The latest national statistics show thatboth the number of volunteers and therate of volunteering increased duringthe past year.The Bureau of Labor Statisticsreported that the figures for thefederal fiscal year, ending inSeptember 2009, show that 63.4million Americans, or 26.8 percent of the population volunteered at leastonce during the year. In 2008, 26.4percent of people volunteered.The rate of women volunteeringincreased from 29.4 percent in 2008to 30.1 percent in 2009. For men, the
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For the first time in Ohio, the AttorneyGeneral’s Consumer Protection sectionhas opened its doors to handle complaintsfrom nonprofits and small businessesbeing preyed upon by scammers anddeceptive vendors.Attorney General Richard Cordray isreaching out to nonprofits and smallbusinesses that have been mistreated in themarketplace. Since beginning a test launchof this program roughly six months ago,the office has received more than 500complaints and secured more than $60,000for small businesses and nonprofits.Attorney General Cordray announced theinitiative to the state earlier this month.Some examples of ways that the officewas able to help included:
A West Jefferson library was chargedfor a web service that it neverauthorized. The Attorney General’sOffice recovered $244.
A southeast Ohio community andvisitor’s bureau was tricked intobuying unneeded and overpriced tonerfor a new printer. After returning theitem, the company asked for a roughly$75 restocking fee; the officeintervened and made sure that thebureau did not have to pay the fee.Through this new program, the officehopes to help nonprofits and smallbusinesses from being nickel-and-dimedby unscrupulous operators.To file a complaint, visit:www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/ Complaint
Nonprofits will be evaluating the resultsof the text-based Haiti relief fundraisinginitiative to determine if texting strategiesmake sense for their organizations. Whiletexting donations is not new, it had notbeen seen on such a massive scale untilthe Haiti relief effort. The growing use of social media and the increased familiaritywith texting have contributed to thedramatic results of the campaign.The American Red Cross has hadenormous success with its text messagecampaign – more than $31 million andcounting. Donors were asked to text“HAITI” to a specific number and $10would be added to their mobile phone billand then forwarded to the Red Cross. Thesuccess of the Haiti initiative dwarfs theresult of texting campaigns in 2008 tosupport the Red Cross’s response toHurricane Gustav in the Atlantic andCaribbean areas when $250,000 wasraised.Donors must use caution when evaluatingrequests for any donation, including adonation submitted via text. Be certainthat you know the organization and check the validity of the request. Sadly, somescam artists use texting channels to collectfunds for fraudulent purposes. Always ask questions and check out the legitimacy of the group and the group’s support of thetexting campaign. Even if a campaign islegitimate, be aware that mobile carriersmay apply various data and textingcharges for the transaction.For more advice on sending donations viatext, visitwww.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/ TextingDonations