(WNY News Now) – In preparation for Giving Tuesday, New York Attorney General Letitia James unveils the findings of the annual “Pennies for Charity: Fundraising by Professional Fundraisers” report, revealing a decline in charitable giving campaigns in 2022, urging donors to be vigilant against potential scams.
New York – New York’s Attorney General Letitia James has released the latest installment of the “Pennies for Charity” report, shedding light on the state of charitable giving in 2022. The report, based on data submitted to the Charities Bureau by professional fundraisers, indicates a notable decrease in charitable donations compared to the previous year.
In 2022, charitable giving campaigns raised over $1.4 billion, marking a decrease of more than 10% from 2021. The report highlights the crucial role of professional fundraisers, who garnered a substantial $347 million in fees and expenses, nearly a quarter of the total charitable donations.
The report identifies a positive shift in funds reaching the intended charities, with organizations receiving 77% of donations, up from 73% in 2021. Despite this improvement, challenges persist, as 48% of campaigns saw charities receiving less than half of the funds raised, and in 17% of campaigns, expenses exceeded revenue, costing charities over $11 million.
In the face of these challenges, Attorney General James emphasizes the importance of transparency in charitable operations. She states, “New Yorkers who generously donate to charities should do so without any fear of their money being misappropriated or mishandled.”
The report coincides with Giving Tuesday and the holiday season, offering essential tips to protect donors from potential scams. Among the suggestions, the report advises individuals to inquire about telemarketers’ affiliations, verify the legitimacy of direct mail appeals, and exercise caution when donating online. Donors are urged to confirm the security of websites, be wary of email solicitations, and ensure proper authorization from charities when contributing via online platforms.
The impact of the pandemic is evident in the report, as charitable giving faced a decline of approximately $221 million from 2021 revenues. However, the resilience of New York’s diverse charitable organizations remains a focal point, with the report aiming to fortify public trust in the donation process.
As the holiday season approaches, the Attorney General’s office remains committed to safeguarding New Yorkers from fraud and upholding transparency within charitable organizations. Donors are encouraged to refer to the report and the searchable Pennies for Charity database on the Charities Bureau website for comprehensive information on specific campaigns and additional guidance.
For more information about the Charities Bureau and to report concerns, individuals can contact OAG’s Charities Bureau at Complaints@ag.ny.gov or (212) 416-8401.