Charities : Consumer Assistance Program : University of Vermont

University of Vermont

Consumer Hotline:  Toll Free In VT (800) 649-2424 or (802) 656-3183



Vermont State SealView the Attorney General's latest reports on paid fundraising in Vermont:  

Understanding Your Responsibilities: Guidance for Board Members of Charitable Nonprofit Organizations in Vermont

What is a paid fundraiser for a charity?

A paid fundraiser is someone (not an employee of the charity) who is paid by a charity to conduct fundraising efforts on behalf of the charity.  These payment arrangements vary widely. However, under Vermont law, paid fundraisers must report to the Attorney General with information about the campaign and their payment arrangements with the charity.

How do I find out how much of my donation goes to the charity?

To find out more about how your donation is applied when you donate through a paid fundraiser, you can look up the charity in our file.  Alternatively, you can look this information up by the name of the paid fundraiser.

Click here to look up by charity name
Click here to look up by fundraiser

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

What does the law require paid fundraisers to do?

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, and a post-campaign financial report; post a $20,000 bond; make specific disclosures when soliciting donations; and comply with charity contract, script approval, donation deposit, record-keeping, and related requirements. In addition, fundraisers and charities are prohibited from making misrepresentations to prospective donors. 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 Fraud Rule (CF) 119.

I'm on the Do Not Call registry, why are they still calling me?

Charitable organizations are exempt from the federal Do Not Call statute.   However, you may request to be removed from their calling list.  If you are having difficulty with a paid fundraiser, you may also file a complaint with our office.

Are my contributions tax-deductible?   

If you intend to give tax-deductible contributions, you should verify an organization's tax filing status with the IRS.  Essentially, if the organization is tax-exempt or a 501(c)(3), donations should be tax deductible.  There are several ways to check the tax filing status:  request to see the organization's IRS tax exemption letter, search for the charity using the "Exempt Organizations" tool on the IRS website, or call the IRS at 1-877-829-5500.   

Last modified April 06 2017 01:56 PM

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