Search for Charities
Most charities that solicit donations in Minnesota must register with the Attorney General’s Office. You may search here to see if a charity is registered.
PLEASE NOTE: If you do not search for a charity by its EIN, you must search for a charity using its legal name on file with the Attorney General’s Office; alternate names, assumed names, and program names are not presently searchable. Searching for charities is also punctuation sensitive. If you are having difficulty finding a charity, you may wish to use fewer search terms, only part of the charity’s name, or add or drop punctuation to obtain a broader range of results. For example, if you cannot find a charity you believe is named “A.B.C. Good Charity” and are unsure of the punctuation used in its legal name, you may wish to search only for the term “ABC” or “A.B.C.” to expand your results.
If You Don’t Find the Charity
Please note that not all charities must register with the Attorney General’s Office. Some are exempt from registering. Failing to register with the Attorney General’s Office can be a red flag, however, and you should be cautious in deciding whether to support an unregistered charity. If you do not find the charity and are still considering donating, do your homework beforehand. Tips on how to research a charity are provided below in the “How to Learn More About a Charity” section.
If You Find the Charity
If you find the charity you are looking for, then it is currently registered with the Attorney General’s Office. Registered charities file reports every year that contain information about their operations, fundraising, and finances. These annual reports are public documents, and available from the Attorney General’s Office upon request. Be aware, however, that just because a charity is registered does not necessarily mean it is worthy of your generosity. Before contributing to any charity, donors should know enough to assure themselves that the charity will use their donation to fulfill its charitable mission. See the next section on “How to Learn More About a Charity” for more information.
How to Learn More About a Charity
Doing research about a charity before you donate is vital, particularly to ensure that most of your donation is being used to fulfill the charity’s mission. There are a number of ways you can learn more about a charity and what percentage of your donation goes toward its charitable purpose. You should visit the Office’s “Charities Information for the Public” webpage which provides information about how to research charities. You may also call the Attorney General’s Office at (651) 757-1496 or (800) 657-3787. The Attorney General’s Office can answer your basic questions about a charity, send you a copy of a charity’s annual report, and provide other tips on charitable giving.
How Donors Can Help
Donors play an important role in helping ensure that charities in Minnesota operate with integrity and fulfill their charitable mission. If you believe that a charity is soliciting funds in Minnesota without being properly registered with the Attorney General’s Office, or is engaged in other questionable activities, please report it to our Office by calling (651) 757-1496 or (800) 657-3787, or by submitting a Nonprofit/Charities Report form to:
Office of Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson
445 Minnesota Street, Suite 1400
St. Paul, MN 55101