The National Cancer Institute of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates there will be 252,710 new cases of breast cancer in 2017 in the United States and that there were 3,327,552 women living with breast cancer in 2014. Clearly this devastating disease is a national concern that impacts a significant portion of the population. In view of these statistics, it is not surprising to learn that there are over 1,200 nonprofit organizations tax-exempt as charities in the U.S. with the words “breast cancer” as part of their name. And, if you also consider, that many other cancer-focused charities address some aspect of this illness, the number of potential choices for those wishing to support breast cancer organizations during the month of October – Breast Cancer Awareness of Month − could double that total.
So, what’s a donor to do? How can one make an informed choice about breast cancer charities among so many possible choices? Well, it is highly unlikely that anyone will be solicited by all of these groups. For most of us, we generally consider just those charities that ask us for support. In that more limited universe, there are some basic steps one can take to help ensure that a donation is going to a trusted group.
Don’t be confused by name similarity. As noted above, many organizations have “breast cancer” as part of their name, so that fact alone does not reveal an intent to deceive. It just reflects the common practice of charities specifying their purpose in their titles. But you still need to be careful since the organization soliciting you may not necessarily be the one that you have in mind.
Read the appeal carefully. The appeal you receive from a breast-cancer charity should clearly describe the nature of the activities you are being asked to support. Be wary of solicitations that seek to strike an emotional cord without identifying the charity’s main program services.
What’s more important: research, treatment, or education? A breast-cancer charity may focus on one, all three, or other activities addressing breast cancer. It is a matter of personal choice as to which you might consider to be the most important to fund at this time. There is no right or wrong on this decision. Just be sure you are aware of what activities your generosity will address.
Verify the organization’s trustworthiness. One way of verifying the trustworthiness of a breast-cancer organization is to visit Give.org to find out if the charity meets the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability.
Video of the Week
As part of our Building Trust Video series, we are pleased to provide a video that features Mary Vivo, Executive Director, Hope Lives! The Lydia Dody Breast Cancer Support Center (a BBB Accredited Charity) which was evaluated by the Better Business Bureau serving Fort Collins, Colorado. This local organization supports women currently in breast cancer treatment who reside in Northern Colorado or are receiving cancer treatment in Northern Colorado. The program is designed to manage the emotional and physical side effects throughout treatment at no cost to clients.
Continuing the theme of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the following is a list of Accredited nationally soliciting charities whose primary focus is breast cancer.
Finally, remember to let us know by going to https://www.give.org/ask-us-about-a-charity1/ if you are interested in seeing a report on a charity not on the list and we will do our best to produce one.
H. Art Taylor, President & CEO
BBB Wise Giving Alliance