Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Conway Shares Information on Charitable Giving from Massachusetts Attorney General Coakley
Attorney General Jack Conway has been in contact with his friend and colleague, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, in the wake of the bombings on Tuesday in Boston.
"I contacted Martha to let her know that Kentuckians are praying for people in her beloved Boston," General Conway said. "She shared that she appreciates the support and assured me that law enforcement is doing all in its power to bring justice to those responsible for this terrorist act."
General Coakley said the best way to support victims in Boston is to donate to reputable organizations such as the American Red Cross or The One Fund Boston.
"After the unconscionable attack at the Boston Marathon, there has been an outpouring of support from people who want to help," General Coakley said. "We urge people from Massachusetts and across the country to continue to support the victims and those impacted by this horrific event. We also encourage people to do their homework on the charity before giving to ensure their money will go to the purpose they intend."
Tips for Wise Giving from Generals Conway & Coakley
- If you are contributing over the Internet, make sure that the website you are visiting belongs to a legitimate, established, and registered charity, and that the website and the charity match. Also, you should make sure the site is secure and will offer protection for your credit card number.
- Check to see if the charity is registered and filing with the Office of the Attorney General in your state. Registration and filing information can be obtained online for Massachusetts at www.mass.gov/ago/charitiesreports or in Kentucky by visiting ag.ky.gov/civil/consumerprotection/charity/
- Know your charity. Take the time to verify the address, phone number, contact information, and review the website and written material, when possible. Consider a charity's history, purpose, track record, percentage of donations that goes to those in need and reputation. Never give to a charity you know nothing about. If you have any doubts, well-established charities with experience in disaster relief or organizations established with support from government agencies are generally a good choice.
- Check out websites such as Charitynavigator.org and www.BBB.org/charity, where you will find additional information to help you understand a large number of charities. Examine your options. Do not feel compelled to give to the first charity you come across. There are a number of established organizations already responding to the diverse needs created by the tragedy; in time, there may also be legitimate, smaller charities that will emerge to focus on specific populations and communities.
- Be wary of appeals that are long on emotion. A legitimate charity will tell you how it's using your money to address this horrific disaster.
- Ask lots of questions. How much of the money goes to the charity and how much to a professional fundraiser? Ask who employs the telephone solicitor, if your contribution is tax deductible and what the charity intends to do with any excess contributions that might remain after the victims' needs are addressed.
- Beware of professional fundraisers who try to make their solicitations sound like they are coming directly from the charity itself or volunteers.
- Do not pay by cash. Pay by check, and make it out to the charity (use its full name - don't use initials), not the fundraiser. Never give your credit card number to a fundraiser over the telephone. If the fundraiser directly approaches you, ask to see identification. It is best to mail your check directly to the charity.