It’s almost October, and that means we’re coming up on Pink World. Everyone is out shilling their pink breast cancer program and asking you to buy their product and donate money to breast cancer.
Here’s the thing. I’m not horribly averse to all the pinkification of breast cancer, not as much as some bloggers I follow. But, the longer I’m living with the cloud of breast cancer in my life, the more I react negatively to the pink ribbon fest that occurs every October and here’s what I’d like you to consider.
Products that use the pink ribbon in their advertising programs for the month of October are making money off of women with breast cancer. That’s a fact. I have first-hand experience with this because I worked on a corporate campaign that supported the Komen Foundation back in my corporate days and believe me, we made a lot of money from our cause-related marketing campaign supporting breast cancer awareness.
As the leader of this campaign, I was very passionate about making sure that we worked very hard to ensure that we educated women about breast cancer, and distributed information about breast cancer at hundreds of events across the country and to our own employees as well. But, I would never have been able to get the company to fund the Komen sponsorship program costs if we weren’t also seeing huge sales results behind the campaign every year.
So, here are my recommendations this October so that you can be smart and educated about where you donate money for breast cancer initiatives.
1. Do some research before making a donation; your donation to any non-profit organization is your stake in the ground showing that you support them and their programs. Take the time to be sure you are fully committed to what they stand for.
2. Make sure the organization is a a 50l(c)3 which means they’re registered as an official non-profit organization and are governed by rigorous governmental requirements regarding how they operate. It also means that your contributions to this organization will be tax deductible, an important thing to consider if you’re interested in donating to any cause.
3. Go to the organization’s website and check to see how efficient the organization is, and how much money they’re spending on the cause vs. on their own staffing, infrastructure, etc. It’s a governmental requirement that a non-profit spend at least 65% of their budget on programming. However, there are many organizations who deliver a much higher ratio of program spending vs. overhead expenses like staffing and office space, etc. and allocate as much as 85% – 92% of their budget to programs.
4. Check out the programs that the breast cancer organization supports. Are you interested in helping pay for awareness of breast cancer? Or are you interested in research to find a cure? Or, do you want to donate to an organization that provides a specific service to women going through the process of breast cancer, such as free mammograms, rides to chemotherapy, financial support to women going through breast cancer who can’t afford the medical treatments, etc.
There are organizations for all of these concerns, take the time to find the one that best suits where you want your money to be focused.
5. Now, I’ll get on my soapbox and tell you where I’ll be putting MY money (hey, it’s my blog, I’m allowed to preach) this October and where I’d love you to donate as well.
I’m a firm believer in finding a cure for breast cancer and believe that research is the key, so I put 99% of my breast cancer donations towards these two organizations. Both of them are very focused on researching the causes and finding a cure for breast cancer and that’s something I can get behind, every month of the year.