Give Wisely this Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with BBB Tips

October 16, 2017

breast cancer awarenessDuring the month of October pink products are promoted to support breast cancer awareness and research.  Donating to a charitable cause is always worthwhile. However, did you know that some of these products have charity donation caps and other limitations that may not be apparent to those interested in supporting the cause? Better Business Bureau of Central New England urges consumers to think before purchasing pink and to always research product claims.

Consumers should be aware that the widely recognized pink ribbon on products and promotional materials does not necessarily mean that the company donates to a charity or organization; sometimes it can simply mean they support the cause. Other companies do in fact donate a portion of profits from specific products or brand sales to an organization but it is important to research the claims to be aware of how much will be donated and to which charitable cause. Sometimes there a cap on the amount that will be donated, but the company may continue to brand their products with the pink ribbon, which may lead consumers to think their purchase is contributing to a donation, when it actually may not be.

“There are many organizations and foundations that support breast cancer awareness and research. Many market heavily and partnering with large corporations to boost donations during October, which has become known as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” said Nancy B. Cahalen, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central New England. “Be sure to research the organization and corporate partnership to know how donated funds are allocated.”

There are many companies that sell pink products where a portion of the sale price goes directly to the charity the business is supporting. While the majority of these efforts are trustworthy, consumers should take the following steps to double check their efforts will go where they are needed:

  • Ask questions. Find out what percentage of the sale price will be donated, to which charity and how the funds will be used.
  • Research the business. Learn more about the business you’re purchasing from by checking their BBB Business Review at
  • Confirm the charity’s corporate partners. Many national breast cancer charities list corporate partners and sponsors on their website. Check to make sure the business you’re purchasing from is associated with the charity.
  • Consider a direct donation. Find a charity you trust and make a donation directly. If you donate online, be sure to print the confirmation page for your records – many donations are tax-deductible.