State officials: Know where your donation is going

Dec 3, 2012

You may have already run into shop-front bell ringers signaling the season of giving. It’s also a season of discernment when it comes to knowing who’s going to do the most good with your hard-earned buck. To help people make wise decisions about donating to charity, the offices of the Secretary of State and the Attorney General have released the 2012 Commercial Fundraiser Activity Report. Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed suggests doing some research before you give.

I appreciate that Washingtonians are very generous, but what people have to watch out for are people raising funds who make misleading representations. They need to be vigilant and ask questions.

The report lists businesses working on behalf of charities to raise money, and how the money is split between the charity and the fundraising business. Charities working with commercial fundraisers received an average of 46 per cent of contributions this year. Officials say people over 65 need to be especially vigilant, as that’s a group most often targeted by solicitors.