Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in American women. In fact, one in every eight women will be diagnosed with this disease in her lifetime. It can have a resounding effect on not only individuals but on families and communities as well.
Fortunately, we’ve been seeing a drop in the number of new cases of breast cancer since 2000. This is a direct result of increased awareness and more funding for significant research studies. More women are getting checked. As such, when cancer is caught at an earlier stage, the prognosis is much more hopeful.
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What Should I Look for in a Charity?
Donating to a breast cancer charity is a great way to make a difference and honor the life of someone you know who has been affected by this disease. Here are some things you should know as you search out the ideal breast cancer charity.
There are many different breast cancer charities, focused on different aspects of the disease. Some charities focus solely on funding ground-breaking breast cancer research, while others try and improve access to health care for low-income and disadvantaged women.
When you first start looking for a charity, make sure you’re familiar with the work that they do. After that, ensure that they have a good reputation. In the United States, any non-profit fundraising organization must register as a 501(c)(3) charity. This means that the organization receives operational support from the public.
There are many organizations that function as 501(c)(3) charities but are not transparent with supporters about their funding. This is a huge red flag. A reputable charity will be open about how much they spend on overhead and necessities like marketing and advertising. If a charity spends around 75 cents of every dollar on their programs and goals, that’s a good sign. Likewise, if they can say that they receive $100 for every $15 spent on advertising, that’s a sign they’re careful stewards of their money.
How to Avoid Charity Scams
The popularity of the breast cancer cause is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s boosted funding for much-needed research. On the other hand, it’s become a popular way for businesses to virtue-signal to consumers who are eager to support a good cause.
During Breast Cancer Awareness Month every October, many companies advertise pink or ribbon-covered products. Often, no money from the sale of these products goes towards breast cancer research. Instead, the companies pocket the profits.
Unfortunately, there are many companies masquerading as charities that take advantage of unsuspecting people. They hide behind a veneer of good work but put the bulk of their money towards high salaries, lavish offices, and sometimes even into the pockets of their staff.
To avoid being taken advantage of by these so-called charities, make sure you look carefully at the organization’s financials before donating. If they aren’t transparent about where your money goes, they should be avoided.
Additionally, you can use tools like Charity Watch to get a sense of whether a charity is reputable or not.
5 Trusted Breast Cancer Charities
Thankfully, there are plenty of reputable charities out there who are dedicated to eradicating breast cancer and making the lives of patients easier. Here are some of the most active reputable charities working in the United States today.
1. Breast Cancer Research Foundation
One of the most reputable breast cancer charities out there is the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which exists to fund and promote breast cancer research.
They’re currently funding almost 300 researchers and their vitally important work. 90 percent of every dollar donated goes straight back into their mission and programming. Moreover, they only spend $7 on fundraising for every $100 donated.
They’ve been in operation for 25 years. As such, they’re actively researching cures for breast cancer and information on how it develops and spreads.
2. National Breast Cancer Coalition
One organization that has set itself an ambitious deadline for finding the cure for breast cancer is the National Breast Cancer Coalition. They hope to have enough information to eradicate the disease by 2020.
The NBCC has an extremely high rating on Charity Watch. This is because they spend 83 cents from every dollar donated on their programs. In addition to fundraising for preventative breast cancer care, they’re actively engaged in bringing together political figures, public organizations, and researchers to share knowledge on how to defeat breast cancer.
3. Breast Cancer Prevention Partners
The Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, who were formerly known as the Breast Cancer Fund, are focused solely on preventing exposure to cancer-causing chemicals.
If you donate to this organization, your money funds their vital advocacy work, which is actively removing these harsh chemicals from our daily lives. Their focus on science and strategic use of funds — 77 cents of every dollar is spent on programming — makes them a worthy organization to donate to.
Plus, their website is full of helpful tips on how to decrease your exposure to cancer-causing chemicals.
4. Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation
A great all-around charity where you can donate today is the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation. From funding research to supporting patients and educating the public, they’re involved in all aspects of the fight against breast cancer.
They’re contributing funding towards 11 studies. In addition to funding those studies, the charity is responsible for creating and disseminating simple, easy to understand videos to educate the public on breast cancer and the current treatment options. They spend 81.9 cents of every dollar on these programs.
5. Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation
The Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation spends an astonishing 92 cents of every dollar on their goal of funding life-changing breast cancer research.
The organization was founded in 1985 by Lynn Sage, a woman who endured a six-year struggle with breast cancer. After her death, her friends took over her mission and have raised over $30 million to fund breast cancer research.
The organization has a great reputation for not only their incredible fundraising efforts but also their transparency. In fact, their financial disclosure documents are posted right on their homepage.
If you’re looking to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer, donating to a worthy charity is a great place to start. The five charities that we profiled today are all reputable, but there are plenty of others that are doing great work and making a difference on a smaller scale.
There are so many breast cancer research charities out there that are so deserving of your attention. When it’s in the right hands, your contribution can make a huge difference in the fight against breast cancer.