Each year, I’m reluctant to write stories or provide additional publicity to entities wanting to show how “socially responsible” they are during the month of October. True philanthropy is a year-round commitment, not a one-month lure to increase sales of products that are simply re-branded and re-packaged in pink. I often times question the sincerity of companies behind “pink” products and wonder if it’s just a way for them to look charitable and improve their image while making a profit.
For a nonprofit, every penny counts, so by no means am I against the support of breast cancer and the viable organizations that raise money and awareness for the disease. In fact, each October I am in awe of their marketing strategy and reminded just how effective and valuable marketing and public relations are in persuading consumers to do exactly what you want them to do. The influence it must take to get the entire NFL and their big, burly football players to wear pink on national television…well, let’s just say marketing geniuses!
Knowing that heart disease, a cause supported by the American Heart Association, is the #1 killer of women, it baffles me how such an empire has been built on a misconception – with no fault given to the Susan G. Koman Foundation or other cancer research and awareness foundations, because let’s face it, they are the crème de la crème when it comes to marketing and raising money for their cause, as it should be.
I can go on and on about this topic and my discernment for those looking to make a quick buck on the shoulders of a cause…..but I won’t. Instead, I’ll just encourage other nonprofits (large and small, national and local) to examine the tactics of cancer research and awareness foundations who join together, at least for the month of October, to share in the wealth of donations that support their cause and benefit the greater good.
As for the October “do-gooders” who don’t want to be out-done, overshadowed, or left behind so have jumped on the bandwagon of so generously donating a portion (however small) of their October sales to “the cause”, I hope that this is just the beginning of a more robust, comprehensive social awareness plan that allows you to truly stand up and fight for humanity.
Here are just some of the many nonprofit organizations and businesses supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month:
(Disclaimer: The intent is not to suggest that the entities listed below aren’t socially responsible and/or do not support programs throughout the year. Many are at the forefront of the cause and have ongoing initiatives that they largely sustain.)