- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
Media Contact for AG Healey Provides Guidance on Supporting Charities During the COVID-19 Crisis
Boston — Today, Attorney General Maura Healey advised residents to make informed decisions when donating to charities that support people affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“There are a lot of people across our state who are struggling right now, and many are looking for ways to help through charities and non-profit organizations,” said AG Healey. “If you are in a position to donate, make sure that you do your research and make informed decisions on where you are giving.”
AG Healey recommends that residents take the following steps to make smart, safe charitable contributions to support those who have been affected:
- Give to Charities You Know and Those You Can Trust: Well-established charities with experience in disaster relief, community foundations, or organizations established with support from government agencies are generally good places to donate.
- Check the website: If you are contributing over the internet, make sure that the website you are visiting belongs to a legitimate and established charity. Be advised that most crowdfunding sites are not charities and many typically take a percentage of your donation as a fee.
- Ask lots of questions: How much of the money goes to the charity and how much to a professional fundraiser? Ask if your contribution is tax deductible and what the charity intends to do with any excess contributions that might remain after the victims’ needs are addressed.
- Beware of social media posts or emails soliciting donations to copycat organizations or fake websites.
- Do not give your personal or financial information to anyone soliciting money.
- Never pay by cash: Pay by check or credit card and make a check out directly to the charity, not the fundraiser or any other individual. Specify, on the check and in writing, whenever possible, the purpose of your donation.
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. Consumers with concerns about solicitations they have received should contact the AG’s Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division at 617-963-2315 or access the complaint form online. Visit the AG’s COVID-19 resource page for information about how the AG’s Office can help during this crisis.