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Attorney General Nessel Reminds Consumers to Donate Wisely in Festive Video

LANSING – The holiday season can spark feelings of generosity and the desire to donate to charities, but the giving season can also open the door to bad actors and scammers trying to take advantage of unsuspecting philanthropists.  

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is reminding residents of some important tips to keep in mind when making a donation this holiday season, and recorded another amusing and informational video message as part of her office's 20 Days of Scams consumer protection series. 

“Every donation makes an impact, and I am proud to hold public office in a state with such a strong philanthropic foundation,” Nessel said. “But as Michigan’s Attorney General, I am committed to ensuring those donated dollars are going to the people and organizations they are intended for. If you are thinking about making a charitable donation this holiday season, there are some simple steps you can take to make sure your gift is being put to good use.” 

To avoid falling victim to a potential scam, consider these important questions to ask before making a donation to a charitable organization: 

  • What is the name, address, and phone number of your organization? 
  • Is your organization registered to solicit donations by the Michigan Department of Attorney General? What is your registration number? 
  • How much of my donation will actually be used for the charity’s purpose? 
  • What’s going to happen to my donation? 
  • Is my donation tax-deductible?
  • Can I use the internet to donate? 

The Michigan Nonprofit Association, in coordination with the Council of Michigan Foundations and the United Way have also provided a valuable resource in their Giving Wisely brochure, a joint publication which helps Michigan residents make smart choices when donating during the holiday season, while also reminding residents of the importance of giving their time by volunteering. 

Attorney General Nessel has been actively working to protect Michiganders from falling victim to phony charities, including issuing consumer alerts related to Charities and Donations, and even taking legal action to dissolve fraudulent organizations posing as charitable nonprofits

For more information and things to watch for before donating to a charity, visit the Attorney General’s Charitable Trust website or call the AG’s Charitable Trust Section at 517-335-7571. 

Click here to view Attorney General Nessel’s video message.