America's worst charities

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

In detail#10: Children's Cancer Fund of America

Children's Cancer Fund of America is one of five Reynolds family charities that raises millions in the name of cancer, but spends most of that paying for-profit companies.

Rose Perkins runs the charity. She was married twice to James T. Reynolds Sr., the 70-year-old patriarch who transformed Cancer Fund of America, a struggling charity, into a $35 million empire that pays executive salaries to at least a dozen of his family members. In the past three years alone, Cancer Fund and its associated charities, including Children's Cancer Fund, raised $110 million. The charities' solicitors were paid more than $75 million.

Perkins, who had been vice president of Cancer Fund, started Children's Cancer Fund of America in 2004. In addition to the cash raised through fundraisers, the charity received a $50,000 cash grant from Reynolds' Cancer Fund in 2010.

Since it was formed, Children's Cancer Fund has raised nearly $38 million and let professional fundraisers keep nearly 78 percent. The charity has given cash grants to patients of about $300,000 a year. It also reports shipping millions of dollars in donated medical supplies to developing nations each year through "gifts-in-kind" programs.

Perkins, now separated from Reynolds, said she hopes to wean Children's Cancer Fund of America off fundraisers.

"We are only in our eighth year," Perkins said.

In 2011, Perkins was paid $227,442. Her charity reported giving about $265,000 in cash to nearly 1,500 children that year. The grants averaged less than $200 each and represented less than 5 cents of every dollar raised.

Perkins said that in 2012, the charity started a new program, giving donated goods to needy children in the United States.

"We give away soap, lotions, backpacks, Disney DVDs and socks," Perkins said. "When you don't have a lot, it's something."



In their own words: the Charity's mission

Children s Cancer Fund of America, Inc. will operate exclusively as a charitable organization dedicated to assistance and support of children suffering with cancer, and their families, through financial aid. CCFA will also serve as a referral agency for obtaining commodities such as: liquid dietary supplements, personal hygiene kits, gift boxes, toys and various home products to help relieve the financial burdens placed upon the families of the ill child. It is also the purpose of the organization to raise funds through various recognized and accepted methods while disseminating health educational script and public information awareness regarding CCFA.

Unedited mission statements provided by the Colorado Secretary of State

Children's Cancer Fund of America

Known state disciplinary actions

Find out more about the actions in our database

States bringing actions Number of known actions Outcomes Total fines
New York 1 Pending 0

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 $6,187,427 $5,279,453 $907,974 $45,026 0.73% $9,734,706
2011 pdf $6,380,263 $5,173,307 $1,206,956 $772,545 $265,279 4.16% $9,297,066
2010 pdf $8,408,714 $6,815,225 $1,593,489 $750,448 $326,419 3.88% $8,046,104
2009 pdf $6,026,403 $5,031,283 $995,120 $643,956 $289,196 4.80% $6,599,886
2008 pdf $5,749,840 $4,763,101 $986,739 $551,484 $402,574 7.00% $1,281,933
2007 pdf $5,465,583 $3,626,946 $1,838,637 $393,592 $381,598 6.98% $1,100,671
2006 pdf $4,324,453 $2,931,001 $1,393,452 $198,015 $241,797 5.59% $569,532
2005 pdf $1,193,694 $809,361 $384,333 $138,217 $80,415 6.74% $312,213
zTOTALS $43,736,377 $34,429,677 $9,306,700 $3,448,257 $2,032,304 4.6% $36,942,111

Who raised the money

Year Solicitor Cash raised Cash to solicitor Cash to charity % to charity Activity
2010 Vehicle Donation Processing Center $2,050,585 $1,502,929 $547,656 26.71% car auctio
2010 Direct Response Consulting Services $841,794 $724,017 $117,777 13.99% mail solic
2010 Car Program $94,191 $67,707 $26,484 28.12% car auctio
2010 Charitable Resource Foundation $830,669 $715,753 $114,916 13.80% telemarketing
2010 Associated Community Services (Southfield, MI) $4,500,558 $3,725,538 $775,020 17.20% telemarketing
2010 Preferred Community Services $90,917 $79,281 $11,636 12.80% telemarketing

Who got direct cash aid

Year Recipient Cash received Location
2010 Monetary $326,419