My husband has been working very diligently in regard to my cancer care, but he had to learn the hard way that not all charities are created equal. I, on the other hand, already knew this. I donate to 2 major charities, and that is the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and Care Coalition. The reason I donate to these charities is because I know where the money is going. Most of their funds go towards actual aid, with very little going towards salaries and basic overhead. Let me give you a quick rundown of some of the breast cancer charities and how difficult it can be to see where the money is actually going.
On the list of WORST charities you will find the Breast Cancer Relief Foundation. The CEO makes roughly $162,000 per year and the president makes roughly $103,000 per year. Not too shabby in regard to their salaries because let me tell you, I have seen WAY WORSE. Some CEOs of charities are making MILLIONS of dollars. In a 10 year span, they raised around 63.9 Million dollars, and paid out 44.8 million to solicitors. Solicitors essentially get the donations for the organization so these monies are normally going to employees of the actual charity itself or major companies that support the charity (makes zero sense on that one right?) and those who host fundraisers. Now, how much did the Breast Cancer Relief Foundation actually pay to those like me? Well, in 10 years, 1.4 million went to direct aid which may seem like a lot, but it actually only equates to 2.2% of total revenue given to the organization itself. So, with this charity, for every dollar you donate, 98% is going towards overhead, companies, salaries, and fundraisers, while only 2% is going towards those who need it. In my opinion this is not a good ratio for your hard earned dollars.
The next Breast Cancer charity on the worst list is the Woman to Woman Breast Cancer Foundation. This is a smaller foundation so the money amount will be smaller, but the distribution is worse than the aforementioned charity above. This charity is a husband and wife team. So the CFO made roughly $39,000 in 2014 and his wife, the CEO made roughly $38,000 in 2014. In a 10 year span, they netted roughly 19.4 million dollars and 18,2 million was paid to solicitors. in the 10 years they filed tax returns, only $58,708 went towards direct aid - which works out to be 0.3% of all revenue going towards someone like myself or screenings for those that are less fortunate. The fact that this charity only gave 0.3% to patients is what is unfortunate about this case, and even worse that the CEO is a breast cancer survivor herself.
Now - let us just use a general cancer foundation. We will take a look at the Cancer Fund of America. The CEO salary in 2011 was $236,815 and the CFO salary in 2011 was $121,152. In a 10 year span, they generated 86,6 million dollars in donations. They gave 74.4 Million to solicitors, and a measly $853,491 went to direct aid to cancer patients within a 10 year span. That equates to 1.0% of total monies made going towards people that actually have cancer.
These are just examples of how charities don't always put the money you donate where it belongs - to the people who truly need it. My advice for all of you who donate to charities is to understand and know where your money is going. Yes donate to charities - but makes sure that a reasonable percentage is going towards those you are trying to help.
This is the main reason why I want you all to know where your money is going that you donate to our crowdfunding campaign through GoFund Me. I want you to know that your money isn't going towards luxuries in life - it is going towards SAVING MY LIFE. We have reached out to breast cancer organizations that are supposed to help women and their families get to locations so that the cancer patient has a good support system with them, but I already knew this was a very lost cause. Beware of anything that says "awareness" because normally that means that the money donated goes towards giving hospitals pamphlets on certain issues rather than actually fighting it. The awareness part is all most what is the most troubling, because you have no idea how many doctors I had to go through to get a straight answer about my cancer. Many thought I was way too young to have breast cancer, and they are right. I don't fit the epidemiological profile for a breast cancer patient, but the fact of the matter is - cancer does not discriminate based on your age, sex, skin color, ect. Sometimes cancer just happens, and in my case more than likely it is genetic.
Don't even get me started on how difficult it has been to get my genetic profile back and I am STILL WAITING to receive them because my doctor likes to hoard information, which is awful for a cancer patient. For some strange reason they want to wait until the 13th of June to go over my MRI, which I already have, and my genetic profile - and I finally had to tell them that I was going to be seen at UNC and they still do not want to give up my genetic test. It is my genetics - not DR. Tarhar, not the hospital, they are mine and I have rights to them. The fact that this physician is flat out refusing to release them to me so I can take them to UNC is a bit appalling. Every doctor I have spoken to outside of Dr. Tarhar's office has asked me where I am going to for treatment - and when I say UNC they all tell me good, do not stay in Vegas for your care.
If you are curious about the top worst charities there is a link below which you can look up specific information. Digging up some information can actually be quite difficult. This is probably the best compilation I have seen for charities, and Forbes also gives up some good information about where the money goes when donated to charity. I am not saying don't donate, but know how your dollar is being spent. I donate to charities that I know is helping those who truly need the funds. You want most of your money to go towards the people who actually need it. If your money is just padding pockets, it isn't worth your hard earned dollars. Give back, but give back to those who need it.
Thank you for all the support and love. We never feel alone with all of you by our side.