CHICAGO (CBS) — As your mailbox and your inbox fill up with end-of-the-year donation requests, the Illinois Attorney General encourages you to ask questions first.

Lisa Madigan’s office requires the 25,000 registered charities in the state to file annual financial reports and posts the information online. WBBM’s Nancy Harty reports.

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Potential donors can access this information, including how much money a charity made last year, its top five salaries and what their assets are.

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“There are many wonderful organizations making a real impact in communities across Illinois, but it’s important to take time to research an organization before you donate to ensure your contribution will be used to further the charitable mission you want to support,” Madigan said.

Madigan encourages potential donors to ask how much of a charity’s budget goes to fundraising and to be skeptical of high pressure donation pitches.

She said her office has heard complaints about groups with names that are similar to established charities, but aren’t really doing any work.

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To obtain financial information, learn more about an organization, or find out if a charity that has solicited you for a donation is registered, visit Attorney General Madigan’s website or contact her Charitable Trust Bureau at 312-814-2595.