October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Hide Caption

Think before you go Pink this month

Don't Waste Your Money

a a a a
Share this story

All of us like to help out a good cause every now and then. And with October being breast cancer month, it seems every store and product is urging us to "buy pink."

But not every pink item really gives to the cause.

So how can you tell if that charity is a good cause, or a personal ATM machine for the people who run it? We have some ways to protect yourself.

Pink Items Mean Donations

They're all over the grocery store: Pink labeled potato chips, pink labeled paper towels, even pink cans of soup,

Shoppers, eager to support the fight against breast cancer, are scooping them up.

I asked one shopper if she would be more inclined to buy one of these products because it has the ribbon. Her answer: "I would probably buy them, yes."

A while back, I stood outside a supermarket parking lot with a handful of "pink" items. Everyone I showed the pink ribbon paper towels and soup cans to said it's a great idea.

No one would disagree with that.

$9 Million Went Where?

But two years ago, in 2011, New York State sued the "Coalition Against Breast Cancer," a Long Island, NY-based charity that has raised $9 million in recent years according to the lawsuit.

New York's Attorney General claimed nearly every one of those $9 million went to pay insiders, with the tiniest percent of money going to research and mammograms.

But savvy donors would have avoided the charity long ago. Both the Better Business Bureau and Charity Navigator rate charities. Both had issued advisories about this group, for failing to disclose how its money is used.

Check Out Your Pink Products

Unfortunately, not all pink products help the case the same way. The FTC urges consumers to beware "pink washing" and "pink profiteering," where little to no money goes to the cause.

When buying a pink item, look for a pink ribbon and label that says it supports Susan G. Komen For the Cure.  (Or Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure).

The Komen seal means it has been approved by the Komen charitable foundation, and that a majority of the money will go to the cause.

And if you are contacted by someone, before giving money to any charity you're not sure about, check with these two excellent charity rating sites. Click here for Charity Navigator, click here for the BBB.

They should be able to tell you if a charity is a worthy cause, or a case of don't waste your money.

________________

Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

"Like" John Matarese on Facebook

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Print this article

Comments

Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!

More DWYM
These local stores have the most pricing errors
These local stores have the most pricing errors

John Matarese went undercover to several local stores to confirm what many shoppers fear: You are being charged more than the shelf tag.

Cincinnati gas prices jump to 8-month high
Cincinnati gas prices jump to 8-month high

John Matarese looks into the rising price of gasoline

Need MRI or CT scan? How to save hundreds
Need MRI or CT scan? How to save hundreds

John Matarese shows a great alternative to expensive hospital scans

Free Shred Day this Saturday
Free Shred Day this Saturday

John Matarese has details on a  major free shredding event

Apps that can be dangerous for children
Apps that can be dangerous for children

Is it really a friend or is it a predator? Unless you are actively monitoring your child's smartphone and tablet apps, you are not…

Gasoline, beef prices soaring
Gasoline, beef prices soaring

John Matarese looks into higher prices hitting just as spring arrives

'Heartbleed' flaw exposes millions of passwords
'Heartbleed' flaw exposes millions of passwords

An alarming lapse in Internet security has exposed millions of passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive bits of information to…

How to save BIG on Reds tickets
How to save BIG on Reds tickets

If you couldn't make it to Opening Day, there’s still plenty of time to see the Cincinnati Reds this season – and for cheap.

"One Ring" phone scam getting worse

John Matarese warns about the "One-Ring" scam

Cobalt, Saturn owners anxious for repair
Cobalt, Saturn owners anxious for repair

John Matarese reports on the wait for ignition switch repairs