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DAILY The law mandates that charities
11116/2009 make annual revenue reports to
the secretary of state . Money
I!IIIIII!IIIIII!III ! IIIIIIIIIIIIIIII raised by charities must be used
as outlined in their certific ate to

Information about charities can
be obtained from the secretary of
state's Web Site: www.sos.ms .gov.

Better Business Bureau of Mis­
sissippi Presideill' Bill Moak also
recomm ends the Web site as a
way to check on a chari ty's legit­

The BBB also has its own Web
site; www.msbbb.org, as a source
of information on charity ac­

in Miss.
cou ntability standards.
In the course of investigations,
potential donors should see how
much of that charitable organi­
By JIMMIE E. GATES zation 's money act ually goes to
The Clarion-Ledger
charity. The rule of t humb, Moak
Mis sis sippian s rank n ear the said, is that no more than 35 per­
top when it comes to charity do­ cent should go to overhead or ad­
nations in the country, Secretary ministrative costs and at least 65
of State Delbert Hosemann says. percent should go to the people it
But in th is upcoming season of professes to help .
giving, Hosemann wa nts the pub. BBB's t ips for giving include:
lic to know if t he charity is using • Watch out for similar names.
the money in t he As there are many charities rais­
way it was in­ ing funds for similar causes, some
tended. charity names sound the same. Be
"We want the
sure to look at the name careful­
public to have the
ly, because the group soli citing
information to
you may not be the one you have
make an in­
in mind.
formed gift, "
• Do not be pressured to make
Hosemann said. Hosemann an immediate gift.
Hoseman n will • Question vague appeals.
unveil today the latest report on • Do not give out personal in­
charitable 0ijanizations in Mis­ formation to phone so licitors.
• Do n ot give cash.
The report outlines such t hings • Keep records of your dona­
as the amount of revenue collect­ tions (receipts, canceled checks
ed by a charity and the amoun t and bank statements) so you can
spent on 'administrative costs. document your charitable giving
Also, Hosemann said House Bill at tax time.
680, which wen"! into effect July • If you want a deduction ,
1, all ows h is office to impose make sure the organization is a
penalties against charities not op­ chari ty.
erating within state law. • Don 't hesitate to ask the
"We didn't have th at power be­ charity for written info rmation
fore," Hosemann said. on its prog rams and finances:
The law says t he secretary of • To verify if a charity is reg is­
state ca n impose sanct ions up to tered to solicit, contact your state
$25,000 per offense against char­ government.
ity operatio ns in violation of the
law. • Report bad practices.