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Comments of the Association of Fundraising Professionals on Cancer Charities Charged With Fraud by FTC

May 20, 2015

(Arlington, VA) The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) released this statement in response to the recent action by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against three national charities, Cancer Fund of America, Children's Cancer Fund of America, and Breast Cancer Society:

"These kinds of fraudulent organizations are not charities in any sense of the word, nor do they in any way represent the vast majority of charities that work tirelessly on a wide variety of causes.

"Almost every charity that a donor encounters will be legitimate, and follow fundraising guidelines such as those in AFP’s Code of Ethical Principles and Standards. Many also abide by documents such as The Donor Bill of Rights, which was developed by several organizations to explicitly list what donors should expect from a charity when making a gift.

"Philanthropy—giving, volunteering and charitable engagement—relies on public trust. Without public confidence in our organizations, philanthropy simply isn't possible. A few bad apples can spoil the giving environment for all charities, but donors should also remember that most charities they encounter will use their funds wisely and effectively.

"A few simple steps—such as avoiding aggressive tactics; checking with the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Guidestar or similar group; researching an organization online; and even volunteering for a charity before you give—are great ways to ensure your donations and your generosity are given to deserving groups."

Andrew Watt, FInstF, President and CEO, Association of Fundraising Professionals


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Since 1960, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has advanced effective and ethical philanthropy by providing advocacy, research, education, mentoring, collaboration and technology opportunities for the world’s largest network of professional fundraisers. AFP’s 33,000 members raise more than $115 billion annually. For more information, go to

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