TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual month involving thousands of people and organizations across the globe, who look to create awareness about the disease. It’s also a moment of vulnerability for many private citizens and businesses who see the month as an opportunity to donate or support causes related to breast cancer, according to the Better Business Bureau. And because of that, the bureau is warning consumers to "think before they go pink," in order to ensure their donations go to the right place.
"A lot of times crowdsourcing and crowdfunding is used," Jeremy Johnson, the Eastern Idaho Marketplace Manager for the Better Business Bureausaid. "And those types of charities and fundraising aren't as regulated as national charities."
Currently, close to 40 U.S. states require charities to register with a state government agency such as the State Attorney General's office, according to Johnson. And if a particular charity isn't registered, that should be a red flag to consumers, which should prompt them to do more research, Johnson said
"It's just important to know that just do your research, follow up on stories, and whatever your donating to," Johnson said.
There's several other scenarios among charities that should raise some red flags as well. The BBB warns consumers to watch out for vague appeals, where the charities don't specifically indicate how and when donations will help those impacted by a disease such as breast cancer.
The BBB also warns not to click on links to charities on unfamiliar websites, which could prompt you to provide personal financial information, or leave harmful malware on your device.
Overall the BBB, recommends those thinking of donating to a cause such as breast cancer awareness this month, or another cause down the road, to do their homework and ensure their money is going to the right place.
"You want to feel good about how your money would be used," Johnson said.
The BBB offers one way for consumers to research a potential charity they're thinking about doing by visiting Give.org