Lansing, Michigan – November 19, 2015 – The Michigan Nonprofit Association, Council of Michigan Foundations, Michigan Association of United Ways, and Attorney General Bill Schuette today released a helpful resource to help Michigan donors make wise charitable gifts this holiday season.
“Michigan residents have generous hearts and their donations support the selfless work of the charitable organizations who assist those in need across our state,” said Schuette. “Giving Wisely helps educate donors to ensure their financial gifts will do the most good and that every dollar makes a difference.”
As the holiday season approaches and many charities begin end of the year fundraising appeals, the free Giving Wisely handout provides timely and critical advice to anyone considering a donation. The resource informs Michigan citizens how best to avoid scams when making their charitable contributions and recommends caution when dealing with fundraising telemarketers.
Giving Wisely also reminds citizens to carefully choose which charities to financially support and encourages donating time and talents to engage with the charity’s work directly. The Giving Wisely handout is available for download and can be read on the Attorney General’s website at www.michigan.gov/AG, Michigan Nonprofit Association’s website www.mnaonline.org, and the Council of Michigan Foundations website www.michiganfoundations.org.
Attorney General Schuette: Protecting Consumers and Combatting Charity Fraud
Since taking office in 2011, Schuette’s Charitable Trust Section has combatted charity fraud and helped to educate Michigan families and businesses to make the most of their generous donations.
In September, Schuette ordered Childhood Leukemia Foundation Inc. (CLF), a New Jersey-based 501(c)(3) charity, to cease and desist its harassing phone calls to Michigan residents. Schuette’s action was also based on complaints that CLF filed false and misleading financial statements drastically overstating CLF’s charitable activities to hide that 80-90% of their donations received go toward fundraising costs, not children.
In May 2015, Schuette joined a federal and multistate crackdown on four phony cancer charities for scamming $187 million from consumers across the country.
On February 26, 2014, Schuette announced a $45,000 settlement with professional fundraiser Associated Community Services (ACS), of Southfield, to resolve complaints that it wrongly used the Attorney General Office’s name to convince senior citizens to contribute credit card information via fundraising calls. ACS was a professional fundraiser for Children’s Cancer Fund, Cancer Fund and Breast Cancer Society.
Before you write a check, please feel free to call the Attorney General’s Charitable Trust Section (517) 373-1152 to inquire about a charity or ascertain information that a charity has provided to you. Check on an organization’s license and learn more about charities, public safety organizations, and the laws they must follow by visiting www.michigan.gov/agcharitysearch.
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