Attorney General Raoul Cautions Donors During Holiday Season

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

Ahead of Giving Tuesday, Attorney General Kwame Raoul cautioned potential donors to make wise giving decisions this holiday season. Under Illinois law, fundraisers and charitable organizations are required to register each year with the Attorney General’s office. Attorney General Raoul recommended donors consider the following tips prior to making charitable donations:

Pay close attention to the name of the charity. Some fraudulent charities use names that sound or look like those of legitimate organizations to mislead you.

Ask questions about the charity. Donate only when your questions have been answered and you are certain your money will be used according to your wishes. Ask questions like whether the charity is registered with the Illinois Attorney General’s office and what percentage of the money the charity takes in goes to fundraising, administration and charitable programming.

Take caution when giving online. Spam email solicitations that appear to be linked to relief groups could be from persons trying to take advantage of those wishing to give to support areas particularly hard hit by natural disasters and international conflicts. Be wary of any solicitations online from unfamiliar charities.

Do not pay in cash. For security and tax record purposes, pay by check. Be sure to write the full official name, not an abbreviation of the charity on your check.

Donors can review information about charitable organizations such as income, expenditures and programs on the Attorney General’s website, or report suspicious solicitations by contacting Attorney General Raoul’s Charitable Trust Bureau online or by calling (312) 814-2595.

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