This time of year, charities are working harder than ever to obtain your donations. Because of U.S. Supreme Court decisions, Washington state can’t require fundraisers to return a certain percentage of your money to their charity clients, nor can we regulate how much charities spend on overhead and marketing costs vs. directly doing some good.
This story from yesterday’s Columbian shows how some fundraisers use high-pressure tactics to obtain your bucks but the money never goes into your own community. In many regards, it really is a “donor beware” world and as the news column shows, thoughtful research counts.
AARP, Secretary of State Sam Reed and Attorney General Rob McKenna launched "Operation Check Before You Give" to make sure your giving counts. As part of the campaign, AARP Fraud Fighters are reaching out to thousands of Washington consumers this month with tips and tools about wise charitable giving. Here's a photo of Sam and Rob calling consumers earlier this month.
The Secretary of State’s Office, which recently created a MySpace page, has created some cutesy graphics like these below that you can add to your own site. Tell your friends and family that they need to know where their charitable dollars are going.