DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Cops for Kids, an Ohio charity is facing a lawsuit by Attorney General Mike DeWine.
The charity has raised millions of dollars over the last decade.
Attorney General Mike DeWine says the charity brought in money from every county in the state of Ohio.
In return, according to DeWine, Cops for Kids sent a few boxes of teddy bears to police departments and funded small scholarships.
Cops for Kids raised more than 4.2 million dollars over the last decade.
DeWine says the charity only spent 2 percent of their profits on charitable programming.
Cops for kids started in 2005.
Nearly 1 million dollars of their profits went to internal salaries and a large majority of the donations went to a telemarketing company called Telcom Enterprises.
John North, the president and CEO of the Montgomery County Better Business Bureau says during this time of giving, people need to be hyper-aware of who they are giving too.
“A legitimate charity is going to be willing to answer any and all questions you have. If you ask a question about their finances, they should openly answer that question. Not only just answer the question, but follow up it up with documentation. Ask them to send you their last annual report so you can compare what they are saying,” said North.
The Better Business Bureau encourages you to do your research and find out more about an organization before sending money.
- Get the charity’s exact name — the BBB says mistaken identity is a common problem
- Resist pressure from telemarketers or solicitors to give on the spot
- Be cautious about “heart-wrenching appeals” – the BBB says to focus on what the charity is doing to help
- Ask for specifics about how and where the charity is working
- Check the charity’s website for its mission, program and finances
- Check the organization’s tax status – don’t assume every organization is tax exempt
North says asking questions and doing your research can go along way.
You can do that research on the Better Business Bureau website and at Give.org.