Just because a product has a pink ribbon on it, that doesn’t always mean your money is going toward breast cancer research, according to the BBB.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and if you’re looking to donate to a charity before the month ends, you need to make sure that the organization you’re giving your money to is legit.
According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the pink ribbon that has become associated with breast cancer is not trademarked, so any company or organization can use it on a product or campaign. They can claim that part of the money you’re giving them will go toward breast cancer awareness or research efforts, even when it doesn’t.
“They see something pink saying it’s going to the good cause, they might not ask any questions,” said Reanna Smith-Hamblin, the President and CEO of the BBB.
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When a company does this, it’s known as “pinkwashing.” If you want to avoid these kinds of scams, the BBB recommends the following:
1. Contact the company directly
If you have questions about where your money is going, contact the company directly. Ask them how much of your contribution is used for program services, how much will go for fundraising and management expenses. You can also request that they provide documentation to back up their claims.
2. Use the BBB Wise-Giving Alliance tool
You can check online to see if the charity you’re donating to has been evaluated by the BBB Wise-Giving Alliance on give.org. The BBB looks at 20 different standards and rates each organization, so you can be informed about where your donation is going.
Research local programs in your community that are raising money for breast cancer research or awareness. If you don’t know where to start, contact your local law enforcement agency and they should be able to point you in the right direction.
You can check to see if there are any active scams in your area by visiting the Better Business Bureau website.
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