Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele says that while most charities are reputable, some are not.
Aichele advised residents, if they are not familiar with the organization asking for a donation, to ask questions such as:
What percentage of the money raised is used for fund-raising expenses?
What percentage of the money raised is used to cover administrative costs?
What percentage of the money raised goes to the charitable cause?
“You can also ask for a phone number to call, a website to visit, or literature for more information,” Aichele added. “If someone soliciting donations is unwilling to give you this information, it should be a red flag about donating money to that group.”
In addition to requesting information from an individual soliciting a donation, people can visit the Department of State website at www.dos.state.pa.us, and click on “Charities,” then “Information for Consumers,” or call 1-800-732-0999 for the Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations hotline to find out if a charity is registered with the state.