Website helps avoid charity scams

LANSING — As residents of the 22nd Senate District plan on making their final donations of 2011, Sen. Joe Hune encourages them to avoid scams by ensuring their chosen charitable organization is reputable.

“Before making a year-end donation to a charity, I urge everyone to make sure their chosen charity is on the up-and-up,” said Hune, R-Hamburg Township. “The state attorney general’s office has a website where you can check charitable trusts for free. This website can help you make a donation without worrying about whether or not you picked a reputable organization.”

Residents may verify charities at: The site allows you to search for a registered charity, public safety organization or professional fundraiser by name; or for a list of charities by purpose, geographical area or combination of factors.

Some organizations may not appear because they are not required to register to solicit donations in Michigan. If you have any questions about an organization or professional fundraiser that does not appear, please contact the Attorney General’s Charitable Trust Section at (517) 373-1152.

“The website also features information and tips on how to evaluate a charity before donating to its cause,” Hune said. “Making a donation to a charity is a great way to help others and improve your local community.”

Residents who encounter a problem with a charitable organization may call the Michigan Attorney General’s Charitable Trust or contact Hune’s office by phone at (517) 373-2420 or by email at: