Wise Giving Tips

  • Ask for the name and registration number of the charity.

  • Make a note of the first and last name of the person contacting you and the name of the company employing that person. If it is a paid solicitor, ask for their registration number, and if you are asked in person, ask for their identification.

  • Ask how much of the donation will go to the charity, whether the donation is tax deductible, and what charitable programs it will support.

  • Be especially wary of any organization that offers to send a courier to pick up your check.

  • Verify with local charities any claims by the solicitor that your donation will support local organizations.

  • There is no need to give on the spot, whether to a telemarketer or door-to-door solicitor, and beware if they thank you for making a pledge you don't remember making. If you feel pressured or uncomfortable, just say, "No, thank you" or hang up.

  • Do not pay in cash. Donate by check made payable to the charity or use the charity's website to donate by credit card.

  • Verify the official name and website of the charity you wish to support. Beware of any names that sound too similar to well-known organizations and beware of lookalike websites, especially if you are asked to provide personal financial information.

  • Review the charity’s website and any materials provided by the person who contacted you. Make sure you understand and support the charity’s mission before deciding to give,

  • Be wary if the charity fails to provide detailed information about its identity, mission, and finances and how the donation will be used. Reputable charities will gladly provide the information requested.

  • Review disclosure forms filed by the charity on the Secretary of State's web site. The registration filings include information about the organization's leadership, mission, financial efficiency, and use of commercial fundraisers. Paid solicitors that raise funds in Colorado also register, and their disclosure forms show the duration and results of any solicitation campaigns conducted.

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.

Attorney General
Secretary of State
303-894-2200, option 4


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