THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF TEXAS
Ken Paxton

Filing a Complaint

The Charitable Trusts Section receives many inquiries and complaints from the general public, news reporters, and other interested parties regarding possible mismanagement or diversion of charitable assets. All complaints about charities are reviewed by the Attorney General's Charitable Trusts section staff.

Due to the limited time and resources available to assist in our varied enforcement efforts and ongoing duties, the Charitable Trusts Section is unable to conduct full investigations of every matter referred to us. We generally conduct investigations in those cases in which there is reliable evidence of a diversion of assets or gross mismanagement resulting in a significant financial loss or other substantial harm to the public.

The Charitable Trusts complaint form is now available online. We ask that you read this section before you file your complaint. If you file a complaint with our office, please understand the following:

We May Refer You to Another Agency. Often a state, federal or local agency will have more expertise than our office to handle a particular consumer problem. In such a case, we refer the complaint to the agency best able to help.

We Cannot Act As Your Private Attorney. State law prohibits our office from giving individual citizens legal advice or opinions or acting as their private attorney. If you feel that you need legal advice, you will have to turn to another source such as a private attorney, legal aid society or other organization.

We Can Only File Suit To Protect The Public Interest. State law prohibits our office from filing a lawsuit whose only purpose is to recover money or property for a single person. In those instances, it is appropriate for the citizen to seek legal advice from a private attorney, legal aid society or other organization.

Texans make generous donations to charities each year by volunteering time or contributing money. Resources you may want to consult when researching a charity include:

  • The BBB Wise Giving Alliance: The Alliance reports on nationally soliciting charitable organizations that are the subject of donor inquiries. These reports include an evaluation of the subject charity in relation to voluntary BBB charity standards.
  • The American Institute of Philanthropy: The AIP is a charity watchdog service whose purpose is to help donors make informed giving decisions.
  • Guidestar: A national database of U.S. charitable organizations which gathers and distributes data on more than 850,000 IRS-recognized non-profits.