NASHVILLE, Tenn. – October 18 to 22 is Charity Fraud Awareness Week, and Secretary of State Tre Hargett is reminding Tennesseans of resources available from his office to help avoid scams.
“Tennesseans are incredibly generous and want to support each other and the causes we believe in through charitable giving,” said Secretary Hargett. “Unfortunately, there are people that will take advantage of that spirit of giving. That’s why it’s important to make sure you are giving to a legitimate organization and we have resources that can help.”
To help avoid charity fraud and maximize the impact of Tennessean’s donations, the Secretary of State’s Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming created a Wise Giving Tips video available on sos.tn.gov.
The Wise Giving Tips are:
- If a nonprofit asks you for a contribution, check to see if it's registered online sos.tn.gov/charitable or by calling 615-741-2555.
- Take your time. Resist pressure to give on the spot.
- Ask Questions. If an organization has a specific mission, ask how and who will benefit from your donation.
- If you are asked for a donation via text or email, verify the request is directly from the charity or nonprofit.
- Do your own research and don't assume a social media or blog recommendation has been approved by the nonprofit.
- If you give through an app or website, ask if it is going directly to the organization.
- Avoid giving cash. Always ask for a receipt and if your contribution is tax deductible.
- Pay close attention to the name of the nonprofit organization, as there are many with similar names.
- Don't forget there are many ways to give, such as volunteering your time.
- If a paid fundraiser asks you for a donation, ask how much is kept by the fundraiser and how much goes to the nonprofit.
Any charity that raises over $50,000 a year must register with the State of Tennessee. To see if a charity is registered visit, sos.tn.gov/charitable or call 615-741-2555.
As Tennessee’s charity officials, please report any false, misleading or deceptive fundraising activity to the Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming at 615-741-2555.