Every day, more and more people visit our website to get clear, accurate, actionable information about the money in state politics. As we have become a go-to source for unbiased state-level campaign finance information, our search engine ranking has improved as well. This is great news! Well, most of the time.
Occasionally, when someone intends to donate to a candidate’s campaign, our site will appear in the search results before the candidate’s own website, simply because we report on the candidate’s campaign finance. As a result, a donor occasionally gives money intended for a political candidate to Transparency USA by mistake. We’ve taken steps to try to remedy this — including requiring donors to check a box that states their money is going to Transparency USA rather than to any candidate or committee.
But hey, we’re all human, and mistakes still happen. We get it.
If you meant to donate to a candidate or campaign and did not intend to donate to us, you should first attempt to contact Anedot to see if they are still able to reverse the transaction. Information on changing or canceling a donation through Anedot can be found here.
If Anedot cannot cancel the transaction, let us know right away. Transparency USA will consider, at its sole discretion, requests for refunds of donations that are made in error. Because Transparency USA incurs fees in processing donations and refunds, it is the policy of Transparency USA to subtract from any refund all fees incurred to our payment processor in processing any mistaken donations. As stewards of donor funds, it would be unfair to expend funds from donors who gave to Transparency USA to pay to fix others’ mistakes.
Additionally, it is the policy of Transparency USA that requests for refunds are disfavored if the request is made more than 45 days after a donation was received. After 45 days, we will have assumed your donation was meant to support us and our awesome work, and we likely will have spent it to add some new, cool data to our site. Accordingly, it is unlikely that Transparency USA can accommodate refund requests that are made more than 45 days after a donation is received.
And please, before you request a refund, consider leaving the money with us! We’re a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization making it easy for everyone to see what’s going on with the money in their state capitals. Now more than ever, it’s crucial to have transparent, ethical state elections and governments. Plus, your donation is always tax deductible.
The Transparency USA Team