California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced an initiative to educate California charitable organizations. The initiative, Operation Donate with Honor, comes after Attorney General Becerra distributed more than 550 delinquency notices, and approximately 200 cease and desist letters targeted to veteran charities between July 2018 and the present.
“Generous and hardworking Americans should never have to worry about their donations falling into the hands of fraudulent charitable organizations,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Our office remains committed to ensuring that charities have the proper tools to succeed and serve Californians. This educational initiative is designed to help legitimate charities come into compliance with state laws. We will vigorously investigate and prosecute charities that break the law while falsely claiming to help vulnerable communities.”
Since taking office, Attorney General Becerra has been committed to protecting charitable assets and donors. He has also worked to ensure that charities understand and can easily comply with their requirements under the law. The Attorney General’s Office will be hosting a webinar next Tuesday, March 26 at 1:00 PM (PT). The webinar will cover the steps required to register and explain how organizations can review their registration status online with the Registry and will answer questions. The webinar will be live here: https://oag.ca.gov/charities/initialregistration-live
The Attorney General is responsible for implementing California’s laws to protect charitable assets and donors by ensuring that charities are transparent in their activities so donors can make informed giving decisions. Since July 2018, Attorney General Becerra has distributed a total of 1,035 notices to veteran-related charities that failed to register with the Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts. State law requires that every charity conducting business in California must be registered with the Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts. Charities that do not comply with these requirements cannot solicit donations and are subject to penalties, administrative or legal action, and the loss of tax exempt status with the Franchise Tax Board. In order to help donors make informed decisions, Attorney Becerra posts annual reports by charities with details on their assets, revenues.