Americans are very giving people by nature. We want to help people in pain, people in need, hungry children, and so much more. When we’re called upon to give for the sake of curing cancer, an illness that touches and takes the lives of so many millions of Americans each year, we want to step up to the plate and give. We want to help find a cure. Most of us know that our help will never make a significant difference in countless medical facilities around the world, but we can open our wallets, just as we have opened our hearts, in an effort to help find a cure.
Then we turn on the news and see headlines about an American Cancer Society scam being discovered, uncovered, and dismantled followed by tearful stories of people who were victimized for opening their hearts and wallets to would-be swindlers. These stories touch our hearts just as much as the others and have us putting our wallets back into our pockets and handbags as though nothing has happened.
No one wins in this scenario. You can give in a manner that allows you the privilege of giving responsibly while also minimizing your risks of being scammed or swindled. If you’re like most Americans, the term give until it hurts is appropriate. Most families in the U.S. do not have a lot of additional money floating around. Money that’s given to charitable organizations is a sacrifice — one that almost any American would make willingly in order to stamp out cancer once and for all.
That means you can’t really afford to invest in anything less than the right charities and organizations — the ones that are going to do the most good with the money you invest. That’s why it’s so important to be proactive with your giving and take steps like these to ensure your money is going where you intend it to.
Choose Charitable Recipients Wisely
The American Cancer Society has an excellent reputation. However, not every group claiming to represent The Breast Cancer Society actually does. Even worse are those claiming loose affiliations with this widely recognized and respected organization. Don’t simply take their word for it.
Get documentation, literature, and other facts about the organization. Do your own research to see if the materials they provide you with match what you find on the Internet in regards to the organization. Talk with people who have been helped by the organization. They are often the greatest testimonials to the good deeds the group does with donated dollars by far.
Donate Dollars Directly to the Organization
Most scam groups operate almost exclusively on the Internet. That isn’t to say there aren’t door-to-door collectors who are fronts for scamp organizations. You should never give to people collecting donations in that manner either. The other benefit of making donations directly to the organization of your choice, such as The Breast Cancer Society, is that you’re saving them the added expenses of active fundraising.
There are countless government oversights and restrictions governing charitable institutions. One of which is the requirement that the organization file a Form 990 each year with the IRS. Many organizations offer this document on their websites for all to see. Some even print out annual reports for high dollar donors to see all the good works their dollars have funded though anyone can gain access to this document and some groups post this on their websites as well.
Honest charitable organizations, after all, want the general public to see what they’re doing so that the donation money continues flowing in and the people they can help know where to turn to get that help whether it’s medical laboratories seeking cures that need funding or hospice and recovery facilities in need of supplies.
The bottom line is that your donations, no matter how big or small, matter to these charitable groups and organizations. The act of donating itself matters to you as someone who loves, has loved, or will someday love someone who has cancer. Taking the steps to avoid an American Cancer Society scam makes sure your donations get where you want them and prevent you from skipping out on these vital donations altogether.