December 15, 2008
Jefferson City, Mo. - Consumers need to do their homework before contributing money to charities, especially between now and the end of the year - that's the advice from the Attorney General's Office. December is typically a big month for charitable contributions, with many nonprofits depending on year-end contributions and stepping up fundraising efforts.
The Attorney General's Web site offers Check-a-Charity, an online database showing the finances of almost 1,000 charities. Consumers can enter the name of a charity into the database to see how much money the group spends on program services versus administrative costs.
Consumers can use these guidelines for donating to charity:
For future planning, the Attorney General's Office encourages consumers to decide their charitable giving a year at a time, rather than make on-the-spot decisions from telemarketing calls and mailings. Consumers can file complaints against charity fundraisers at the Attorney General's Web site or Consumer Protection Hotline, 1-800-392-8222.