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Minn. AG Swanson concerned with alleged deficiencies in Savers' charitable practices

By Mark Payne | Nov 28, 2014

Swanson 150x150

MINNEAPOLIS (Legal Newsline) - The Savers thrift store chain's relationship with local charities in Minnesota is under scrutiny after a compliance report found some possible problems with financial practices, Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson said.

The report alleges that Savers was not forthcoming about the amount of proceeds it keeps and how much it gives to charities, gives donors tax receipts to write off donations as income tax deductions but does not give the donations to charity and gives tax receipts to donors for clothes that are mixed with clothing intended for other charities, which prevents an accurate accounting of how much is given to each charity.

“Three bedrock principles of charities law are to respect the intent of the donor, protect charitable assets and be transparent,” Swanson said. “This report identifies deficiencies in all three areas.”

Savers is a for-profit business based in Seattle. It generates more than $1 billion in annual revenue.

Savers and its subsidiary solicit used clothing and household goods from Minnesota donors in the names of charities. It then sells the donated goods in its Savers'Apogee stores. It is alleged the two paid four charities in Minnesota varying rates in 2013 for donated goods.

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