Reponse to Tampa Bay Times and AC360
To the Survivors and Supporters We Call Family:
Giving back to the community, and specifically providing services to survivors and their families dealing with the challenges of a breast cancer diagnosis, is a mission that drives me. It is a value that was central to my upbringing, and a value that I hope I will instill in my children.
Somehow, my family’s lifelong commitment to giving back to those battling cancer has been levied against us as if it is something we should be ashamed of. A reporter who has never met me and has no interest in reporting the truth about The Breast Cancer Society, has recently suggested that there is something amiss because members of my family are independently involved in separate cancer charities.
Here’s what the Tampa Bay Times didn’t report:
- Our financial documentation is reviewed and audited each year by independent auditing firms and are reported on IRS Form 990 to the IRS and many state and regulatory bodies around the country. These are the same standard reports by which all other charities are reviewed.
- Our most recent, independently audited 990 affirms that approximately 75% of our total revenues went directly to our charitable tax-exempt programs!
- Our total administration costs account for less than 2% of our total funds raised – An important accomplishment that few national charities with our reach can boast of!
These are not opinions– they are the findings of independent, certified accountants. This is information that we shared with the author of the Tampa Bay Times article. But none of these facts were included in the article, which was then used as the basis for a CNN story by Anderson Cooper. Cooper’s crew was equally made aware of these facts – we can only assume they were not used in the story because they challenged the broadcast’s tidy narrative.
Given the way our responses were treated, we do not have any second thoughts about declining to do an interview CNN. We have no faith in the integrity of their editorial process.
I want to be very clear. I am not ashamed of devoting my life to providing for cancer survivors, patients and their families. I am not ashamed of the tens of thousands of women that we have served, the women whose courageous faces and personal testimonials adorn our website and public education materials and who the media has chosen to deceptively ignore and discount. I am certainly not ashamed that after working side-by-side with Communications Director Kristina Hixson, who has lost four members of her family to cancer, I was lucky enough to walk down the aisle with her this past summer as her devoted husband.
The Breast Cancer Society strives to help donors understand how to research charities, so that they are educated about their donation. In fact, in early June we published an article on our web page, with tips to help donors educate themselves: http://www.breastcancersociety.org/2013/05/can-i-avoid-a-breast-cancer-scam.
Despite one reckless and misleading news report, we will remain committed to transparency. You can learn more about where your donation goes, by clicking here.
I also invite you to learn more about The Breast Cancer Society, and why we are drawn to this work by clicking here.
Family is what drives The Breast Cancer Society. You are our family. Our one and only priority is serving– the men and women suffering from breast cancer, their families, our supporters, the critically ill, and the impoverished. This is our mission and our passion, and will continue to be, and for that I will certainly not apologize.
James T. Reynolds, II
President / CEO
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