Charities and Paid Fundraisers

Information for Consumers and Prospective Donors

If you have been contacted to make a charitable donation, you should first look into where your money will go. Ask for written information from the charity about how your donation will be used and how the charity uses its funds, generally. Also, read the “Tips for Smart Consumers” linked below; and, if the charity has hired a fundraiser, check what percentage of your donation will go to the fundraiser instead of the charity in the “Data from Paid Fundraisers” linked below. (The last report from the Attorney General’s Office shows that over 70% of the money million raised for charities by paid fundraisers went to the fundraisers.) From this screen, you can access general information on charitable fundraising, obtain paid fundraiser forms, read reports relating to charities and charitable fundraising, check a database that sets out the minimum (or actual) percentage of donations that will go (went) to the charity in each fundraiser-conducted charitable campaign, and link to related websites.

For outside “ratings” of charities based on how they use their funds, you can check the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance Standards for Charity Accountability or Charity Navigator.

Charitable Solicitations

Under Vermont’s Charitable Solicitations Law, 9 V.S.A. § 2471 et seq., paid fundraisers for charities must file a “notice of solicitation” with the Attorney General’s Office in advance of each campaign. Along with this filing, paid fundraisers must:

  • File a post-campaign financial report listing applicable expenses and the total amount of compensation they received for their solicitation work;
  • Post a $20,000 bond that runs to the State or any person with a cause of action against the paid fundraiser for violations of Vermont’s Charitable Solicitations Law;
  • Make specific disclosures when soliciting donations, including identifying themselves as a paid fundraiser and informing potential donors about where to get further information about paid fundraisers;
  • Comply with charity contract, , including having the charity approve the solicitation materials, script approval, and supplying the charity with the names of all donors to the campaign.
  • In addition, fundraisers and charities are prohibited from making misrepresentations to prospective donors, including the purpose of their call and their relationship with the charity. The Attorney General’s Office is responsible for enforcing the Law. For more information on these requirements and prohibitions, please consult Vermont’s Charitable Solicitations Law and Consumer Protection Rule(CP) 119.

    From this screen, you can access general information on charitable fundraising, obtain paid fundraiser forms, read reports relating to charities and charitable fundraising, check a database that sets out the minimum (or actual) percentage of donations that will go (went) to the charity in each fundraiser-conducted charitable campaign, and link to related websites.

    Information for Paid Fundraisers

    Paid Fundraisers should review the Paid Fundraiser page for more information.

    Email: ago.paidfundraiser@state.vt.us

    Laws and Regulations

    Reports

    Published: Jul 25, 2014