Cancer Charities

Before you get out your checkbook or sign up for a fundraiser, please make sure you know where your money will actually end up. Slogans do not have to match spending at non profits in the U.S. and money spent towards “awareness” and “education” is often more focused on brand recognition than actually making a difference. Overhead can be as high as 40% of the funds you raise. Charity navigator  is a great place to do a little research before you donate. I personally support the following cancer related charities.

Metavivor –  Run by volunteers, Metavivor uses grants and corporate sponsors to fund operating expenses so 100% of donations goes to research grants focused on stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. They aren’t on Charity Navigator yet because they don’t meet the criteria of having $1 million in revenues. Let’s change that. If you want 100% of your money to go to research for a cure choose Metavivor.

First Descents  – Offering adventures to young people affected by cancer. Focused on ages 18-39 with some trips for 40-49 (thank goodness as I am an FD40+ alum). I can not say enough about this program! They tell you it is life changing but until you experience it, you don’t realize what that really means. Cancer turns your life upside down and whirls you around like you’re in a blender. First Descents snags you out of the chaos, dusts you off and gives you the tools to set a new course. Their motto – Outliving It!

Living Beyond Breast Cancer – Providing programs and services for people who have been affected by breast cancer. I took their online course Writing the Journey. I highly recommend this course! I ended up writing a lot of poetry and even had a few poems published on their blog. They also have a lot of programs for young people and for metastatic breast cancer.

MetUp – Advocacy group modeled after ActUP committed to changing the landscape of metastatic breast cancer through direct action. I will be attending their Die-In on October 13, 2016 in Washington DC. If you want to do something, this is a great place to start.

Breast Cancer Research Foundation – Focused on breast cancer research including treatment and prevention, BCRF has a great rating, low overhead and has surpassed Komen as the leading non profit funding breast cancer research. 91% of every dollar goes to research – far more than most of the organizations who say they are trying to cure breast cancer.


Recommendations for local, regional and national charities you believe in are welcome. Please use the form below: