Pittsburgh, PA – October 18, 2013 – Pink is in this month! As part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, businesses and organizations market “pink” campaigns, offering products and services to support breast cancer charities. While the majority of such charitable efforts are well-intentioned, the Better Business Bureau wants consumers to be aware of the practice known as “Pinkwashing”. Con artists may see the month-long pink promotion as an opportunity to rip-off donors who believe they are helping to find a cure for the disease.
Commonly used in “Pinkwashing” schemes is the pink ribbon. This widely-recognized symbol of breast cancer awareness is not officially licensed by any group though. As a result, simply seeing a pink ribbon on a product or marketing piece is no guarantee that a portion of your purchase will actually be used to support breast cancer research or awareness.
“Potential donors should do their part to help ensure their money will benefit a good cause by asking a few simple questions and looking into a charity’s history,” said Warren King, president of the Better Business Bureau of Western PA. “We want consumers to make sure their hard-earned money is donated to a worthy cause and not being used to line the pockets of untrustworthy organizers or fake organizations.”
BBB encourages consumers to ask for details about how and where their donation or purchase proceeds will be utilized. Donors can help prevent contributing to “pinkwashing” scams by doing the following:
If the product or service you are purchasing is linked to a donation percentage, find out what percentage is actually being donated by the company and how the charity will use the money. Be wary of charities that are reluctant to answer reasonable questions about their operations, finances and programs.
Consider making a donation directly to a trusted charity that is associated with breast cancer awareness. Use a credit card or check made out to the name of the charitable organization, not to the individual collecting the donation. Maintain a record of your donation for a possible tax write-off during tax season.
For more helpful tips and information on specific businesses and charities, visit bbb.org. A list of organizations participating in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is also listed on NBCAM’s website.
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BBB is an unbiased organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Reviews, charity BBB Wise Giving ReportsTM and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, BBB also offers complaint and dispute resolution support for consumers and businesses when there is difference in viewpoints. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, 113 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada, evaluating and monitoring more than 4.5 million local and national businesses and charities. Please visit www.bbb.org for more information about the BBB System.