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Do Your Homework Before Donating To Charities

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(File image credit: NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images)

(File image credit: NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) — ‘Tis the season of giving, but how much of what you give goes where you expect?

Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office is reporting much of what people donate in Massachusetts does not wind up in the hands of charities.

So how much of each dollar donated in Massachusetts in 2009 went to your charity of choice? According to Coakley, an average of just 43 cents.

Coakely tells WBZ News Radio that millions of donated dollars go to cover expenses and professional fees.

Coakley talks with WBZ News Radio’s Rod Fritz.

Coakley says people willing to give need to do their homework. “First of all, if you are solicited on the phone and you’re interested in giving money to the charity, you should certainly ask what percentage of your donation is going to go (to the charity.) You certainly don’t have to give over the phone.”

If you want to make sure more money actually goes to the organization of your choosing, Coakley suggests giving to the charity directly rather than over the phone.

The 43 cents per dollar is actually better than the previous few years. $369 million was donated by people in 2009.

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