Donation Hints and Tips
MD ( December 3, 2009) - The holiday season is underway
and consumers may be flooded with requests for donations from
a host of charities. Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler is
advising Marylanders to be donation savvy this holiday season.
While there are many reputable charitable organizations that
accept donations for many worthy causes, Marylanders need to
be wary of unscrupulous folks pretending to raise money for
Consumers are frequently contacted through telephone or door-to-door
solicitations. For both solicitations, consumers should make sure
they know the following:
- The full name, address and phone number
of the charity.
- If the charity (and paid fund-raiser, if one
is used) is registered with the Maryland Secretary of State.
- How much of the donation goes toward the charitable work and
how much goes toward administrative costs or the fundraising
contacting the consumer.
- For what purpose the contribution will
- If the contribution is tax deductible.
Marylanders are advised to be wary if the solicitor refuses to
send written material or financial information. Bogus charities
use names and logos that closely resemble well-known organizations
with similar purposes. They often ask for a credit card number
or offer to send a courier to pick up checks before a consumer
can change his/her mind.
Donors have the right to ask as many questions as necessary to
make an informed decision about whether or not to donate. If the
charity resists answering questions, Marylanders should not give.
Consumers should remember that the need will still be there after
they have been able to thoroughly evaluate the legitimacy of an
For more information
regarding charitable giving, consumers can visit the Attorney
General’s website at http://www.oag.state.md.us/consumer/tip42.htm.
If consumers have any
questions concerning a charity, they should call the Charitable
Organizations Division of the Maryland Secretary
of State’s office at 1-800-825-4510 or visit www.sos.state.md.us/charity/charityhome.aspx.