Cancer Fund-Raising Organizations
Numerous private cancer fund-raising organizations operate locally and
nationally in the United States. None of these is affiliated with the National Cancer Institute
(NCI), which is the Federal Government's agency for cancer research.
As a Federal agency, the NCI receives most of its operating budget through congressional
appropriations. The NCI may also accept contributions for cancer research, but the Institute
does not solicit funds or conduct campaigns to raise funds. Although some private cancer
organizations refer to the NCI and include the toll-free telephone number for the NCI's
Cancer Information Service in their fund-raising literature, the Institute does not participate
in or endorse their fund-raising activities.
Because the NCI is a research agency, not a regulatory agency, the Institute is not in a
position to monitor or comment on the fund-raising practices or programs of other cancer
organizations. Moreover, the NCI does not endorse or suggest specific organizations to which
individuals may contribute. The NCI does, however, publish a fact sheet called National
Organizations That Offer Services to People With Cancer and Their Families, which lists
many organizations that provide cancer-related services and support cancer research. This is
not a comprehensive list of such organizations, and inclusion on the list does not imply
endorsement by the NCI. It is available at http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/support/organizations on the Internet and from the NCI sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
You can use the following questions to evaluate the operations of a fund-raising
organization and make an informed decision about contributing to the organization:
Is the organization willing to make public its budget and a complete annual report,
including an audit by an independent certified public accountant?
Are the group's fund-raising and administrative costs reasonable?
Does the organization use ethical and economical fund-raising methods?
Is the management of the organization made public?
- Is the information it distributes misleading, deceptive, or inaccurate?
You may also wish to contact the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, an affiliate of the Council of
Better Business Bureaus, for free information on the practices of selected charitable
organizations. The BBB Wise Giving Alliance, formed in 2001 by the merger of the National
Charities Information Bureau and the Philanthropic Advisory Service of the Council of Better
Business Bureaus' Foundation, uses specific standards for charitable solicitation to
evaluate the fund-raising activities of private, nonprofit organizations. These standards
address the practices of public disclosure, financial accountability, fund-raising activities
and materials, and the governing body of the organization. You may obtain this information on
the Internet at http://www.give.org/inquire/index.asp or contact
the Alliance headquarters directly at:
BBB Wise Giving Alliance
4200 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22203–1838
Web site: http://www.give.org
Local Better Business Bureaus (BBBs) also report on local fund-raising organizations. The
address for the office nearest you is available in your telephone directory, and on the
BBB's Web site at http://lookup.bbb.org/ on the
You can also obtain information on charitable organizations from:
Consumer Response Center
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.
Washington, DC 20580
Web site: http://www.ftc.gov
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Publications (available on http://cancer.gov/publications)
National Cancer Institute (NCI) Resources
- Cancer Information Service (toll-free)
- Telephone: 1–800–4–CANCER (1–800–422–6237)
- TTY: 1–800–332–8615
- NCI's Web site: http://cancer.gov
LiveHelp, NCI's live online assistance: