Just Giving Cancel Donbass Fundraiser

Graham Phillips

I’ve just returned from 3 months working in Donbass, the undoubted highlight of which, thanks to kind people and their donations, was being able to distribute over 5500 GBP of humanitarian aid.

Fullscreen capture 28072015 170628.bmpThis was made possible by my Donbass event in London, back on April 2nd, and donations to the first campaign I ran on JustGiving, which raised over 2000 GBP.

I was hoping this would just be the start of things, giving aid to those places and people most in need – your aid went everywhere from paying for the funeral of a 16-year-old victim of Ukrainian shelling, to giving out vital supplies, and children’s products, Fullscreen capture 26072015 233857.bmpfrom Gorlovka to Pervomiask. It even paid for an ambulance to be repaired.

I then ran another JustGiving campaign, to set up humanitarian funds for my next trip to Donbass. Thanks to the kindness of people, responding to the desperate situation in Donbass, the campaign was successful. But then, on July 23rd, I received the following message from JustGiving –

Lily, Jul 23, 12:50:

Fullscreen capture 29072015 115025.bmpDear Graham,

Congratulations on reaching your target. The pledges will shortly be processed into donations.

In the meantime, it’s come to our attention that you are no longer working in the region and are unable to re-enter the country for which the aid is intended.

We’d like to offer our help in finding a charity that you can work with to ensure the safe delivery of the aid supplies as outlined on your page.

We’ve found two charities for your consideration that work in the region: the Red Cross and the Ukraine Charity.

Please can you let me know how you wish to proceed as soon as possible?

Regards,

Lily
JustGiving Support

It was clear that someone from the ‘pro-Ukraine side’ had reported the campaign to JustGiving, along with my farcical ban from Ukraine. I responded, on July 23rd –

Fullscreen capture 29072015 122711.bmpHello Lily, 
Thanks for your message. I’m absolutely still working in the region, I’m here right now, and distribute the aid myself. I’m absolutely able to enter the country for which the aid is intended – the Donetsk People’s Republic, and Lugansk People’s Republics. My ban is for Ukraine, these are autonomous republics already. 
I’d like for it to be like last time, transfer the sum collected to myself, and I’ll distribute the humanitarian aid here as i always do.
Neither of the organisations you mention are suitable in any way. People have given the aid as they know that I distribute it, and film it being distributed myself, as I’ve done today. 
Let me know how you wish to proceed, as soon as possible. 
Best, Graham

Lily, this was today, distributing over 560 GBP of aid, in Donetsk – https://www.facebook.com/GrahamWPUK/posts/1464103953912569
Best, Graham
JustGiving replied to me –
Fullscreen capture 29072015 122718.bmpLily, Jul 23, 17:01:

Hi Graham,

I’m afraid that, having sought legal advice in the meantime, we feel that the Page breaches our guidelines. As such, we’re no longer in a position to be able to pass these funds to you.

If you select one of the following charities, we can transfer the funds over to them so that the aim of your page can still be carried out:

British Red Cross
Ukraine Charity

The alternative option would be for us to refund your donors, so they may choose to redirect their funds as they wish.

If we have not heard from you by 28/07/2015, we will begin the refund process.

Regards,

Lily
JustGiving Support

Fullscreen capture 29072015 122813.bmpI responded – 

Ok, Lily, your choice, refund the donors – absolutely do not give the aid elsewhere.
I will be sure to report your decision widely!

And that was that. I was absolutely against the aid being given elsewhere, especially to organisations I’ve seen do little, if anything, to help Donbass.

People donated to my page because they know what they get – all the aid is delivered to those people, and places most in need, and it’s all accounted for, and filmed.

Sadly, this distribution of humanitarian aid seems to have come to the attention of the pro-Ukraine side, and JustGiving have taken their side. It’s just the latest in a long line of ‘pro-Ukraine’ attempts to sabotage humanitarian aid reaching Donbass.

So, that’s the end of fundraising on JustGiving – I’ll find another way!

6 thoughts on “Just Giving Cancel Donbass Fundraiser”

  1. More like it should be named JustSelectiveGiving. You could perhaps set up a paypal address for the purpose though of course paypal blocked the account of wikileaks.

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  2. I strongly suspect that JustGiving were bowing to pressure from the British Government (maybe via the Charities commission). They are just middle-men, and could be shut down or have their ability to operate the way they do, taken away, by the British Government. There is no doubt this is a political decision, but don’t blame JustGiving for trying to protect their business, it’s unlikely they actively took sides (except their own side for self-protection). I hope you will find another way of raising the funds.

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  3. SAD! And to suggest the Red Cross… do they mean the same Red Cross as the one that raised half a billion dollars (billion) for Haiti, and only built six (SIX!!!) houses? DO find another way and… don’t let the bastards grind you down 🙂 Keep it up & congrats on everything you’ve managed so far (despite the odds!)

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  4. SAD! I’ll be JustIgnoring JustGiving in the future… And to suggest the Red Cross! Do they mean the same Red Cross that raised half a billion dollars for Haiti, but only managed to build six (SIX!!!) houses with it? DO find another way and keep up the goodwork – congrats on what you’ve managed so far (despite the odds!) 🙂

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