Every so often, I am consulted for my opinion on breast cancer charities and foundations. Which ones are “good” and which ones aren’t, et cetera.
I define “good” by two criteria:
- Have they been vetted by an independent third-party evaluator like Charity Navigator for U.S. based charities, or Fundraising Regulator (covering England, Wales and Northern Ireland), and if yes, what did they score and why?
- Do they manage a lean budget with transparent data points about operating costs versus money allocated to actual research?
If either of these answers are murky, they are not going to get my time or my dollars, nor will I recommend them to the companies who seek out my opinion as a breast cancer survivor on where they should donate, especially as we gear up for October and Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
There are four organizations that I have gotten to know this year (so far), and they have captured my attention for all the right reasons.
CoppaFeel!, based in the U.K. I love their opening home page statement, which boldly addresses the fact that breast cancer is not just a disease impacting women:
Boarding for Breast Cancer
Boarding for Breast Cancer (B4BC), focused on the skateboarding community. Redondo Beach and Santa Monica area peeps, consider turning out for their 15th Annual Skate the Coast event October 15th & 16th. If I lived there, I’d be all up in this 19-mile ride like nobody’s business, wearing my pink ribbon breast cancer awareness earrings (never met a beaded statement earring I didn’t love) and all pink from head to toe because I have claimed this color in the name of prevention!
Brighter Magazine, which I’ve written about before. Based here in Dallas, the group behind this magazine has launched an ambitious and mission-critical fundraising goal of $50,000. I am so touched by the mission behind this magazine, which will fill a huge void in the market – women affected by all types of cancer care just as much as anybody else about lifestyle topics. The mainstream magazines don’t really do it for us, as our entire lives have changed post-cancer. I am fully behind this magazine’s purpose and consider myself a loyal reader already, only four issues in.
This last one is not a charity, per se, but it’s a product that I am embarrassed to say I never considered until just recently. As far as sunscreen is concerned, it is only very recently that I have made the switch to mineral-based. I probably should have known, but I didn’t really pay attention to the fact that mainstream sunscreens can be made with chemicals linked to cancer.
Then again, is it realistic to be aware of and to rid all your routines of any potential cancer-linked ingredient? I seriously doubt it.
That aside, I loved what I learned about Blue Lizard and TropicSport, the latter founded by a lymphoma survivor after five years of trial and error to create the perfect mineral-based sunscreen. I really dig their Give Back program, which donates 20% of TropicSport’s sales to like-minded organizations through the company’s local communities and affinity programs.
I’ll be following all of the above-mentioned organizations’ moves closely and depending on what I discover, may very well direct my donation dollars to them in the future.
If you’ve had any experience with these, or if you have others that appear to really walk their talk with respect to breast cancer research, let me know! I have no doubt that there are a lot of outstanding groups out there, many below the radar, that are doing difference-making work, and I want to know who they are.