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Americans contribute a lot of their hard-earned money to charity – more than $373 billion in 2015, which averaged about $1,100 per adult and more than $2,100 per household. With so much at stake for consumers and for legitimate charities that rely on public giving, consumer protection is an important topic when it comes to consumers’ giving decisions.

The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, and the National Association of State Charities Officials, the association of state offices charged with oversight of charitable organizations and charitable solicitations, will host a conference on March 21, 2017, in Washington, DC, to examine how consumers evaluate and respond to various charitable solicitation practices and the role for consumer protection in ensuring consumers have confidence their giving expectations are fulfilled. 

The event, Give & Take: Consumers, Contributions, and Charity, will engage regulators, researchers, practitioners, charity watchdogs, donor advocates, and members of the nonprofit sector in conversations about consumer protection concerns in the sector, including available data on donor expectations and perceptions, deceptive fundraising practices, the regulatory and enforcement environment, and new charitable giving options.

To enhance the discussion, submissions from the public, including original research, consumer surveys, and academic papers are invited. Of particular interest is research related to consumers’ expectations regarding their donations, data measuring how often consumers are deceived by charitable solicitations, and recommendations for effective donor education tools or self-regulatory initiatives by charities and fundraisers.  Research or data on new fundraising technologies and techniques and their impact on consumer giving is also of interest, as is comment and research from legal scholars on the consumer protection challenges in the evolving fundraising environment. Submitted materials will be available on the FTC’s event webpage. Additional information about submitting a comment or research is available here.

The conference is free and open to the public. It will be held at the Constitution Center, 400 7th St., SW, Washington, DC 20024. A detailed agenda will be published at a later date. Information about reasonable accommodations is available on the conference website. Email questions to

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Contact Information

Frank Dorman
Office of Public Affairs