X

Charity Navigator relies on donations from users like you.
Dear Charity Navigator Users: To protect our independence, we'll never run ads. We take no fees from the charities rated on our site. Charity Navigator relies on donations averaging $15. Now is the time we ask for your help. If everyone reading this now gave $5, our fundraiser would be done today. We're a small nonprofit that relies on donations from donors like you. If Charity Navigator is useful to you, take a minute to keep it online and free for another year. Thank you.
Dear Readers: Did you know that Charity Navigator is a nonprofit too? We never charge users or nonprofits to use our site. We rely on donations from users like you. If everyone gave $5, we could keep it online and free for another year. Please help today.
Maybe later  |   I already donated
Disable all preview features

Cancer Charities Scam

May 20, 2015

 
 
Cancer Charities Scam Header Image

In an unprecedented collaboration, the FTC and 58 law enforcement agencies put a web of sham cancer charities out of business. The investigation revealed that the four charities involved - Cancer Fund of AmericaCancer Support ServicesChildren's Cancer Fund of America and the Breast Cancer Society - primarily benefited one family, that of Cancer Fund founder James T. Reynolds Sr., rather than the cancer patients the organizations' purported to help. In total, these groups made off with $187 million in donations.

What can you do as a donor to ensure your charitable dollars aren't invested in fraudulent groups?
 

  1. Hang up the phone! Reynolds Sr. and his family were able to raise so much money in part by working with for-profit telemarketing firms. Those companies siphon off most of what you donate and only pass along small percentage of your gift to the charity.
  2. Be proactive. Don't wait for a charity to ask you for support. Instead flip the table and identify which causes you are most passionate about.
  3. Do your homework. Take the time to research the charity's finances, governance practices and results. You'll find much of this analysis, for free, at Charity Navigator.
  4. Make a long-term commitment. Once you've done your research, give generously and over the long haul. A great way to do that is by setting up a monthly donation to your favorite charity. 

Visit our blog for more information on How to Donate Safely and to watch a short video about this case.

Sham Cancer Charities

Join Our Mailing List

Join over 400,000 other informed givers and get updates on charity ratings, new features, hot topics, and tips for donating.