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Your Rights as a Consumer

Consumers have the right to information about charitable organizations that will help them make better, more informed charitable-giving decisions. You may ask the solicitor:

  • The official name of the registered charitable organization and their addresses.
  • If the charitable organizations are or are not registered with the Office of the Kansas Secretary of State (a requirement to solicit money in Kansas).
  • For an accurate description of the charitable organization's purpose.
  • How the charitable organization plans to use the donated resources.
  • Financial information about charitable organizations such as financial statements and IRS 990 returns.

When Talking to Solicitors, Consumers May:

  • Ask the professional solicitor questions about the operations and activities of the charitable organization.
  • Ask the professional solicitor for information about the organization.
  • Ask the professional solicitor what the solicitor's business relationship is to the organization.
    • Example: If a consumer is contacted by a professional solicitor, the consumer may ask what percentage of funds raised by the fundraiser actually are given to the charitable organization. (The contract between a charitable organization and the professional fundraiser must set forth the percentage the fundraiser is paid and the percentage of money that goes to the charity).
  • Request that the consumer's name be removed from any contact list maintained by the professional fundraiser and/or by the organization the fundraiser represents.

Professional Fundraisers

Many charitable organizations hire fundraisers to help the charity raise money and to represent its organization. Fundraisers who are paid are called professional fundraisers. The professional fundraisers may hire solicitors. Both the professional fundraisers and the solicitors are required to register with the Office of the Secretary of State. All solicitations by professional fundraisers and solicitors are required to disclose (according to K.S.A. 17-1766):

  • The name, address, and telephone number of the charitable organization
  • The registration number for the charitable organization
  • If the solicitation is made by a professional solicitor, the registration number, and
  • An annual financial report for the preceding fiscal year is on file with the Office of the Secretary of State

 

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