Jun. 8, 2008

ACS gets a 2 star Charity navigator rating

The American Cancer Society, probably most prominent for their "Relay for Life" events, was given only a 2 star (out of 4) Charity Navigator rating. I'm not trying to say that those of you who support the ACS should immediately stop their efforts or that the ACS is a unworthy recipient of your hard-earned money, all I'm saying is educate yourself first, then chose a foundation that will represent you and your interests best.

There are a couple of points that I don't quite understand about the ACS:
  • Reserves of assets
Shouldn't the $88,700,000 excess be used for research and to fight cancer, not to accumulate financial reserves? Just as a comparison, the LAF (3 star rating) had a deficit of $-5,391,455, the National Cancer Coalition had an excess of $368,543.
  • compensation of CEO: $659,676
Don't get me wrong, I do believe CEO's should be paid well, but that's in comparison to other charities, that's almost twice as much as their CEO's were getting (LAF: $311,423, National Cancer Coalition:$232,498).
  • questions about contributions to the Republican National Committee: The ACS explaines the contributions as encouragement or sponsorship of "voter registration, candidate questionnaires, or political forums. That's fine, but why not include candidates of other political parties?
Matthew Zachary of "The Stupid Cancer Blog" and "I'm 2 Young for this" has written an interesting blog entry about the topic, that certainly makes you think about what cancer foundation to support : American Cancer Society: The World's Wealthiest "Nonprofit"

It certainly proves the point that you should get all the information necessary and educate yourself about what cause you want to support, before making a commitment. I definitely learned that during the recent scandal involving the use of donations at UNICEF's German branch, which resulted in the branch losing the seal of approval from the country's leading watchdog for charities (DZI).

1 comment:

Diogenes said...

Not only Charity Navigator, but the Chronicle of Philanthropy as well, characterizes the ACS as a bloated,administratively top-heavy mega-charity more intent on the accumulation of wealth than the "war" on cancer, in which the ACS seems to side with the enemy (drug manufacturers, chemical companies). You might check with Dr. Samuel Epstein and the site "Boycott the American Cancer Society" - an effort gaining strength. There are much more worthy cancer charities.