Making a Difference: Contributing to Cancer Charities

Making donations to cancer charitiesEvery two years, the American Cancer Society publishes a new report on breast cancer trends. The latest report came out earlier this month.

Does the report show we’re really making a great deal of progress against breast cancer as some of the media stories are presenting it? Or is progress more incremental in nature?

And how might we respond in a way that could make a difference–during this month of October and during the rest of the year as well?

Continue reading

Charity Review: Stand Up To Cancer

Reviewing the charity, Stand Up To Cancer--its mission, key financials and what it reports about how donations are used.Many of us are interested in donating to organizations that support or conduct cancer research. But figuring out which organizations will make the most effective use of our contributions isn’t always an easy task.

Making a choice based on value for our money means considering factors such as how an organization uses the money it raises, its financial health, and how transparent it is about what has been accomplished with the contributions it has received.

This post is the first in an occasional series in which we’ll take a look at individual charities that focus primarily on cancer research–their history, mission, financial profiles and results reporting. We’ll start with Stand Up To Cancer, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation. Continue reading

Donating for Cancer Research: Choosing Value

Making donations to cancer research charitiesWhen I was 11 or 12, a popular local newspaper columnist was encouraging kids in our area to raise money for an organization focused on efforts to end muscular dystrophy. Taking up the challenge, my brother and sisters and I and some friends organized a neighborhood carnival to raise money for the organization.

The carnival was a success–everyone had fun and we raised some money. Now, the charity that received our contribution had a solid reputation. But of course, the focus was entirely on the fundraising event and no questions were asked about how the money would be used. And why would we ask questions? There was simply a trust the money raised would be used well.

That may have been fine back then, and under that particular set of circumstances. But is the “no questions asked” approach when it comes to supporting charities and causes the best approach today?

Continue reading

Breast Cancer “Awareness”: What is the Message?

How can we get to a more informed level of breast cancer awareness--the kind that will result in needed action to end deaths from the disease?Each year during the month of October we are more than ever bombarded with the pink ribbon. But what really is the purpose of all this “awareness” today–beyond selling pink-ribboned products?

Breast cancer screening through mammography has now become widespread, but misperceptions about the disease are also widespread.

How do we get to a more informed level of awareness–the kind of awareness that may better lead to the steps that need to be taken today to end deaths from this disease?

Continue reading

Contributing To Breast Cancer Charities

Charity concept in word collageA contribution to a breast cancer charity can be a great way to translate “awareness” into concrete and meaningful action.

A donation doesn’t have to be large to make a difference. And it doesn’t even have to be financial–there are opportunities to volunteer in a myriad of ways, from contributing a few hours at a community event to providing peer support to individuals dealing with a cancer diagnosis.

Choosing which organizations to support can really be a challenge though. In the United States, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of breast cancer charities. In order to make a good choice, an essential first step is deciding what, specifically, we want to accomplish when we donate our hard-earned dollars or our valuable time.

Continue reading