Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Charities and Paid Fundraisers

The Attorney General’s Office is responsible for regulating all charitable solicitations in Vermont or directed to Vermonters. From this page, you can access general information on charitable fundraising, view data on how much of your contribution goes to the paid fundraiser and how much goes to the charity, obtain paid fundraiser forms (for paid fundraisers), read reports relating to charities and charitable fundraising, and link to related websites.

2015 Report on Paid Fundraising in Vermont

December 3, 2015: The Attorney General’s Office has released a report analyzing paid fundraising data for the past three fiscal years, July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2015, and outlining enforcement actions completed during that time.

Nonprofit Board Guidance

November 4th, 2015: Attorney General Bill Sorrell released a guidebook that provides practical information to board members who run nonprofits in order to help them better navigate their work. This guidebook, entitled “Understand your Responsibilities: Guidance for Board Members of Charitable Nonprofit Organizations in Vermont”, gives current and prospective board members an overview of their legal and ethical responsibilities, along with best practices for all nonprofit boards.

Any inquiries regarding this guidebook can be directed to ago.nonprofit@vermont.gov.

Information for Consumers and Prospective Donors

If you have been contacted to make a charitable donation, you should consider where your donation will go. Ask the charity for written information about how your donation will be used and how the charity uses its funds, generally. Also, read the “Tips for Smart Consumers” linked below.

If the charity has hired a fundraiser – and many charities that raise funds via phone calls contract with paid fundraisers – you can check what percentage of your donation will go to the fundraiser instead of the charity in the “Data from Paid Fundraisers” Excel sheets, linked below. The last report from the Attorney General’s Office, linked below, showed that over 70% of the millions of dollars raised for charities by paid fundraisers went to the fundraisers. The caller should have informed you if they were calling from a paid fundraiser on behalf of a charity.

To properly read these sheets, first open the “Header Data” page, which will give a brief explanation of the two Data From Paid Fundraisers sheets.