I just received a comment to the wrong part of my blog. And oops sorry, I don’t do free PR for what I consider questionable charities as my Raison d’être. I do however, as a blogger take great enjoyment in pointing out spinny-spin-spin in the CYA or cover-your-ass category.
So….I am guessing that because I was interviewed by an Emmy award winning investigative journalist about my calls from Breast Cancer Survivors Foundation out of Roselle Park, NJ (and check out the documents released from the State of New Jersey HERE and judge for yourself), that I am getting outreach from the suddenly solicitious and helpful breast cancer “charity”? You know the place that as per it’s own filings gives back next to nothing to breast cancer patients and survivors? You know the place that calls you at dinner time and can give no info out about itself and what it does but if you give them money they will send you info? Yessss…those people….
When a non-profit is over 90% overhead as per its own filings and has professional fundraisers who are as aggressive as bill collectors calling people instead of being known by good deeds and quiet grace of doing is THAT who you want your hard-earned money to go to?
When they kept calling me, I could get NO information out of them. It was all make-a-pledge-and-then-we’ll-tell-all. When I did my FOIA to New Jersey and wrote about it and the topic took off like an airborne hot potato because so many people had the exact same experience, I still heard nothing from them. But miracles of miracles, talk to Walt Kane from Kane in Your Korner in New Jersey and all of a sudden they seek me out? Like they did not know the post was out there since October 2011? Why I tell you it’s a miracle!
Sorry not buying. Here is my lovely outreach:
For those who can’t read what this person ‘Dee Dee” (who must also be illegitimate poor thing as she is lacking a last name and if she is the program director, one would think she would wear it proud) wrote:
Hi, I am program director for Breast Cancer Survivors Foundation and I wanted to tell you alittle bit about who we are. BCSF is a new organization focused on helping uninsured and underinsured women obtain mammograms and other breast diagnostic services. We do this by providing grants to clinics and agencies. So far we have provided over 400 mammograms through 14 free clinics and agencies. While it is easy to judge an organization based upon its financial efficiency, the real test is what the organization does with it’s resources. The organization was founded by a doctor who receives no compensation. The founder considered alternate ways to seek public support. Not having corporate or government funding a decision was made to do grassroots fundraising by telefunding. The advantage of telefunding contracts are numerous. First, no capital investment is required. Second, there is no risk loss. Third, the organization gets a guaranteed return regardless of the telefunding agency’s expenses. Our goal for BCSF is develop name recognition over a period of years that allow the organization to diversify its funding appeals. I ask that you not judge us on where we are,but rather on the good work we have done to date, and on the basis of where we are going. A woman whose life has been saved through an early detection program funded by BCSF is not likely concerned with the efficiency of the organizations fundraising. Finally, if you know of a clinic in your area that provides mammograms or breast diagnostic services to uninsured or under insured women please encourage them to email me for a grant application.
In my opinion, legitimate breast cancer charities, even if small, do not solicit by phone. And guess what? When I started getting those calls to my unlisted phone number I asked around to other breast cancer charities large and small. None of them fundraise with cold-callers for hire that are so very “Boiler Room.”. The people I spoke with found it distasteful and remarked how it was a very large expense that they would not ever be able to even morally justify.
I also asked the reporter who interviewed me about the doctor who founded the charity – not a breast guy by any stretch of the imagination, not even an oncologist. Breast cancer is hard enough without wading through charity calls from people who can’t tell you where they got your full name and phone number. And oh yeah, one other thing. Look at GuideStar on them – not enough to make me donate, don’t know about you.
And when she the publicist/program director says:
While it is easy to judge an organization based upon its financial efficiency, the real test is what the organization does with it’s resources. The organization was founded by a doctor who receives no compensation. The founder considered alternate ways to seek public support. Not having corporate or government funding a decision was made to do grassroots fundraising by telefunding. The advantage of telefunding contracts are numerous. First, no capital investment is required. Second, there is no risk loss. Third, the organization gets a guaranteed return regardless of the telefunding agency’s expenses. Our goal for BCSF is develop name recognition over a period of years that allow the organization to diversify its funding appeals
Well heck, shucks, I guess I am just a bumpkin? Uhhh, not really. Lady, I know all about non-profits large and small, and none of the ones I know of, have volunteered for, or do the publicity for use kamikaze telemarketers (love, love, love the phrase “grassroots fundraising by telefunding”!) Legitimate charities (even small and new) get out there at community events, utilize social media and traditional media to get their message out there. In the world of breast cancer I give you Living Beyond Breast Cancer, breastcancer.org, and Save 2nd Base as but three fine examples of legitimate, hard-working breast cancer charities. Great Guys Group would be another.
So Dee Dee of no last name, I will indeed judge. Those on the up and up in my humble opinion do not behave like your charity did. Legitimate charities do not tell someone they can only have information if they make a donation. Legitimate charities do not gobble up the majority of their donations in corporate overhead and related expenses. Without government funding there are ways to raise money. Including from grants from like-minded foundations and corporations.
So don’t sing the breast cancer blues to me, lady. You people called me. But not until I became a survivor – that means you bought my good name from someone. And if you expect me to believe that somewhere along the line this doctor isn’t getting something financial out of it, well I might as well believe in the Easter Bunny.
The President of this non-profit is according to what is filed with NJ a guy named Yulius Poplyansky. According to HeathGrades website he went to med school in Latvia (“Riga Medical Academy”) . According to Vitals this guy speaks Latvian, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Ukrainian, Yiddish and the name of the med school he went to is Riga Stradins University (Rsu).
I can’t find anywhere how this guy ties to breast cancer or that it is his speciality. Hippaspace has this (click here.) And when you plug him into Pipl there is all sorts of stuff. What is The International Foundation of Innovative Medicine? (See Amazon review HERE and look for the name Yulius Poplyansky or look halfway down the page HERE) Is this guy a Master of the Universe or what? Is this the same guy HERE?
So I don’t know…this all seems weird to me…but what do I know? I am just a breast cancer survivor….if you are going to donate to a breast cancer charity CHECK them out. See what they have done. Are they on GuideStar and in good standing? How do Better Business Bureaus and state charity offices perceive them? Given ALL the comments about this charity under my original post am I really alone in my questioning this outfit and the founder?