Monday, November 24, 2008

Attorney General's Online Charity Database

As part of the effort to promote accountability and transparency from nonprofit organizations, the California Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts recently announced its new online search feature. The new search feature allows you to search for information on charities, charity fundraising professionals, and raffle registrants that are registered with the Registry. Access to these reports are available at the search page of the Registry of Charitable Trusts (RCT).

The information that displays in the new search feature represents information currently in the Registry database. It is important that the RCT have current and accurate information for any organization under its jurisdiction. If the information displayed for your organization is in error, you can send an email to the Registrar, using the Contact the Registrar form on the AG's website. In that email, set forth the information you believe to be incorrect and supply the documentation necessary to correct your record. Note that, if your organization is incorporated, its name and facility address information must be updated with the Secretary of State’s office in order to be corrected in the AG's database.

The RCT has not yet established a system for the online viewing of documents filed by charities, though it is only a matter of time before this becomes a reality. Already the forms filed by commercial fundraisers are already available on the Attorney General's website Commercial Fundraiser Financial Database Search. Of course, if the organization files the Form 990 with the IRS, that document will automatically be made available online at