Does Razoo Have an Israel Problem?

Razoo is an online fundraising platform that, according to its website, has raised over $42m. And a quick look tells us a fair number of Jewish and Israeli organizations are utilizing their services to accept donations online.

Two weeks ago, during the peak week for online donations, we had several people who live in Israel contact us to indicate they could not donate through Razoo’s platform as Israel was not an option listed on their country list (see above).

We contacted Razoo, who responded:

Due to high rates of fraud, we do not accept donations from cardholders in the following countries: Israel, Ukraine, Indonesia, Serbia, Lithuania, Egypt, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Russia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Nigeria and Ghana. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this causes for you and the work you are doing. Our chief goal is to protect the integrity of the giving process for all parties involved: non-profits, donors, fundraisers, and Razoo.

At first glance, one would think, ok Israel is not being singled out; we’re one of several. But a little checking around told us that you could not only use a credit card with an Israel billing address on the likes of Amazon and eBay, but also on nonprofit giving platforms including Blackbaud, Convio and even Global Giving. In terms of online payments, these are pretty large global organizations so one expects they’re current on credit card fraud problems around the world.

Further, we had conversations with individuals from both the banking and credit card side and learned that “credit card fraud in Israel isn’t any more prevalent in Israel than in other Western countries.”

So, if you have a credit card with a billing address in Iran, a country with financial sanctions imposed by the U.S. Government, or Cuba, or even the Palestinian Authority, you can donate through Razoo. Just not from Israel. Makes one stop and think.

Sebastian Traeger, Razoo’s CEO, has not responded to our requests for comment.