America's worst charities

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

In detail#11: Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation

Also doing business as: formerly Cancer Recovery Foundation of America, which is now a separate charity

Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation was established in 1990. Its mission is "to assist children under the age of 18 and their families who are facing the hardships of a cancer diagnosis."

The charity's founder, Greg Anderson, has created an international network of eight charities, stretching from Harrisburg, Pa., to Berlin, Germany. His daughter, Erica Harvey, and wife, Linda Anderson, are both officers at two of the related cancer charities. Children's Cancer Recovery does not pay Greg Anderson. But he was paid more than $170,000 in 2011 as president of one of his other charities, Cancer Recovery Foundation International.

Over the past decade, Children's Cancer Recovery has raised about $35 million through professional solicitors and paid those companies about 80 percent of what was collected.The charity spent an average of $21,000 a year providing direct financial assistance to those in need.

Anderson said the charity's solicitors also deliver messages on cancer prevention and survival when they call seeking donations. This dual role allows the charity to count some of its soliciting expenses under charitable programs in annual tax filings.

In addition, the charity receives millions of dollars a year in donated medical supplies and other "gifts-in-kind." The charity reported receiving $7.3 million in donated goods in its most recent tax filing. The organization did not provide documentation requested by CIR and theTampa Bay Times regarding what goods were collected or how they were valued.

To procure medical supplies, Children's Cancer Recovery has worked with World Help, an organization that gathers donated items and partners with charities to ship them overseas. In April 2013, World Help revealed that it had overstated the value of goods it shipped for many of its charity partners. In a revised audit, World Help reduced the value of its 2011 shipments from $227 million to $5 million.

Anderson addressed the issue in an article in the trade publication Chronicle of Philanthropy.

“It is my belief that World Help’s lack of management oversight, internal controls, and transparency brought about this mess,” Anderson told the Chronicle. “Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation is a victim, not a perpetrator.”

In their own words: the Charity's mission

Cancer Recover Foundation of America privides education, training, and support in body/mind/spirit wellness to cancer patients and family members. Cancer Recovery Foundation of America will use the funds: (1) education to publish and distribute a variety of newsletters, audio, and video programs for cancer patients and families, (2) seminars and workshops in selected cities across the united states, (3) establishing and maintaining cancer support groups througout the united states and(4)maintain and train personnel for a telephone/internet inforamtion center.

Unedited mission statements provided by the Colorado Secretary of State

Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation

Known state disciplinary actions

Find out more about the actions in our database

States bringing actions Number of known actions Outcomes Total fines
Mississippi 1 Fine/penalties $440

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
raised by
was paid
Cash to
the charity
Cash to
direct aid
% cash to
direct aid
totals to
2012 pdf $6,693,589 $4,043,945 $2,655,650 $59,922 0.90% $13,558,871
2011 pdf $4,382,823 $2,822,189 $1,592,346 $155,322 $36,587 0.83% $9,695,443
2010 pdf $2,141,734 $1,538,351 $603,383 $173,570 $29,245 1.37% $7,749,774
2009 pdf $1,967,039 $1,629,234 $337,805 $511,876 $0 0.00% $3,532,157
2008 pdf $2,000,147 $1,631,715 $368,432 $488,012 $0 0.00% $9,047,615
2007 pdf $2,818,583 $2,317,708 $500,875 $405,256 $24,345 0.86% $19,799,160
2006 pdf $3,505,913 $2,723,590 $782,323 $438,341 $33,139 0.95% $7,223,128
2005 pdf $4,398,220 $3,180,519 $1,217,701 $513,836 $23,187 0.53% $22,694,340
2004 pdf $5,210,665 $4,699,108 $511,557 $375,040 $25,700 0.49% $3,035,526
2003 pdf $5,340,412 $4,264,677 $1,075,735 $300,346 $21,679 0.41% $1,272,510
zTOTALS $38,459,125 $28,851,036 $9,645,807 $3,361,599 $253,804 0.7% $97,608,524

Who raised the money

Year Solicitor Cash raised Cash to solicitor Cash to charity % to charity Activity
2010 Market Development Group $236,503 $236,503 $0 0.00% community outreach
2010 Contract Communications $909,883 $760,957 $148,926 16.37% community outreach
2010 Associated Community Services (Southfield, MI) $995,348 $540,891 $454,457 45.66% community outreach