My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, White Plains, NY, USA
I have lymphoma, have attended the local LLS support group for blood cancer (the only one around), am a first connection volunteer who has called newly diagnosed patients, have attended the excellent Highlights of ASH (annual blood cancer conference) shindig in San Francisco, have visited local political representatives with the organization, and am a multi-year Team In Training (TNT) participant. I recently spoke as a patient at Stanford Hospital - where many doctors are supporting and speak highly of the organization - they have a Stanford hospital TNT team.
The local San Jose office staff are great in my opinion. The organization is the major blood cancer advocate in my area.
TNT is a good thing. I don't like asking for money and have felt guilty about benefiting from LLS sponsoring trips to potentially far flung locations. That said, most of my events are local (Wildflower), I drive to them, and sleep on the ground in a tent, but I also went to Hawaii. I also donate and my company matches, participants can donate their own $'s if they feel bad about administrative overhead. I guess 25% overhead is normal, but I'd like non-profit overhead to be 0% like everyone else, but we have to live in reality, local staff don't seem overpaid. I'm also not enamored of high CEO salaries, but I'd probably have to say that most CEO's in Silicon Valley have better salaries, but they're not running non-profits.
Best for TNT is that in addition to helping patient, it also get participants off the couch, into good shape, and significantly improves participant health. So they help patients, raise money for research, whip participants into shape, etc. What's not great about that!
One of the other reviewers is correct, you can't swing a dead cat in the Bay Area without hitting a TNT'er. Go Team!
They've improved my life. I brought my entire family to Hawaii (on my dime of course) and hence even my wife and kids are heartier, healthier, and sexy as hell:-) Now my 16 year old son is biking with me and will go to Wildflower (I'm paying) with me this year. He's wearing an old TNT jersey of course - his only biking top!
I've been a TNT honoree (cancer survivor) every year I've participated. My blood cancer isn't curable, but it seems to be stable. I hope to participate for many more years.
I'm not a charity expert, but I have worried about this, did my own investigation (e.g. reading all these reviews) and my take is:
* LLS is as about good as most charities from an overhead standpoint
* Of course training and sending loads of people to events is overhead, but it's really good overhead.
* Most of my friends are going to donate to charity (Go Friends!), LLS is as good a choice as any
I judge things in life by the rule would it be good if everyone did it or no one did it. By this rule littering is bad, spending more time with your children good, and TNT good. If everyone did TNT we'd all be in better shape, live longer, and health care costs would go down - that's before any of the funds raised go to research and patient services.
It's not easy to get fat Americans off the couch. I know my couch is pretty comfortable. As soon as I ask my family/friends to donate to my TNT fundraising my fate is sealed, I have to do it. That's the kind of positive peer pressure we all need. I ran to work today, without my TNT event looming over me I would never have done that. My big, fat, gas guzzling SUV sat in the driveway all day. I should park it on the couch:-)
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