Christian fundraising platform GiveSendGo, which enables users to send money and prayers to individuals in need, has recently come under fire for hosting a number of neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups, including ex-Marine and neo-Nazi Christopher Polhaus.
GiveSendGo has been an effective way for fringe groups to raise funds and continue their work, and according to a report by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), “extremists are using online crowdfunding platforms like GiveSendGo and GoFundMe to raise millions of dollars for their ideologically driven activities.
"Through crowdfunding, extremists have generated at least $6,246,072 from 324 campaigns between 2016 and mid-2022.”
“GiveSendGo has facilitated the vast majority of these funds, hosting 230 campaigns operated by or for extremists and their causes. These campaigns collected more than 86.5% of the funds tracked by the Center on Extremism”, added the ADL report.
After logging onto the website, it takes less than 20 seconds to locate fundraisers by neo-Nazi groups by searching ‘88’ on the website’s search bar, the Jerusalem Post found.
‘88’ is a popular dog-whistle used by neo-Nazis, as if decoded, 88 stands for ‘Heil Hitler’ as H is the 8th letter in the alphabet.
The fundraising website has come under fire in the past for allowing groups like the Proud Boys and individual neo-Nazis like Christopher Pohlhaus to raise funds under their banner.
Pohlhaus has gained public notoriety for his attempts to establish an all-white community in Maine. More recently, he has gained a following after showing up armed to a children’s event where a drag queen read stories. During this appearance, he yelled racial slurs and used Nazi salutes.
With close to 3,000 dollars in donations, Polhaus's campaign is labeled "support the Blood Tribe campground project," and the project description reads: "The Blood Tribe is working on a campground in maine to have a retreat/ community area we can train on and help families move to the area. We have alot of work to do and we never stop working. Money will mostly go towards heavy equipment work, gravel, materials."
Polhaus's goal of setting up a neo-Nazi community in Maine has been well-documented in the past, particularly by VICE News, which investigated the ex-Marine in October of last year.
According to VICE, Polhaus is best known for coordinating a racist counterprotest on the anniversary of George Floyd's murder, partaking in efforts to dismantle the food supply chain through sniper attacks on truckers, and having connections to the January 6 Capitol Riots.
Several of the donations sent to Polhaus's GiveSendGo campaign make implicit references to their neo-Nazi ties, with one attached note reading "Hail Victory!" and another simply reading: "Hail."
GiveSendGo's policy on extremist material
GiveSendGo has been informed of Pohlhaus’ presence on their site at least twice, according to a report by VICE. Despite being informed, and the website’s policy prohibiting “(d) items that promote hate, violence, racial intolerance, or the financial exploitation of a crime,’ he was not removed. “
GiveSendGo has a policy that states “By visiting GiveSendGo.com you are responsible for protecting yourself from content that is offensive or harmful that may have been posted on the website by another user.”
The website adds that they are not obligated to remove any content, individual or entity.
“GiveSendGo has the right to, though will not be obligated to, in GiveSendGo's sole discretion, to remove any content or block any individual or entity for any reason.”