Unwanted Fund Raising Calls
SUGGESTIONS FOR FIGHTING BACK AGAINST UNWANTED FUNDRAISING CALLS.
- Join us as, together, we take BACK our charities and bring CLARITY TO CHARITY gift giving!
- Contact the Office of Attorney General (Charitable Bureau) the next time that you receive what you believe is an unethical or deceptive fundraising call. You can do so by telephoning the AG’s office, or by filing a Formal Complaint. The telephone number to call is: 1-617-2200, ext. 2101. Formal Complaint forms can be found on the State’s Official Website: www.gov.mass/ago/charities.
- Detail is very important when lodging a complaint with the AG’s office. Please ask careful questions of the Fundraiser during the solicitation call.
- Ask the Fundraiser what his/her name is, as well as what is the name of the Vendor (Telefundraising Company). Massachusetts law requires that the Fundraiser tells you his name. (This info should be offered to you as part of the call – you should not have to ask for it!). Massachusetts law also requires that the Vendor be registered in this state in order to solicit money on behalf of charities. Currently there are 77 Vendors registered to call into Massachusetts. (Please see list of Registered Vendors on separate sheet.) If the Vendor is not registered, please contact the AG’s office and report it at: 617-727-2200, ext. 2101.
- The Fundraiser is breaking Massachusetts state law if he/she says that they are calling from the Charity (if a Vendor is used). The Fundraiser is calling on behalf of the Charity.
- Ask the Fundraiser how much money the Charity will retain and how much the Vendor gets from this solicitation call. Carefully record the answer!!! Chances are that the Fundraiser’s response is the beginning of a Consumer Protection Action based on deceptive business practices.
- Please ask the Fundraiser how the money will be spent or used. Is this a membership renewal call or a special appeal call? Will money raised help on the local level or the state level or the national level? Or, is the money really going into the general fund? Carefully record the answers – in most cases it is a violation of Massachusetts Consumer Protection Laws to misrepresent how the money will be used.
- Report the Fundraiser’s answers to the AG’s office – the office has a copy of the “approved” telefundraising script and can see if the Charity’s message is delivered by the Vendor or not.
- If a Charity solicits money from you (whether directly or via a Vendor) that you have never heard of, please contact the AG’s office to see if that Charity is registered with the state before agreeing to a donation. You can check the Charity’s status on-line at: www.mass.gov/ago/charities or by telephoning: 617-727-2200, ext. 210l. Please note that a Charity’s registration does not imply the state’s endorsement of the Charity, only that it is registered. A Charity MUST be registered with the state in order to solicit donations.
- While Charities are exempted from the Massachusetts Do Not Call List, if you are a Senior Citizen the state does offer assistance to help stop these calls. Please contact the Mass. Consumer Protection Division/Elder Services Mediation Program’s hotline at: 1-888-243-5537. Mediators will write letters or place telephone calls to the Charity and/ or Vendor, on behalf of the Senior Citizen, requesting that the unwanted calls stop.