“Practices by cancer charity challenged.” By Robert Anglen, AZcentral.com

The Breast Cancer Society describes itself as one of the few charities in the U.S. that provides direct help and assistance to those suffering from the disease. The 5-year-old organization reported taking in $52 million last year and spending $39 million on program services, which indicates that 75 cents of every dollar it collected went to help women suffering from breast cancer or to fight the disease. That’s how it looks on paper. Charity-watchdog groups say the Breast Cancer Society uses donations of medical goods and supplies to appear efficient while spending little on charitable programs.

An analysis of its annual reports to the Internal Revenue Service shows that 99 percent of the organization’s donations for the past three years were in the form of so-called gifts-in-kind. A Call for Action investigation found that the Breast Cancer Society for years has reported receiving tens of millions of dollars worth of medicine from organizations whose own IRS forms reflect no such donations. In other words, the Breast Cancer Society claims to have gotten donations from some organizations that don’t report giving them.

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