Online Giving - Clarifying What Is and Is Not Permissible

We often get asked what is and is not permissible with regards to online giving for Local Programs in Pennsylvania. Please review the below snapshot as a guideline.

  • Local Programs, per our agreement with Special Olympics International (SOI), cannot have a general ‘Donate Now’ button on their website. Even the State Office’s ‘Donate Now’ button is linked to SOI as part of an overall campaign revenue share for which there is a contract in place.
  • Local programs may utilize online giving when hosting an event. For example, programs can create an EventBrite ( page to sell tickets or to sign runners up for a 5K. Local programs are also encouraged (where possible) to be a part of state-led revenue share events like the Beaver Stadium Run or a Polar Plunge where your participants can sign up and then share an online link to accept donations in support of your participation.
  • Local programs may list ‘How to Give’ instructions anywhere online – encouraging folks to mail checks or providing a phone number where they can call and give a credit card donation. You may also have a printable donation form that can be filled out and faxed or mailed back to the organization with donation information.
  • It is permissible to use social media as a tool to request “event-related” donations such as plunger support, ticket purchases, registration sign ups, etc. You can also provide a link to a page that requests that donations be mailed or phoned in. However, linking back to a general ‘Donate Now’ button or any sort of general operating online solicitation of any sort via social media is not permissible.