Getting Information About Michigan Charities

If you are asked to donate to a charity in Michigan, how do you make sure it is legitimate? How do you know it does good work? The best way of course, is to give to a nonprofit that you know, from personal experience. But sometimes you will receive solicitations from nonprofits that seem great, but are not well known. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to check out a Michigan charity. Here are some resources to help you make an informed decision about who you are giving your money to.

In Michigan, the Attorney General’s office is responsible for charities. The Michigan Attorney General’s website contains helpful general information about charities, including registration for solicitation. It also contains lots of helpful advice for donors, for example:

https://www.michigan.gov/documents/ag/MI_NonProfit_Assn_GiveWisely_369594_7.pdf

You will find some more detailed information in this FAQ section:

https://www.michigan.gov/ag/0,4534,7-359-82915_82919_80762-288903--,00.html

Be particularly cautious about giving money to organizations that solicit you over the phone - be aware that some scam organizations use names that are very close to the names of real, reputable charities.

Another useful resource for checking out all nonprofits, whether they are based in Michigan or elsewhere, go to https://guidestar.com This website will give you basic information about any nonprofit in the US and allow you to see their most recent annual returns.