With October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it isn’t uncommon to see people everywhere sporting pink ribbons pinned to their outer clothing to show their support. As the years have gone by, there has been an overwhelming following of this trend from many different charities, organizations, and companies, including the NFL!

The trend has gotten so large, in fact, that you can’t even be sure that what you are buying is actually going to breast cancer awareness and research. Often times, that pink ribbon you picked up at the local gas station is just a petty way of making money, and not a fundraising effort at all.

Breast cancer awareness scams have become such an issue, that concerned citizens have started Think Before You Pink, an organization dedicated to researching breast cancer awareness fundraising fraud.

Think Before You Pink

Think Before You Pink was the first to take a stand against all of the products branded with the pink breast cancer ribbon that weren’t necessarily giving back to the cause. Starting in 2002, they created numerous campaigns that generated a buzz about investigating products that we purchase because of the pink breast cancer ribbon.

They realized that there were many “pink products” on the market, such as hair products and groceries, that claimed to be giving to breast cancer awareness and research, but that many of these brands weren’t, in fact, living up to their promises.

Often times, that pink ribbon you picked up at the local gas station is just a petty way of making money – not a fundraising effort.

Think Before You Pink is considered the watch dog for the entire breast cancer movement and the organization often get the truth out about many different products claiming to the associated with breast cancer organizations and charities, that are not. They have launched campaigns with well known companies such as KFC and Yoplait.

Fundraising Fraud

Think Before You Pink and their  efforts are so important because it raises awareness for consumers who think that they are purchasing products for a good cause. The organization encourages consumers to engage with the products and brands by asking critical questions about the role the brands are playing in breast cancer research and awareness. Many companies can be misleading with their messages, including charities and organizations who just want to make more money.

Think Before You Pink sheds light on the companies that are doing good things to support breast cancer, and makes consumers aware of companies that are trying to scam people for their money.

Before You Donate

Before buying any products that claim they are supporting breast cancer, it's important to follow-up on the product and do some research. Many of us want to give back in any way we can, often without causing much of a hassle to our daily lives and routines. However, by buying in to the pink merchandise scandal, our “best” efforts go unnoticed, and breast cancer funding is not increased.

Think Before You Pink encourages consumers to focus on five critical questions before they purchase any product sporting a pink ribbon:

  1. How much money from your purchase actually goes toward breast cancer? Is the amount clearly stated on the package?
  2. What is the maximum amount that will be donated?
  3. How are the funds being raised?
  4. To what breast cancer organization does the money go, and what types of programs does it support?
  5. What is the company doing to assure that its products are not actually contributing to the breast cancer epidemic?

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Final Thoughts

Think Before You Pink is a great organization that puts their efforts towards a great cause. Throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the rest of the year for that matter, lets vow to apply these questions and methods towards the purchases that we are making!