State of Minnesota
More about
Attorney General
Lori Swanson

Minnesota Attorney General's Office

1400 Bremer Tower
445 Minnesota Street
St. Paul, MN 55101

(651) 296-3353
(800) 657-3787

M - F 8 am - 5 pm

TTY:(651) 297-7206
TTY:(800) 366-4812

Information for the Public

When people make a charitable donation, they want to know it is going to a good cause. Most charities fulfill important missions, but some unscrupulous entities may pose as charities, or may not fulfill the organizationís stated purpose. The courts do not allow states to require that a certain percentage of charitable donations be designated to its charitable mission as opposed to overhead. As a result, it is important for donors to research a charity and how it spends its money.

Minnesota law requires certain charitable organizations and the professional fund-raisers that represent them to register with the Attorney Generalís Office. The law exempts certain organizations from registering with the Attorney Generalís Office. You may find information about exemptions here.External Link

To search for registered organizations and professional fund-raisers, you may use the Office of the Attorney Generalís Charities Search and Professional Fund-raiser Search tools. Registration does not constitute approval by the Attorney Generalís Office or the State of Minnesota.

If you believe that a charitable organization is engaged in questionable activity in Minnesota, we want to hear from you. You may report such activities by calling us at (651) 296-9412 or (800) 657-3787, or by submitting a Nonprofit/Charities Report form to 1400 Bremer Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101.

Please review these brochures for more information about Minnesotaís charities laws and charitable giving:

  1. Tips on Charitable Giving
  2. Charities Ė Avoid Shams and Scams
  3. Beware of Phony Solicitations
  4. A Guide to Minnesotaís Charities Laws
  5. Raising Funds for Named Individuals
  6. Fiduciary Duties of Directors of Charitable Organizations: A Guide for Board Members

For additional resources about charities, contact these organizations:

  1. Internal Revenue Service External Link
    Use this link to connect to the website of the Internal Revenue Service
  2. Guidestar External Link
    Use this link to find free information on the programs and finances of more than 600,00 charities and nonprofits
  3. Charities Review Council External Link
    A nonprofit organization that evaluates charitable organizations
  4. Council of Better Business Bureauís Wise Giving Alliance External Link
    Use this link to find information about specific charities and publications about smart giving