CGBG corrects the record with 'The 5 Mistruths by the Activists;' Asks Retailers to Remain Neutral
WASHINGTON, Aug. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- CGBG, an online service that helps users support their favorite charities by shopping on the web, today is correcting the record on a growing misinformation campaign to bully retailers into punishing customers and charities based on charities' and customers' beliefs.
"At a time when charitable giving is down, a small group of activists wants to shut down options for people to help others based on their religious views," said Jed Trosper, CEO of CGBG. "Retailers are being manipulated by a bullying campaign fueled by false information. We urge them to review the facts and remain neutral on these issues by maintaining or reestablishing their relationships with all potential customers, regardless of the customers' beliefs."
In recent weeks, a small group of activists has targeted major companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Macy's, the Gap, Expedia, and others with online petitions that portray CGBG and a handful of its network charities in a false light. As a result of the misinformation campaign spread through blogs and other online media including Change.org, Allout.org and Tie-dyed Jive in the (415), several retailers have severed ties with shoppers who use CGBG to support their chosen charities with online purchasing.
While the activists' campaign has targeted a small number of high-profile, non-profit groups that participate in the CGBG network, it has also destroyed a link between retailers and shoppers who want to support any of the 170,000 smaller charities, schools and faith-based organizations that participate in CGBG.
"These activists are bullying corporations into making hasty decisions based on the first piece of information, regardless of the information's veracity," Trosper said. "These decisions, based on false information, could potentially alienate these companies from tens of millions of customers. By retailers remaining neutral on political and religious – rather than rejecting a sizeable customer based because of their religious views – retailers would provide the same opportunities to all potential customers. Hopefully, these companies will maintain consistency across all their distribution channels including online, brick-and-mortar stores, and catalog as well as on the corporate purchasing side. In fact, I would imagine some of these companies are selling their products and services into the same charities and organizations that they are singling out at this time."
"The 5 Mistruths by the Activists" are:
#1: CGBG network charities Focus on the Family and Summit Ministries are listed as "hate groups" by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
Truth: Focus on the Family and Summit Ministries are not designated as "hate groups" by the Southern Poverty Law Center. These organizations are legitimate 501(c) (3) organizations as classified by the United States Internal Revenue Code. Activists have falsely singled out these not for profit entities to sensationalize their message.
#2: That the Family Research Council is a "hate group."
Truth: The Family Research Council is a legitimate, federally licensed 501(c) (3) non-profit group and is not a hate group per the standards of designation of the United States government. FRC is vigorously defending itself from this year inclusion on the SPLC designation as a "hate group." In fact, many of CGBG's competitors – including Good Search/Shop, iGive, and Giveback – as well as the majority of the retailers who have left our network, enable online shoppers to financially support Family Research Council and Focus the Family.
#3: That CGBG is associated with Abiding Truth Ministries, a Springfield, MA.,-based organization classified by the SPLC as a "hate group."
Truth: CGBG is not affiliated with either Abiding Truth Ministries in Springfield, MA. or Temecula, CA. founded by Scott Lively, in any way.
#4: The name of the business retailers are working with is "Christian Values Network."
Truth: The Christian Values Network was renamed CGBG in March 2011 to reflect a broadening of the group's mission and partner network, which includes more than 170,000 charities representing a range of religious, non-religious, educational and other groups. CGBG is not a religious organization and does not have any religious content on its site. In fact, CGBG has received outstanding performance ratings from consolidators who represent these retailers.
#5: CGBG donates money to hate groups and anti-women organizations.
Truth: CGBG works with legitimate 501(c) (3) organizations as designated by the United States Internal Revenue Code. CGBG connects shoppers making everyday purchases to online retailers. CGBG receives a percentage of each eligible purchase from various retailers in the form of a commission. CGBG enables consumers to choose which of 170,000 charities will receive 50 percent of that commission as financial support. CGBG does not make donations, nor does it choose which charities will receive financial support.
"By intentionally distorting the truth, these activists are manipulating major retailers into alienating one of the biggest and most passionate purchasing groups in the country," Trosper said. "With the facts now available, we urge retailers to reestablish their relationship with CGBG and once again empower all consumers – regardless of their religious beliefs – to support their preferred charities by shopping online."