A Georgia man and his Kansas charity have been banned from doing business in Kansas and ordered to pay more than $11,000 in damages for violating the Kansas Charitable Organizations and Solicitations Act.
According to Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, Steven Beck of Ludowici, Georgia, and “A Ride for the Wounded, Inc.”, a Kansas charity, were permanently banned from doing business in Kansas. Shawnee County District Court Judge Thomas Luedke this week approved a default judgment after Beck and the charity failed to respond to a lawsuit filed by Schmidt’s office.
Luedke ordered Beck and the charity to pay $11,029.05 for funds that were used for personal expenses in violation of the Kansas Charitable Organizations and Solicitations Act.
Schmidt urged Kansans to do their homework when donating to charities and offered the following tips to keep in mind when making charitable contributions:
- Ask for written information, including how much of the money raised is actually used for charitable purposes and how much will end up in the hands of the professional fundraiser.
- Be careful with telemarketers requesting contributions – oftentimes the telemarketer keeps a substantial portion of the donation.
- Do not be pressured into making a contribution or pledge.
- Do not feel obligated to send a donation to charities that send token gifts such as key chains, greeting cards, mailing labels, etc.
- Make certain the charitable organization actually serves the need it claims to serve.
- Ask for financial statements of the organization to determine who will benefit from the donations.
- Make a personal giving plan and support well established charities on your terms, not in response to marketing solicitations.
- Check out the charity at www.kscharitycheck.org to assess whether it is registered to solicit in Kansas and to see important aspects of its financial filings, including how much of any money you give will be spent on the charity’s overhead expenses rather than going to support the charitable purpose, such as disaster-relief efforts. However, note that some charities are exempt by law from registration.