According to breastcancer.org, one in every eight U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime.
The CDC stated in 2016 that breast cancer is the most common cancer found in women, regardless of race or ethnicity. It was more than twice as common as lung and bronchus cancer, the second most common type. Reports show that the number of people diagnosed with breast cancer has decreased over time; however, there is still no cure, and donations to research foundations or families in need can make a difference. When Breast Cancer Awareness Month comes around each October, businesses and consumers are looking to help.
Unfortunately, some businesses make dishonest claims regarding their donations to breast cancer charities. Better Business Bureau serving the Heart of Texas has tips for those who will be looking out for charitable opportunities this month.
• Shop smart. BBB Charity Standards call for campaigns to disclose how much of the purchase will be donated to charity. Look for this information when shopping for pink ribbon items in stores or online. Be cautious with businesses doing vague promotions that do not share the portion of proceeds donated, or which charity they’ll be donating to.
• Check the charity. If the charity is specified, check them out with BBB to see if they meet our Charity Standards. This way, you’ll know that your money is going exactly where you want it to and is being used how you intend for it to be.
• Participate carefully. Some charities will host events (like walks or runs) in addition to marketing promotions. If this interests you, gather all the important information before signing up: Is there a participation fee? Are you required to sign up a minimum number of sponsors? Before you sign up, verify them with BBB to make sure they are a charity you want to support.
• Take action. If a charity you like isn’t holding any events or promotions during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, contact them to see how you can volunteer or donate on your own time. Every bit helps, even if your preferred charity isn’t hosting their own fundraisers.
Visit give.org to search charity reports and find charities that pass BBB Wise Giving Alliance’s 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.
Emily Gaines is the regional director for the Bryan-College Station office of Better Business Bureau.