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I just received a call from a charity. How can I find out if the charity is legitimate?

Many charities provide valuable services for people. Unfortunately, there are some solicitors that take advantage of individuals who really want to donate money for a good cause. The following are suggestions by our office that may help you in determining which charity to give to:

  • Beware of solicitors that use names of well-known charities and/or use common pleas for police, firefighter, veteran's and children's causes.
  • Check out the charity before you make a donation. Visit http://www.kscharitycheck.org or contact the Charitable Solicitations Help Desk at 785-296-4565. You may also visit http://www.bbb.org.
  • Pay the charity directly instead of going through the solicitor. Remember, solicitors receive a portion of the actual money donated.
  • Contact the charity directly to determine how much of your money donated actually goes to the charity. Ask for financial statements. Ask for information on the board of directors and other services that the charity has provided. A legitimate charity will gladly answer your questions.
  • Be aware of solicitors who refuse to answer your questions or insist that you donate your money first.
  • Ask if the charity is registered in Kansas or check online. Most charities are required to register with their office, although there are some exceptions.
  • Remember, what sounds too good to be true, probably is.
  • Contact the National Charities Information Bureau at (212) 929-6300.