Fundraising for firefighters
While we appreciate your support of the Fargo Fire Department, we encourage you to use caution when contributing money to solicitors who claim their funds will benefit local firefighters.
If you receive a phone call from someone claiming your donation will benefit us, please call us at (701) 241-1540 to verify whether this is the case.
Update on "Association for Disabled Firefighters" fundraising case
Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem reached a settlement in June 2006 with an out-of-state fundraiser that illegally collected about $30,000 in contributions from North Dakota residents.
The settlement named the Association for Disabled Firefighters, Coalition of Police & Sheriffs, and American Veterans Relief Foundation, all of California, and their professional fundraiser, Public Awareness and Duane Kolve, of Wisconsin.
"We received complaints that Public Awareness was telling people that the Associationfor Disabled Firefighters would use the donations for childrens burn centers in North Dakota," said Stenehjem. "We have no such childrens burn centers in North Dakota."
An investigation also revealed Public Awareness used private mail service centers in various North Dakota communities to retrieve charitable contributions, creating the false impression that the fundraiser was a local organization.
These entities played on the knowledge that donors are more likely to give to a local organization, said Stenehjem.
Stenehjem sued the defendants in October 2002, alleging they engaged in false and deceptive acts and the charitable solicitations were illegal because the organizations were not licensed in North Dakota and Public Awareness was not registered as a professional fundraiser.
Under the terms of the settlement, the defendants cannot conduct any charitable solicitations in North Dakota for 18 months and must pay $30,000 in lieu of civil penalties. Stenehjem will distribute $25,000 to North Dakota organizations engaged in fire protection, law enforcement, or public safety activities, and the remainder will coverinvestigation costs and attorneys fees. The defendants will also forfeit the donations it raised illegally, which were recovered from the local mail boxes.