreciate it if you took this "expert advice" from Maxmind and ClearCommerce-eFund with a grain of salt and choose to do business with Israel (sooner, rather than later) despite what we believe are clearly false alarms and continued attempts to ostracize the Holy Land.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

David

The Jewish Internet Defense Force
http://www.thejidf.org

"Leading the Fight against Antisemitism and Terrorism on the Web
...Coordinating Concerned Citizens around the Globe
........Promoting Jewish Pride, Knowledge, Unity"

The JIDF is continues to try to find any stats which contributed to that outdated study....in related news, Facebook has warned us that our account could get disabled again, and again, for the vague reason of continued misuse of certain features. No specifics were provided. We wonder how many of those promoting hatred and murder on the site get warnings like the ones we get for merely trying to fight it.



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