Hosemann: Be careful with charitable giving

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - The Mississippi Secretary of State's Office is urging retailers across the state to take extra precaution to ensure the nonprofits soliciting donations in front of their businesses are legitimate.

"Every year, during the holiday season, shoppers are solicited for donations outside retail outlets across the State. The Secretary of State's Office is calling on retailers to protect their customers by helping protect their donations not only during the holidays, but throughout the year," said Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.

Hosemann said Walmart is a leading example of a retailer which helps protect its customers by putting steps in place to review every organization wishing to solicit funds outside of its stores in Mississippi. Walmart reviews organizations with the Secretary of State's Office to ensure the charity is registered with that agency.

The discount retailer also has requirements for organizations soliciting funds in front of its stores to provide a copy of their charity registration or exemption certificate.

State law only allows organizations registered as a charity with the Secretary of State's Office to solicit funds in the State of Mississippi.

"Any reputable charity in the State of Mississippi will have no problem verifying it is registered with the Secretary of State's Office," says Secretary Hosemann. "There are many charities which need our help during the holidays and throughout the year. This safeguard protects the hard earned dollars donated by our citizens."

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