The holiday season is a time for giving, and that's when many of us volunteer our time to help charitable organizations raise money for important causes that affect all of us. Or, perhaps, we are on the other end; giving our hard-earned money away to help organizations or individuals in need, through what we think are REAL charitable organizations.

Photo by Chandler Walters on Unsplash
Photo by Chandler Walters on Unsplash


Breast Cancer Awareness Month is in October, and this is a big deal. It brings awareness to people all across the United States and encourages people to pay attention to their own bodies, get regular screenings, and beyond that, help raise money to find cures, treatments, and funding for people in critical need of our help. That's why it makes me so angry when I hear about things like this.

Bao Vang, Vice President of Communications of the BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota, says there can be a lot of fake organizations at work this time of year, trying to take your money.

The BBB suggests that before you give, you visit this website: The BBB Wise Giving Alliance to make sure the charity you are planning on giving to meets the standards of the BBB.

Photo by Angiola Harry on Unsplash
Photo by Angiola Harry on Unsplash


Here are some key identifiers to watch out for:

  • Check it out: To check on a charity that you are considering donating to, you can make sure that it is accredited with the BBB, by going to
  • Understand WHERE your money is going.  Do you want to give money to fund research? Medical treatments for existing Patients? Maybe you want to provide funding to help support families who need financial assistance as they are going through their cancer journey.
  • Be 'Pink Ribbon' Smart - There are a lot of 'pink' items floating around out there, but just because you purchase something 'Pink' doesn't mean the funds are going to help the cause. Shop smart and see if the company selling the product makes it clear if a portion of the proceeds is being donated, and where the donations are going.


If after reading this, you have a bad feeling that you were just taken for a ride, you can click HERE to access the BBB Scam Tracker, to find out if indeed it is an illegal scheme or fraud.  You can also provide information about what you've experienced, so you can help the BBB warn others about what you know.


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