Charities and Public Benefit Corporations


Charitable solicitations are increasingly common, both by phone and mail. Unfortunately, some solicitations are deceptive and bogus. Consumers should consider the following practical advice before donating to a charity:

  1. Do not give cash. Always make contributions by check and make the check out to the charity, not to the individual collecting the donation. Never give out a credit card number over the phone.
  2. Keep records of all your donations (receipts, canceled checks, and bank statements) so you can document your charitable giving.
  3. Before making a donation, check for information about the charitable organization with:
  4. Note carefully whether the solicitor makes the disclosures required by the Maine Charitable Solicitations Act.
  5. Do not give in to pressure to give money on the spot or allow a "runner" to pick up a contribution. The charity that needs your money today will welcome it just as much tomorrow.
  6. Always request literature from phone solicitors. If they want your pledge first, hang up or ask for a number so you can call them back.

Read more at the Consumer Law Guide Chapter 25: Consumer Rights And Charitable Solicitations