For Immediate Release - December 29, 2011

AG Coakley's Office Releases Report On Professional Solicitations for Charity in 2010

Report Finds that Charities Received 45 Percent of the Proceeds from Charitable Campaigns; AG Coakley Offers Tips for Consumers to Give Wisely

BOSTON – Today, Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office released its Report on Professional Solicitations for Charity in 2010 pdf format of 2010 Report on Professional Solicitations
.  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 2010.  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, on average, of every dollar raised by a campaign ends up with a given charity.

In 2010, professional solicitors raised over $367 million, which was almost $39 million more than in 2009.  Of this amount nearly $166 million or 45 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 2010, only 45 cents went to the charity.

“In this trying economic climate, it is more important than ever to support the Massachusetts charities that benefit residents of the Commonwealth who are in need,” said AG Coakley.  “However, it is also important in these difficult times for consumers to know exactly where their money is going and how it is going to be used.  We encourage donors to do some basic research and ask important questions to ensure donated funds are going to a worthy 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 .  Consumers with concerns about solicitations they have received should contact the AG’s Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division at 617-963-2101.

Consumers can also review our Give Wisely Advisory online to obtain tips on how to give wisely.

The Attorney General’s Report on Professional Solicitations for Charity in 2010 is available on the Attorney General's website.