Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Conway Announces Settlement with Professional Charitable Solicitor
Attorney General Jack Conway today announced a settlement has been reached with Outreach Associates, Inc., a professional solicitor that fundraises in Kentucky for various charitable organizations, for failing to timely file documents that outline how the solicitor distributes the money it raises. An Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) filed Wednesday, July 21 in Franklin Circuit Court requires Outreach to file all of its outstanding financial documents within 10 days. As per the AVC, Outreach has also paid the Commonwealth $20,000 in penalties and costs.
The Office of the Attorney General had accepted two previous AVCs from Outreach. The company has failed to comply with one of the AVCs by not filing the documentation required under Kentucky law in a timely manner. The AVC filed today further obligates Outreach to pay the Commonwealth $30 per day for each day that it is late in filing documents detailing its charitable solicitation activities with the Attorney General's office in the future.
"The statement filed by solicitors with our office provides important information for Kentucky charitable donors," General Conway said. "Kentuckians are generous and during these tough economic times, I want to ensure that consumers have as much information as possible before they decide how to donate their money."
Kentucky consumers who are contacted by a solicitor to make a donation to a charity can visit the Attorney General's website at http://ag.ky.gov/charity to find a list of the active charitable campaigns in Kentucky. Donors can also find out how much money the charitable campaign raised, how much was paid to the charity and what percentage went to the solicitor for fundraising expenses and fees.
As per KRS 367.658, solicitors are required to file a statement with the Office of Attorney General within 90 days after the charitable campaign ends. If the fundraising lasts longer than a year, the statement is filed on the anniversary of the fundraising campaign.
Tips for Charitable Giving
Questions you should ask when contacted to make a charitable donation
- What is the full name, address and phone number of the charity?
- Do you work for the charity or are you a paid fundraiser?
- How much of my contribution will go to the charity and how much to the solicitor?
- What will the charity use my contribution for?
- Is my contribution tax deductible?
- What percentage of its total income does the charity spend on its charitable purpose?
- Can I obtain a copy of the charity's IRS Form 990 or other financial statement?
- Pressuring you to make a donation. General Conway says "hang up on aggressive or pushy solicitors."
- Pressuring you to give out your credit card number over the phone.
- Refusing to send you written material or financial information.
- The person soliciting offers to send a courier to collect your contribution.
- The charity sends you an invoice or statement which indicates a payment due for a contribution you never pledged.
- The organization's name and logo closely resemble another charity with a similar charitable purpose.
- If solicited by mail, the full name, address and phone number of the entity soliciting is not disclosed in the material.
- The solicitor is not registered with the Office of Attorney General.
- Never give cash. Always make the check payable to the charity and ask for a receipt.
- Never respond to emails requesting personal information, including your name, address, date of birth, place of birth, social security number or your mother's maiden name.
- Never agree to meet with a solicitor in your home or accept an offer for a courier to come to your home to pick up your donation.