FTC to Explore Charitable Solicitations
Americans are among the most generous people in the world, contributing more than $373 billion to charity in 2015, according to The Giving Institute. We’re all familiar with phone calls, mailers, and TV and radio spots seeking donations, but the times are changing. Evolving marketing practices and new technologies have introduced new ways to solicit contributions and donate.
That’s just one of the reasons the FTC and the National Association of State Charities Officials (NASCO) are hosting a workshop on March 21, 2017 in Washington, DC.
The event, Give & Take: Consumers, Contributions, and Charity, will bring together regulators, researchers, charity watchdogs, donor advocates, and members of the nonprofit sector. Discussions will focus on how people evaluate and respond to various charitable solicitation practices and the role of consumer protection. For more information, please visit the workshop page.
In the meantime, consider these tips when asked to give:
- Donate to charities you know and trust and that have a proven track record.
- Be alert for charities that seem to have sprung up overnight in connection with current events.
- Check out the charity with the Better Business Bureau's (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, or GuideStar.
- Don’t assume that charity messages posted on social media are legitimate. Research the organization yourself.
- When texting to donate, confirm the number with the source before you donate. The charge will show up on your mobile phone bill, but donations are not immediate. It can take as long as 90 days for the charity to receive the funds.
- Find out if the charity or fundraiser must be registered in your state by contacting the National Association of State Charity Officials.