Charitable giving addresses many needs. Nonprofit organizations harness their mission-driven energy and donations to respond and react to numerous and sometimes dire circumstances.
The Attorney General:
- Protects the giving community from potential fraud and defends the public trust
- Upholds legal safeguards in place to ensure that charitable causes meet their financial responsibilities
- Registers organizations that receive donations
- Provides information on charitable organizations' resources and responsibilities.
Donating with Confidence and Making Wise Charitable Decisions
Because Illinoisans rely heavily on the services provided by charities, Attorney General Kwame Raoul encourages consumers to practice wise charitable giving.
All charitable organizations that solicit or hold donations in Illinois are required to register with Attorney General Kwame Raoul's Office.
Members of the public can check the online Charitable database to search if a charity or private foundation is registered and compliant with reporting requirements.
The database provides financial information such as assets, income and annual financial reports. Do your research, give to organizations that you are confident in and don't hesitate to say No Thanks if a solicitation does not feel right.
Frequently Asked Questions About Donations
I have just been solicited by a charity. How can I get information about the organization?
All charities that solicit in Illinois should be registered with the Office of the Attorney General. The Attorney General's Office can tell you if a charitable organization is registered and current in its reporting requirements.
If the charity is registered, the Attorney General's Charitable Trust Bureau can provide the following public information:
- CO-1 registration form
- Articles of incorporation or trust instrument
- Annual financial reports, including the form AG 990-IL, a copy of the federal return (form IRS 990 or form IRS 990PF), and if required, a copy of the CPA audit report.
- Contact the Attorney General's Charitable Trust Bureau at 312-814-2595 for copies of these materials. There is a copying fee of 15 cents per page.
What information is on a charitable organization's form AG 990-IL?
Form AG 990-IL reports on the following information:
- how much money the charitable organization received
- how the charitable organization spent the donations, including money paid to professional fund-raisers
- how much the charitable organization paid their three highest paid employees
- the value of the charitable organization's assets and liabilities as of the end of the year
Can I get information about a charitable organization's operations and expenditures directly from the charitable organization?
Yes. Federal law requires each charitable organization to send you a copy of its federal form 990 for a reasonable charge.
How do I know if a charity is using a professional fundraiser?
Illinois law requires paid fundraisers to identify themselves as such and to name the charity for which they're soliciting.
I have just been solicited by a paid fundraiser. If I donate, how much of my contribution will go to the charity?
Illinois law requires paid fundraisers to disclose what percentage of your contribution will go to the charity (and what percentage will pay their salaries) if asked.