Local charity ranks among worst at money going to actual cause

By Andy Cerota - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - A local charity for cancer survivors is in the spotlight, but not for anything positive. A new list ranks the charity as one of the worst when it comes to where the money is going.

Cancer Survivor's Fund, headquartered in Missouri City, spent 90 percent of its budget on fundraising and only about 7 percent on its mission, according to the non-profit watchdog Charity Navigator.

That mission, according to the charity's website, is to support cancer patients by providing college scholarships and prosthetics. The founder claims she is a cancer survivor.

If you plan on parting ways with your hard earned money to help out, take note. According to the charity's 2012 tax return, of the more than $1.3 million generated in revenue, the majority -- some $1.2 million -- went towards fundraising expenses.

According to Charity Navigator, less than $100,000 went to the actual cause.

"We asked for this charity's information annually," said Leah Napoliello, with the Houston Better Business Bureau.

The Houston BBB says in 2006, Cancer Survivor's Fund stopped participating in its charity review program and would no longer submit financial information. The BBB says according to its standards, charities should only spend 35 percent of what they take in on fundraising.

"So for any charity to be spending above that, especially 90 percent on fundraising is really horrendous because it means most of the money is going right back into the fundraiser's pocket," Napoliello said.

Local 2 reached out to Cancer Survivor's Fund for comment and are awaiting a response.

The BBB says always be cautious when you're donating money. Do your homework and make sure that 65 percent of the donations go directly to the cause itself.

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