Check Out the Charity Before Donating To Breast Cancer Awareness Month Causes, Says Better Business Bureau
CHICAGO, IL -Â October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) and scammers are using emotional appeals to target their victims. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is urging consumers to research charities before making a donation to be sure your money goes towards good for others.
“The goal for charities should be to raise money towards curing cancer, not for their operators to make a profit,” says Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “ConsumersÂ shouldÂ do a careful assessment of the charity,Â questioning its methods and proceduresÂ and checkingÂ it out with the BBB before donating.”
Consumers can check out charities online with the BBB at www.bbb.org/charity .Â The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) organization also has a website at www.nbcam.org.Â This group is a collaboration of national public service organizations, professional medical associations, and government agencies working together to promote breast cancer awareness, share information on the disease and provide greater access to services.
It is important for consumers to check that companies disclose a charity name, the amount of a sale going to the charity, the duration of marketing campaigns and, if applicable, the maximum or minimum contribution amount.
Here are tips to avoid scams with this cause:
- Research the charity with the BBB. If the product or service is in support of an unfamiliar charity, learn more about the organization by reviewing the BBB’s charity report online at www.bbb.org/charity
- Identify the charity receiving the donation. If the product or service is linked to a donation percentage, contact the business or manufacturer to determine exactly where the money is going and what percentage is donated.
- Confirm the charity’s corporate partners.Â Many national breast cancer charities list the names of corporate partners and sponsors on their websites.
- If you contribute, do not give cash. Use a credit card or check or money order made out to the name of the charitable organization, not to the individual collecting the donation.
- Keep records of your donations. This includes receipts, canceled checks, and bank statement. Keeping these documents will allow you to document your charitable giving at tax time. Although the value of your time as a volunteer is not deductible, out-of-pocket expenses (including transportation costs) directly related to your volunteer service to a charity are deductible.
Be wary of charities that are reluctant to answer reasonable questions about their operations, finances and programs. Also be careful of appeals that are long on emotion, but short on describing what the charity actually does.