Secretary of State Mark Hammond joined other state, federal, and international charities regulators to announce Charity Fraud Awareness Week, which runs from November 27th through December 1st. As part of Charity Fraud Awareness Week, Secretary Hammond released his office’s 2022-2023 Wise Giving & Professional Solicitor Report. “The holidays are a time of increased generosity, especially now with so many people and organizations participating in Giving Tuesday,” said Secretary Hammond. “Charity Fraud Awareness Week serves to remind donors to remain vigilant and to educate themselves before making a charitable donation.”
Charity Fraud Awareness Week is a collaborative effort by charities, regulatory agencies, law enforcement, and other stakeholders to raise public awareness about charity fraud, cybercrime, and best practices in the nonprofit sector. You can learn more information by visiting the Prevent Charity Fraud web page, and follow the social media campaign at #StopCharityFraud.
In order to make it easier for donors to research charities, Secretary Hammond has launched a new mobile app called Give Smart SC. Through Give Smart SC, donors can check to see if a charity is registered to solicit contributions in South Carolina, review its most recent financial report, and see how much the charity is spending on its charitable programs. Give Smart SC is free to download through the App Store and Google Play.
Donors can review the 2022-2023 Wise Giving & Professional Solicitor Report to find tips on wise charitable giving, and to see how much professional solicitors are paid for their services. The Professional Solicitor Report includes data from all joint financial reports filed with the Secretary of State in 2022, as well as all professional solicitor contracts that were active and/or filed between October 1, 2022 and October 1, 2023.
In addition to using the Give Smart SC mobile app, donors can research all charities and professional fundraisers currently registered to solicit in South Carolina through the Secretary of State’s website at sos.sc.gov. The Charity Search, Professional Fundraiser Search and Raffles Search engines provide registration and financial data, as well as electronic copies of financial reports. Donors can also submit a confidential complaint about a charity, professional fundraiser, or raffle through the Online Charitable Solicitation Complaint Form that is available on the Secretary of State’s website, or contact the Secretary of State’s Division of Public Charities at 1-888-CHARITI (242-7484) or [email protected].
“I encourage everyone to give generously this holiday season, and to use these resources so that they can be confident that their gifts are used wisely,” said Secretary Hammond. “Remember to give from the heart, but please give smart.”