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AG Nessel Re-Issues Charitable Giving Consumer Alert

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is reminding residents to choose wisely when selecting an organization for charitable giving to ensure their donations go to the worthy cause of their choice.

During the holidays, many of us are inspired to donate our money, time, or belongings to those less fortunate. Sometimes donations are solicited via phone calls and emails. Michigan has many legitimate and worthy charities, but it’s important to do your research and ask the right questions before making a donation.

The Department of Attorney General’s It’s the Season for Wise Charitable Giving alert and Charitable Giving Public Service Announcement provides questions that you should ask any charity before donating your money, time, or belongings. Those questions include asking how much of your donation will actually be used for the charity's purpose and whether the charity is registered to solicit donations by the Michigan Attorney General's office. 

“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.”

You can check an organization's status at the Attorney General's website or by calling 517-335-7571. This should only be the first step in your research. Not all organizations are required to register, so many legitimate charities may not appear on the list. You may need to dig deeper.

The organization must have an IRS 501(c)(3) status as a charitable organization for your gift to be tax deductible. The IRS Select Check tool can be used to search for 501(c)(3) organizations.

In order for your donations to make a positive impact, they should go to those in need. Reviewing the It’s the Season for Wise Charitable Giving alert and taking these simple steps will help you make informed decisions about your charitable contributions all year round.

Consumers may contact the Attorney General's Charitable Trust Section at:

Department of Attorney General Charitable Trust Section 
P.O. Box 30214
Lansing, MI 48909 
Fax: 517-241-7074 
Charitable Trust Website

Your connection to consumer protection is just a click or phone call away. The Department provides a library of resources for consumers to review anytime on a variety of topics.


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