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When it comes to a worthy cause, Hoosiers are often willing to lend a hand. But unfortunately, there are unscrupulous organizations that attempt to take advantage of this good will. Learn what to look for when you’re asked to give money, and you’ll help ensure that your donations go where they’re supposed to.
Charities use either their own “bona fide” employees or volunteers to make solicitation calls, or they may hire a professional fundraiser. The guidelines for each type of fundraising are listed below.
Indiana law does not require charitable organizations soliciting donations to register or report their fundraising campaigns to the state if they are using their own bona fide employees or volunteers. The vast majority of charitable organizations use donations wisely. However, some charities spend a majority of their contributions on administrative expenses or simply more fundraising. Since the Attorney General’s Office does not have the authority to register charities, records are not kept on the amount of money a charity spends on fundraising and administrative expenses versus programs and services as they relate to the charity’s purpose.
Under Indiana law, a professional solicitor who solicits contributions for, or on behalf of, a charity must register with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division and provide information about its solicitation campaigns on behalf of charities. The information provided must include a copy of the solicitor’s contract with the charity. This contract must contain the percentage of gross contributions or revenue that the charity will receive.
A list of all current solicitation campaigns between a professional solicitor and a charity can be found here. This list includes the name of the charity, the name of the professional solicitor, and the starting and ending dates of the solicitation campaign. The percentage of gross contributions or revenue the charity has received for previous campaigns is available on a separate report.