Think before pink

via Think before pink | Consumer Watch, clarionledger.com, 5/3/2013

Pink is big business these days — and I’m not talking about the singer. The color pink has recently become synonymous with breast cancer charities, and it seems corporate America has gotten into the act. While much of the money being donated around everything from pink planes to pink windshield covers is going to benefit known breast cancer research and support programs, donors shouldn’t assume that their money is actually going to the cause they want.

Yesterday, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman obtained a court’s consent to shut down Campaign Center, Inc., a fund-raising firm affiliated with a charity called the Coalition Against Breast Cancer. The bogus charity raised around $10 million in donations supposedly to fund cancer research, but records show that the company spent just $632.00 for a total of 40 mammograms in that same period.

The ruling [PDF] bars Campaign Center and its owner from charitable fundraising in the state, and orders both the company and owner to pay restitution to victims of the scam; the amount will be determined at a hearing scheduled for May 20. The Coalition Against Breast Cancer has already reached a separate agreement with the AG’s office to repay $1.55 million in restitution.

According to the AG’s investigation, Campaign Center was the principal fundraiser for the Coalition and kept up to 85% of the money raised for the supposed charity. Investigators learned that CABC, in spite of its purported goal of cancer research, outreach, and education, was not affiliated with any cancer institution, and spent less than one-half of 1% of donations on anything related to breast cancer prevention or detection. (Consumerist.com)

The story of this “charity” is an object lesson into why donors should exercise extreme caution before giving to a cause. Donors should thoroughly check out the charity’s track record. There are several good ways to do this online, for example through the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, and Guidestar. Also, check out charities through the Secretary of State’s Office. It’s your money. Please, think before you go pink!

– See more at: http://web.archive.org/web/20130601161002/http://blogs.clarionledger.com/consumerwatch/2013/05/03/think-before-pink/#sthash.wY28zW89.dpuf

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