- Ask for the registration number of the solicitor and the charity.
- Check the charity’s disclosure and financial statements on the Secretary of State’s website.
- Ask the solicitor how much of the donation will go to the charity.
- Be wary if the charity fails to provide information about finances. Reputable charities will gladly provide the information requested.
- Watch out for charities with names that sound similar to well-known organizations. These sound-alike names are intended to confuse.
- Do not pay in cash – donate by check made payable to the charity.
- If solicited in person, ask to see the solicitor's and charity’s identification.
- Certain well-known charities such as the Red Cross will never solicit donations over the phone.
- Beware of unsolicited email. Instead, go directly to the organization’s website or call to make donations.
- If you feel uncomfortable, simply say, "No, thank you."
If you believe that you have been solicited by a fraudulent charity, please file a complaint with the Secretary of State or the Attorney General.
Also see Internet and Social Media Solicitations - Wise Giving Tips.
FAQs for donors and consumers
Search to see if a charity or solicitor is registered