Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced his office has filed a Cease and Desist Order against two Michigan based organizations that solicit charitable donations through phone calls: Firefighters Support Services and its professional fundraiser, Associated Community Services of Southfield.
A Notice of Intended Action orders a stop to misleading, deceptive, and false solicitations and advises them of the Attorney General’s intention to bring a civil action seeking restitution, plus fines of up to $10,000 per violation for every one of Firefighters Support Services’ more than two million violations.
The phone call solicitations tell recipients that Firefighters Support Services helps firefighters get better equipment and helps “families that have been burned out of their homes by providing them with food, shelter, and clothing” or “financial support.” However, of the $4.2 million from donors throughout the nation, they were unable to identify any grants of food, shelter, or clothing to families that have been burned out of their homes.
The Better Business Bureau's Charity Review program and Wise Giving Alliance are a valuable resource for donors to use to check out charitable requests. Many cases have been uncovered of fraudulent fundraisers and non-profits that solicit donations and where little to none of the money raised actually goes to help those who need it.
To check out any potential donation, visit Give.org. BBB also suggests checking the Michigan Attorney General’s 2015 Professional Fundraising Charitable Solicitation Report.