BBB's Wise Giving Alliance Urges Donors to be Vigilant Following Government Settlement with Cancer Charities

  
     
March 31, 2016

Arlington, VA, March 30, 2016 -- Following a settlement today with the FTC, all 50 states, and the District of Columbia that dissolves two fraudulent cancer charities, the Cancer Fund of America and Cancer Support Services, the BBB Wise Giving Alliance (BBB WGA) urges donors to remain vigilant in researching charities before donating to avoid charitable scams.

The Cancer Fund of America and Cancer Support Services will be forced to dissolve and its leaders will be banned from working for nonprofits moving forward, as part of today’s settlement.

“The Cancer Fund of America and Cancer Support Services swindled donors and broke the trust of the public,” said H. Art Taylor, president and CEO of the BBB WGA. “While we’re pleased to see these organizations shutter their doors, unfortunately this isn’t a unique case and it should serve as a strong reminder to donors to stay vigilant when donating. BBB WGA is committed to helping donors avoid questionable charities by providing easy to use reports for quick reference before giving. Both the Cancer Fund of America and Cancer Support Services did not disclose information to BBB WGA, which could have been an early red flag. Charities that do not disclose information to BBB WGA are simply not invested in helping donors make wise giving decisions.”

Following the closing of the Cancer Fund of America and Cancer Support Services, BBB WGA provided three key tips to avoid future deception:

  • Research before giving. Use the easy-to-read reports at Give.org to verify the trustworthiness of a charity. Find out whether the charity meets the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability.

  • Evaluate what information you’re asked to give. If the information you are being asked to share seems odd, it probably is. Don’t feel pressed to give information or an immediate donation. A credible organization will not pressure you.

  • Find the best way to give. Charities often value the donation of time in addition to monetary donations to keep providing their services.

In 2015, BBB WGA joined the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), State Attorneys General, and State Charity Regulators to help donors avoid questionable fundraising. The FTC and State Attorneys General announced a major action against three national charities, Cancer Fund of America, Children’s Cancer Fund of America, and Breast Cancer Society due to severe transgressions in the organizations’ fundraising, financial reporting, and board oversight.

About BBB Wise Giving Alliance:

BBB Wise Giving Alliance (BBB WGA) is a standards-based charity evaluator that seeks to verify the trustworthiness of nationally-soliciting charities by completing rigorous evaluations based on 20 holistic standards that address charity governance, effectiveness reporting, finances, fundraising, appeal accuracy, and other issues. National charity reports are produced by the BBB WGA and local charity reports are produced by local Better Business Bureaus – all reports are available at Give.org.