Devastating flooding in the South Delta has left many in Mississippi wondering: “How can I help?” The Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office’s website can serve as a valuable resource for information about some disaster relief charities before you donate.
“As Mississippians, when we hear our neighbors are struggling, our first inclination is to reach out and help,” Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said. “As the Agency overseeing charities, we can help ensure funds donated by generous Mississippians to charities within our purview reach those who need them the most.”
Charities soliciting funds in Mississippi, with some exceptions, must be registered with the Secretary of State’s Office (http://charities.sos.ms.gov/online/portal/ch/page/charities-search/Portal.aspx). Out-of-state charities which do not target Mississippi donors may not be required to register in Mississippi.
Each year, the Agency publishes a Report on Charitable Organizations in Mississippi. The report outlines the financial information of charities registered in the State, including the percentage of charitable funds actually spent by a charity for its charitable purpose. The Council of Better Business Bureaus recommends at least 65 percent of a charitable organization’s total expenses be spent on program activities directly related to the organization’s purpose.
Religious institutions and organizations which are instrumentalities of government, such as the American Red Cross, are not required to register with the Secretary of State’s Office.
For more information, call the Charities Division at (601) 359-1599 or www.sos.ms.gov/charities/.
Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann Press Release