- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
Media Contact for AG Healey Offers Guidance on Donating to Charities Ahead of Giving Tuesday
Boston — In anticipation of “Giving Tuesday” and the upcoming holiday season, Attorney General Maura Healey advises residents to make informed decisions when donating to charities. The AG’s Office also released a new bulletin showing that only 41 percent of the funds that professional solicitors raised on behalf of charities were transferred to charitable organizations in 2017.
“We are fortunate that our state has some of the strongest, most innovative charities in the world,” said AG Healey. “There are many reputable and worthy charities to support, but people should make sure to do research, make informed decisions, and understand how much of a donation will actually go to the charity before they give.”
Charitable organizations sometimes pay professional solicitors to solicit donations from the public, and solicitors are required by statute to register with the AG’s Office. Conventional professional solicitors fundraise through phone, mail and door-to-door campaigns. The 2017 Professional Solicitor Bulletin outlines the financial results conventional fundraisers and charities report from campaigns conducted in Massachusetts.
In the calendar year 2017, conventional professional solicitors collected more than $281 million in Massachusetts. While the amount kept by professional solicitors varied widely among solicitors, approximately $115 million ended up with the actual charities. The 2017 report is consistent with campaign reports from the last five years in which less than 50 percent of funds raised by professional solicitors were transferred to charities. This reflects a slight decrease over 2016, when an average of 47 percent of every dollar that a professional solicitor raised went back to the charity.
The AG’s Office encourages potential donors to consider the following points when they are contacted by a professional solicitor:
- Is the solicitor calling your home a volunteer or a professional fundraiser?
- How much of every dollar donated will go to the charity?
- Confirm the charity’s name and the services it offers.
Professional solicitors are required by law to disclose certain information when asked and may not mislead prospective donors or misrepresent facts. While the most effective means of preventing fraud is an educated donating public, the AG’s Office has a variety of tools to address deceptive practices. The AG’s Office maintains annual financial reports from charities and professional solicitors that operate in this state, which are available for public inspection online.
Individuals with inquiries or complaints about charitable solicitations should call the Attorney General's Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division at 617-963-2315, or access the complaint form online.