For Immediate Release - December 15, 2010

Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office Releases Report on Professional Solicitations for Charity in 2009

Report Finds that Charities Received 43 Percent of the Proceeds from Charitable Campaigns AG Coakley Offers Tips for Consumers to Give Wisely During Holiday Season

BOSTON - Today, Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office released its report on Professional Solicitations for Charity in 2009. Professional solicitors, who are paid by charitable organizations to solicit donations from the public, are required by statute to register with the Attorney General's Office. The report outlines the financial results of those individual charitable campaigns conducted in Massachusetts during calendar year 2009. The report is published annually and is designed to assist residents in making informed decisions regarding their charitable giving by providing the public with information on how much of every dollar raised by a campaign ends up with a given charity.

The Report on Professional Solicitations for Charity in 2009 found that professional solicitors raised nearly $329 million. Of this amount, only $141 million or 43 percent of the amount raised ended up with the charity. This means that on average, of every dollar that a professional solicitor raised for a charity in 2009, only 43 cents went to the charity.

"In these difficult times, it is important that we support those charities that benefit our communities and help out the less fortunate," said Attorney General Coakley. "Unfortunately, a donor's generosity may be diluted if they fail to carefully consider where their donations are going, what they will be used for, and how much will ultimately benefit the charity. I encourage donors to give generously, but also remind them to do their homework. Never hesitate to ask questions about where your money is going and remember that you can send a donation directly to a charity to ensure the largest percentage of your donation goes to the charity's cause."

In addition to looking at the results of the report, potential donors should also consider asking some basic questions when they are contacted by a professional solicitor. This includes asking how much of every dollar donated will go to the charity and requesting confirmation of the charity's name and the services it offers to the public. The Attorney General's Office also maintains annual financial statements from charities and professional solicitors that operate in this state, which are available for public inspection . Citizens with concerns about solicitations they have received should contact the Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division at 617-727-2200 x2120.

Consumers can also review our Give, but Wisely Advisory online to obtain tips on how to give wisely this holiday season and beyond.

The Attorney General's Report on Professional Solicitations for Charity in 2009 pdf format of Report on Professional Solicitations for Charity 2009
is available on the Attorney General's website.