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New Yorkers donate billions to charity every year. The New York State Attorney General's Charities Bureau is charged with monitoring charitable organizations to ensure that donors and beneficiaries are protected from unscrupulous practices in the solicitation and management of charitable assets. The Bureau also supervises the activity of foundations to ensure funds are properly used.
Charitable organizations must file financial reports with the Attorney General's Office and the Internal Revenue Service disclosing how funds are raised and spent. These filings are available to the public, and include details such as the charitable purpose of the organization, financial status, sources of income, the amount of contributions received, the amount spent on compensation for directors and professional fundraisers, and other specific financial data. NYOpenGovernment offers easy access to the Attorney General's and the Internal Revenue Service's filings through the "Search all databases" option.
Additionally, the Charities Bureau releases a report - Pennies for Charity – that specifically addresses telemarketing by professional fundraisers. The report discusses regional and statewide trends in charities' telemarketing practices, and explores the relationship between the amount of money raised by professional fundraisers and the amount actually retained by the charitable organization. Pennies for Charity also includes an alphabetical listing of charitable organizations' telemarketing campaigns in New York and the amount and percentage of proceeds that each charity retains.
To obtain a copy of the report or learn more about the Attorney General's Charities Bureau, visit http://www.charitiesnys.com/ (This link will open in a new browser window).