America's worst charities

Our ranking based on cash paid to solicitors in the past decade

In detail#6: Breast Cancer Relief Foundation

Also doing business as: National Cancer Coalition (website says it's now a part of NCC) CCPD, Cancer Center for Prevention and Detection Pacific West Cancer Fund

When Donald G. Tarver formed the charity that would become Breast Cancer Relief Foundation, it was a chance to start over.

He had been president of another cancer charity. It was accused by the IRS of paying too much money to its for-profit fundraiser.

But when Tarver started over in 1987, he hired the same fundraising company at Breast Cancer Relief Foundation and continued paying the corporation the vast majority of donations raised in his charity's name. Breast Cancer Relief continued diverting millions away from cancer patients after Tarver's death in 2002, when his brother and sister-in-law took over.

For the past decade, it has been one of the nation's most wasteful charities, IRS records show. Over that time, it has raised nearly $64 million through professional fundraisers and allowed those companies to keep 70 percent of donations. Just more than 2 percent of donations raised were given directly to hospitals or to women in need of breast cancer screenings. The charity has also reported shipping medical supplies worth millions of dollars to Africa and Central America over the past four years.

Breast Cancer Relief, which has changed its name three times in 25 years, has now merged with National Cancer Coalition, according to Annis Tarver, Donald Tarver's sister-in-law. National Cancer Coalition, also on theTimes/CIR list of the nation's worst charities, is headed by Annis Tarver's son-in-law, Robert Landry. Annis Tarver referred all questions to Landry, who did not respond to several calls or a certified letter.


In their own words: the Charity's mission

To serve the unmet needs of individuals with breast cancer and other serious illness through education, detection, prevention medical relief and research support.

Unedited mission statements provided by the Colorado Secretary of State


Breast Cancer Relief Foundation

Known state disciplinary actions

Find out more about the actions in our database

States bringing actions Number of known actions Outcomes Total fines
Georgia, Ohio 3 Consent/settlement, Disciplined-no details, Fine/penalties $1,250

Fundraising and spending history

For years prior to 2008, cash raised from other sources might be included in the "cash raised by solicitors" column.

Year 990
form
Cash
raised by
solicitors
Solicitor
was paid
Cash to
the charity
Charity
salaries
Cash to
direct aid
% cash to
direct aid
Reported
totals to
programs
2011 pdf $4,339,286 $3,628,858 $710,428 $497,733 $87,750 2.02% $5,421,251
2010 pdf $4,183,381 $3,129,125 $1,054,256 $440,357 $22,476 0.54% $4,390,626
2009 pdf $12,914,678 $9,910,476 $3,004,202 $349,974 $368,200 2.85% $27,727,461
2008 pdf $15,126,985 $12,314,779 $2,812,206 $314,909 $428,000 2.83% $48,826,007
2007 pdf $11,227,036 $8,559,234 $2,667,802 $235,439 $211,000 1.88% $29,399,718
2006 pdf $7,370,185 $5,156,867 $2,213,318 $172,500 $100,020 1.36% $14,033,491
2005 pdf $2,949,969 $836,503 $2,113,466 $40,973 $22,400 0.76% $3,334,399
2004 pdf $1,221,170 $138,249 $1,082,921 $176,753 $43,000 3.52% $1,375,954
2003 pdf $2,050,928 $583,439 $1,467,489 $150,000 $25,000 1.22% $1,636,968
2002 pdf $2,521,500 $514,912 $2,006,588 $36,850 $117,500 4.66% $976,205
zTOTALS $63,905,118 $44,772,442 $19,132,676 $2,415,488 $1,425,346 2.2% $137,122,080

Who raised the money

Year Solicitor Cash raised Cash to solicitor Cash to charity % to charity Activity
2009 Community Support (Milwaukee, WI) $8,298,066 $7,480,329 $817,737 9.85% telemarketing
2009 Creative Direct Response $1,349,951 $176,916 $1,173,035 86.89% mail
2009 Midwest Publishing (Phoenix, AZ) $1,979,577 $1,371,369 $608,208 30.72% telemarketing
2009 Organizational Development $1,159,655 $771,483 $388,172 33.47% telemarketing
2009 Bee LC $127,429 $110,379 $17,050 13.38% telemarketing