Wise Giving Wednesday: Breast Cancer Awareness Month
As October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we wanted to bring attention to this important cause and provide tips to help donors make informed choices in supporting charities that address this issue. This awareness month activity started back in 1985 as a collaboration of a number of cancer charities and has since grown into a nationally recognized health education campaign.
The pink ribbon is probably one of the most recognized symbols of breast cancer awareness. Keep in mind, however, if you see that image on a product it may not mean that a purchase will help a breast cancer charity, unless it explains that is the case. Certain versions of the pink ribbon symbol are trademarked by some breast cancer charities, but a generic pink ribbon does not mean the product is connected to a charity you know.
Cause-Related Purchase Promotions
To meet BBB Charity Standard 19, promotions that claim a purchase will help a charity should include a specific disclosure that identifies the actual or anticipated amount of the purchase that will benefit the charity. For example, 5 cents for every can of soup up to $100,000. If applicable the disclosure should also indicate the duration of the campaign and any maximum or guaranteed minimum donation amount. A complete disclosure might say, “8 cents for every sweater sold in the month of October will help XYZ Breast Cancer Charity up to a maximum of $25,000.” Watch out for vague language that state “a portion of proceeds” will help breast cancer charities.
Multitude of Promotions
As there are over 1,000 U.S. charities that include the words “breast cancer” as part of their name, make sure the charity you are considering is the one you have in mind. Review the appeal and website of the organization carefully to gain a better understanding of what they do. Are they engaged in medical research, treatment assistance, and/or prevention education? While some donors only consider donating to charities that request their support, be aware there are many other potential choices.
Sometimes famous celebrities help bring attention to specific breast cancer organizations. While well-known personalities can reach and teach us about the importance of this issue, it is still up to donors to ensure that their contributions will be used wisely. While the generous time celebrities provide helps demonstrate their good intent, it is the charity itself that needs to gain your trust.
BBB Wise Giving Alliance encourages donors to visit Give.org to verify if the breast cancer charity that interests you meets the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability.
Heart of Giving Podcast
In this week's Heart of Giving Podcast, BBB Wise Giving Alliance presents a webinar on "Planning Your Philanthropic Legacy.” This includes a discussion about various planned giving options that donors consider in supporting charities. Guest speakers Barbara O'Reilly from Windmill Hill Consulting, Lori Kranczer from Link Elevating Philanthropy, and Jessica Birken from Birken Law Office.
We are always working with charities to publish or update reports for donors. Visit Give.org or local BBBs to check out any charity before giving. Our recently evaluated charities include:
Finally, remember to let us know by going to give.org/charity-inquiry if you are interested in seeing a report on a charity not on the list and we will do our best to produce one.