Watch where your donations go

Some charities aren’t what you think.  If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, guess what, sometimes it isn’t even a duck.  Read on.

James Reynolds, Sr. from Tennessee along with his ex-wife and son set up a few charities.  Such as The Cancer Fund of America in Knoxville, Tennessee and its affiliated Cancer Support Services; The Breast Cancer Society in Mesa, Arizona; and the Children’s Cancer Fund of America in Powell, Tennessee.  The charities then hired telemarketers to collect donations from people across country, telling stories to the consumers about providing financial aid and other support to indigent cancer patients, including pain meds, transportation to chemo visits and hospice care.   However, most of the $$ is gone another way.

Cancer Fund of America was formed in 1987 and is now featured on America’s Worst Charities.  James Reynolds is listed as President and CEO; he drew over $200,000 in salary as of 2011.  Kyle Effler, a long-time family friend, is listed as CFO and his salary was over $100,000 in 2011.  Most of the collected donations went to pay the solicitors and of course, salaries.  Only a small percentage was spent on direct cash aid.  Such as 0.07% in 2007.   Cancer Fund has a profile on ZoomInfo that in retrospect sounds too good to be true.

TampaBay Times  site states that instead of medical treatment or financial help, patients got boxes of sample-size soap, seasonal greeting cards and Little Debbie Snack cakes.  Read here: Where Cancer Fund of America donations went while dying kids got Little Debbie snacks.

FTC sued them; however most of the money is already spent and can’t be recovered.   Much of $187 million that the charities collected for cancer patients is spent to buy cars, gym memberships and take luxury cruise vacations, pay for college tuition and employ family members with 6-figure salaries.  This is one of the largest charity fraud cases ever, says FTC.

Read the full story here:    FTC: Family raised $187M for cancer, spent it on themselves 

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2 Responses to Watch where your donations go

  1. I’m afraid that my view of charities is a very dim one and my experiences with them have always been disappointing. Basically charities are businesses. A friend of mine who worked in a few charities as an accountant remarked to me that if, for instance, they discovered a cure for cancer the cancer charities wouldn’t be all that pleased because they would loose their business and their jobs. It may sound cynical but I think that there is a grain of truth in what he said.

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