Donating To A Charity This Holiday? Attorney General Offers Some Tips
With Giving Tuesday right around the corner, New York State Attorney General Letitia James is releasing her annual “Pennies for Charities: Fundraising by Professional Fundraisers” report.
The report found that charities that retained professional fundraisers received about two-thirds of every dollar donated in 2020.
The AG’s report shows charities earned 23 percent of donations, a small increase from the previous year and in line with the last four years’ results.
“As New Yorkers get ready to give to their favorite charities tomorrow on Giving Tuesday, they deserve to know where their money is going,” said James. “My duty is to protect New Yorkers’ wallets and ensure that what they donate reaches the charity of their choice. My office will continue to crack down on misleading fundraising practices, so New Yorkers don’t have to worry the next time they give generously to a cause they support. With the holiday season upon us, I encourage all New Yorkers to use our tips as a guide to make informed contributions and ensure that their money is going to a trustworthy source.”
This year’s report lays out tips for donors to follow before donating over the phone, through the mail, or online to ensure that their contributions reach the causes
- If you’re contacted by a telemarketer, ask questions to make an informed decision: New York law requires telemarketers soliciting for charities to make certain disclosures to potential donors and prohibits them from making false, misleading, or deceptive statements when soliciting contributions.
- If you receive a direct mail charitable appeal, verify the soliciting organization: Does the organization have a name that sounds like a well-known charity? Doublecheck — is it the one you think it is? Does the mailing claim to follow up on a pledge that you do not remember making? Does it clearly describe the programs that the charity plans to fund with your donation?
- If you’re donating online, do your research first: Donating online or via an app is convenient for donors and can be cost effective for a charity. But before hitting “Send,” donors should check whether a campaign is legitimate.
The report and the searchable Pennies for Charity database containing data from those reports is posted on the Charities Bureau website.