A Minnesota fundraising group has agreed to change the way it conducts calls for groups in Iowa. Geoff Greenwood, a spokesman for the Iowa Attorney General, says the Minnesota group that goes by the name of Public Safety Council or Community Safety, does fundraising for law enforcement related groups.
Greenwood says they alleged the group misrepresented how much money was going to the charity, sometimes didn’t disclose that they were professional fundraisers and in some cases insinuated that they were actually a part of the law enforcement associations. The company made calls for groups such as the Iowa State Police Association, the Iowa State Reserve Law Officers Association and the Iowa Peace Officers Association.
Greenwood says several of the calls were recorded by the Consumer Protection Division, and those calls confirmed how the company was operating. Greenwood says in many of the cases the tactics used to get people to give more money, and he says in some cases Iowans allegedly gave money under false pretenses. The company denies any wrongdoing.
Greenwood says you should always check out any phone solicitation before you donate. He says you should question the caller and see if they are a professional fundraiser or if they are with the organizations. Greenwood says you should ask how much of the money goes to the organization, and you should never be pressured to make an immediate donation.
Greenwood says there’s no harm in telling the person you want some time to check them out before donating. “We’re not telling you ‘don’t give to a charitable organization,’ we’re telling you you should be smart about giving your hard earned money to someone who has cold called,” Greenwood explains.
You can find more tips for dealing with phone solicitations on the Iowa Attorney General’s website at:www.IowaAttorneyGeneral.gov. Greenwood says you can also go to http://www.give.org and check out the background of a fundraising group.