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Consumer Advice

Charitable organizations are facing rising costs, loss of government funding, and an increasing demand for their services and, as a result, are responding by asking for larger contributions from many more donors. This section is a compilation of general giving "tips" to help donors plan their giving and demand accountability of the organizations soliciting their support.

Additional giving information is available on the Attorney General's Web site:

Download the Attorney General Charity Brochure

  • Never give money to a charitable organization you know nothing about.
  • Do not hesitate to request written information from the charity about its finances and about the programs the charitable organization supports.
  • Do not feel pressured into giving money on the spot.
  • If the solicitor calls on you in person, always ask to see the solicitor's identification.
  • Do not allow a solicitor to come to your house to collect a donation for the charitable organization.
  • Never commit to donating to the charity over the telephone unless you know something about the charitable organization.
  • If an aggressive and/or harassing solicitor calls you, immediately hang up the telephone.
  • Find out if your donation is tax deductible.
  • Always write a check (payable to the charity) so that you have a record of your donation.
  • Never give cash, credit card numbers, or bank account information to a professional solicitor or directly to the charitable organization.
  • Be suspicious about "guaranteed" sweepstakes winnings in exchange for a charitable donation.
  • Remember that donors are in no better position to win a sweepstakes than are non-donors. Participation in sweepstakes offers is voluntary.
  • Ask the solicitor or the charitable organization what groups and/or individuals will benefit from your donation.
  • Do not be fooled by a convincing name for a charity or by a charitable organization that sounds like the name of a well-known charity.
  • When there are words like "police" or "firefighter" in the name of the charity, don't make assumptions that the charity is trustworthy. Although a charity claims that it has local ties or works with local police and/or firefighters, the charity may not provide any funding to benefit local charities.
  • Be aware of statements such as "every penny will go to the charity." All charities have expenses; find out what groups of individuals or services your money benefits.
  • Do not feel guilty because you don't support all the charities that ask you for a donation.

Consumer Complaints

Citizens who have complaints concerning solicitations by charitable organizations, solicitors, or fundraising counsels are urged to contact the Attorney General's office:

In Writing:
Download and print a complaint form. Complete and return to:
Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
120 S.W. 10th Avenue, 2nd Floor
Topeka, Kansas 66612-1597
FAX to: (785) 291-3699

By Phone:
Toll-free Consumer Hotline, 1-800-432-2310. Leave your name, number and subject of your inquiry with the receptionist and an agent will return your call promptly.

By Email:

By Web Form:
Go to Attorney General Web Site Complaint Form

Consumer Protection Web Page
Go to Attorney General Consumer Protection Web Site

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