As a physician who provides medical care and advice to women diagnosed with breast cancer, I feel I must speak out against this supposed charity. Several of patients asked whether i would recommend donating to BCPFafter they had received phone solicitations. I told them I'd look into it. What I learned greatly angered me - although BCPF does spend a small amount of donations on funding mammograms, 80% of the money goes directly to the telemarketing making the call which also happens to be owned by BCPF's president. The telemarketers hired have no medical degree or training and are paid near minimum wage to read from a script and solicit money.
From numerous postings I've read on the internet, this is clearly a very lucrative business for BCPF's president since his telemarketing company benefits from an exclusive contract that pays it around $2 million a year. This means he is keeping millions of dollars for himself that BCPF had promised to be used for providing free mammograms to uninsured women. This shameless self-dealing has deprived tens of thousands of women of receiving this life saving diagnosis.
I can honestly say that I have never seen a more blatant charity scam in my life. I fully expect that his day of reckoning lies ahead when the IRS finally takes notice and strips BCPF of its tax exempt status and forces the return of millions of dollars that was wrongly converted from public donations into private profits.
Until then, take my advice and donate your money instead to the American Cancer Society where it will truly help a cancer patient. Given the polar reviews that appear here, I would have to agree that the positive ones are likely either posted or solicited by BCPF and are not to be believed. Note that not a single one mentions the enormous conflict of interest that exists with BCPF's president ownership of the telemarketing company.
I too received a call from this group; and I am always leery of charities that do fundraising via telephone. My first stop was this web site, and I was surprised by the number of great reports and the few poor ones; so I did my own research. I found that this group does much more than just grants for breast cancer screenings. Their outreach programs educate women on the importance of regular mammograms, refers and schedules these women for these exams, and educates on breast self exams. My own cancer was first found by me when I was doing a breast self exam. I then went to the clinic concerned about the lumps I found, met with a DR and had a mammogram. Lucky for me the lumps were not cancer. The reviews I read here criticizing this charity because they granted only 25% of the money they raised for mammography services totally overlooks the other work they do. Shame on you idiots for not doing your homework. It's a huge sacrifice to do charitable work, and people who do well do not need to be criticized by others who are not doing anything.
Review from Guidestar
I'm writing to apologize to the few people who are upset at receiving our telephone calls.
All you have to do is phone me directly at the Breast Cancer Prevention Fund's toll-free number: 1-866-486-4344. Yes, you will probably get my voice mail, because I get over 150-calls each day; mostly from women who need a mammogram, and I am busy scheduling them with local clinics.
Review from Guidestar
I have worked as a liason between the CDC and the states Departments of Health; specifically the breast health programs underwritten by Congress an administered at the state level. These programs have often struggled with funding (Clfornia has been closedsince January) and have never had resources to fund outreach progams. This group focuses on outreach programs to educate the public and motivate women to get breast cancer screenings. We have seen the results at the state levels, and applaud thier results. Unfortunately, outreach program results can be difficult to quantify. But the Breast Cancer Preventon Fund does a good job here, and no one else is doing it.
I was called and asked to donate and said I would. I then went on-line and read their IRS form 990 for 2008 and saw that they spent $3 million dollars to raise the $550,000 they gave away. This is highly suspicious to me. While they say there are no administrative costs, it is clear that a fund raising firm is making a great deal of money, of which approximately less than 17% goes to help women who need mammograms.
I am incredulous that this org's grantees have posted such laudatory reviews! Your postings means this org gets an average 4 star rating on this site! Jim Paton who is a partial owner of Legacy Marketing (a telephone marketing company)is also the head of BC Prevention Fund. As ED of the BCPF he takes no compensation, but in 2008 BCPF raised $3.8M and paid Legacy $2.3M for "outreach services" and only made $550,000 in grants to hospitals and other nonprofits for direct services such as mammograms -- that's only 14%. The remaining app. $1M went to expenses such as telephones, etc. BCPF 990 is no longer available on its website. What kind of "outreach services" are being provided for $2.3M? Probably the telephone calls soliciting donations! Google this org's name and read the comments on the sites complaining about the telemarketing calls. A "Great Nonprofit" -- I don't think so.
I want to comment on the activities of this organization: My professional career has been spent working for Non-profits. This includes fundraising, accounting, outreach activities, and administration. The Breast Cancer Prevention Fund’s mission is “…To ensure that all women over 40-years old receive regular mammograms, and know how to perform breast self exams…” In order to fulfill this mission, the charity has to carry on large outreach campaigns. The Breast Cancer Prevention Fund reached over 2,000,000 women last year through telephone outreach activities and mailed out almost 200,000 instructional cards on breast self exams. They also refer and schedule women for breast cancer screenings over the telephone. These activities can be expensive, but are usually the most efficient means to reach the people you are trying to serve (un-insured women over 40 years old). This organization contracts this service out to a private company because the private company can do it for less money. To imply that this “sleazy” is irresponsible. I have been a donor for 5-years and will continue to donate to this organization. If you doubt their effectiveness, just read the comments from those they have helped. (By the way: their founder works full-time running this organization, yet he does not take any compensation. How is this “sleazy”?)
Review from Guidestar
Breast Cancer Prevention Fund (BCPF)is a wonderful non-profit organization. I am the Director of Cancer Services at a large inner- city hospital located in downtown Los Angeles. Our Cancer Program has had the great pleasure of working with the BCPF. Over the past 2 years we have received 2 large donations from the BCPF to support FREE MAMMOGRAMS for our uninsured/underinsured women in our community. We are blessed to be partnering with the BCPF... Together we are saving women's lives. What a rewarding mission. Thank you BCPF. We could not make such a differnce without you. Sincerely, The Cecilia Gonzalez De La Hoya Cancer Center
I supervise the Swedish Mobile Mammography Program at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. We recently received a large donation from the Breast Cancer Prevention Fund that will allow us to provide more services for our underserved and uninsured population. I have personally met with the call center staff and they are the most passioned and committed people I have ever met. They truly believe that they are making a difference.....AND they are! This is honestly a non-profit organization that walks the walk and I'm proud that our program can provide this much needed service because of their donation.
Towards the end of 2008, the Breast Cancer Prevention Fund approached our mobile mammography company, Inner Images, Inc., and asked if we have a need for funding to provide mammograms to women in the State of California. There are several great programs for women over 40, but there is a lack of screening programs offered to the under 40 group. So, the Early Detection, Early Prevention Program was developed, and we are now able to provide FREE screening mammograms to women under the age of 40 who have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer. I have spoken with several patients that have used this program, and they could not even begin to express the relief that they feel knowing that they do not have to live in fear that they are developing breast cancer like their mother, aunt, grandmother, and that is going undetected. Many women spend months trying to tack down these types of services, and thanks to the Breast Cancer Prevention Fund, it is becoming easier for these women to find the services they need to save their lives. Thank you so much to the Breast Cancer Prevention Fund! Early Detection is the key to saving lives!