From the Office of the West Virginia Secretary of State:
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner will join Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and statewide nonprofit organizations to kick off International Charity Fraud Awareness Week with a proclamation signing and press conference at 10 a.m. on Monday, October 21, 2019, at the WV One Stop Business Center, located at 1615 Washington Street East, in Charleston.
At the press conference, Secretary Warner and the Attorney General will speak about their roles in protecting charities and consumers from fraud. The media will also hear from AARP-West Virginia, Philanthropy-West Virginia, and the Non-Profit Association of West Virginia. The group will sign a proclamation recognizing the annual occasion.
There are 5,810 active charities currently registered with the West Virginia Secretary of State Charitable Organizations Division. The Division registers and regulates charitable organizations, professional solicitors, and the professional fundraising counsels with whom they contract to assist in raising funds from the public. The Division was established to protect the people of the state by requiring full public disclosure by persons and organizations that solicit funds from consumers. The Division is also responsible for helping to prevent deceptive and dishonest statements and conduct in the solicitation and reporting of such funds in the name of charity.
The WV Secretary of State also maintains a charity database – a useful tool for consumers to verify that an organization is registered to solicit donations in the state. The site provides information on how much a charity has spent on administrative and fundraising costs, as well as how much has gone to the actual cause of the charity. The database is located at www.apps.sos.wv.gov/business/charities.
The Charitable Organizations Division is currently housed at the WV One Stop Business Center – the only four-agency single-location business and licensing center in the nation. The Center was a legislative initiative and was opened by Secretary Warner in January 2018. The single location includes the Secretary of State, State Tax Department, WV Division of Labor, and Workforce-WV. More information on the WV One Stop is located at Business4WV.gov.
Charity Fraud Awareness Week is led by an international partnership of more than 40 charities, regulators, professional representative bodies and other not-for-profit stakeholders working together to combat fraud against charities. The annual occasion promotes openness and honesty about fraud. It brings together everyone involved in the charity and not-for-profit sectors to raise awareness and share good practices in tackling fraud and financial crime. For more information on International Charity Fraud Awareness Week 2019, visit fraudadvisorypanel.org.