Top Breast Cancer Charities

5 Nonprofit Organizations That Deserve Your Support

You have a lot of options when it comes to making a donation for breast cancer. The best breast cancer charities, like the five top picks highlighted here, are ones that are registered, transparent about spending, and have the lowest possible overhead so that more of your dollars go toward your intended cause.

While you may be bombarded with donation opportunities that seem legitimate and helpful, it's best to put your money where your homework is.

What to Look For When Choosing a Charity

If you want to make a financial gift to support breast cancer research, provide mammograms for women in need, or raise awareness through educational outreach programs, make the most of your tax-deductible dollars by choosing the right charity. Look for one that:

  1. Is a registered 501(c)(3) charity
  2. Spends at least 75 percent of its cash budget on bona fide programs
  3. Raises $100 from every $15 spent fundraising
  4. Holds no more than three years of assets in reserve
  5. Posts their annual tax return and/or audited financial statement online

The following five breast cancer charities check all of these boxes and are considered tops when it comes to reputable organizations that will put your generous dollars to good use for those with this disease.

A Time of Need

There is arguably no better time than now to donate to your favorite cause. Despite what some may tell you, charities in the United States are in dire need of your support. A study conducted by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy estimated that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by the U.S. Congress in 2018 will reduce charitable funding by no less than $13.1 billion annually.

Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Evelyn Lauder, a breast cancer survivor and senior corporate vice president of The Estee Lauder Companies, founded the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) to help fund research and raise public awareness. Lauder is also the co-creator of the original pink ribbon launched in 1992 with Alexandra Penney, former editor-in-chief of Self magazine.

You can donate to BRCF online, through the mail, or over the phone. You can also give stock, charitable trusts, a bequest, and participate in workplace giving.

BRCF devotes 88 percent of its funds to research and 3 percent to breast cancer awareness programs.

In 2019, BCRF celebrated its 25th anniversary with its annual Hot Pink Party, a charity fundraiser which raised over $6 million on one night.

Susan G. Komen Foundation

The Susan G. Komen Foundation, also known as the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, has raised awareness, supported research, and paid for community health and education programs around the world since its inception in 1982.

The Dallas-based charity directs 78.9 percent of its funds toward breast cancer research, screening, treatment, and education. Moreover, it does so by spending only $13 for fundraising for every $100 raised.

You can donate to the Susan G. Komen Foundation online, bid on their eBay items, give stocks, or participate in workplace giving. 

Susan G. Komen held its 25th Race for the Cure charity run in 2019, an annual multi-city event considered the most successful breast cancer fundraiser in the world.

Living Beyond Breast Cancer

Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) was founded in 1991 by Marisa C. Weiss, MD, a radiation oncologist, who started the charity from her home with the support of local volunteers.

Its initial mission was to provide information and support to women with breast cancer after completing breast cancer treatment. In recent years, LBBC has expanded that to help women (and men) across the complete spectrum of diagnosis, treatment, recovery, and survival. They also offer programs that support caregivers and healthcare professionals devoted to the care of those living with breast cancer.

In 2017, 84 percent of LBBC's funding went toward these programs.

You can donate to LBBC online or via mail. You can set up a charitable trust or bequest, become a corporate partner, or purchase LBBC goods from their online store.

LBBC's centerpiece fundraiser, called Reach & Raise, raises money through community-based yoga events around the country.

National Breast Cancer Foundation

Founded in 1991 by a breast cancer survivor named Janelle Hall, the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) is driven by the mission to "save lives by increasing awareness of breast cancer through education and by providing mammograms for those in need."

The Texas-based charity devotes 80.8 percent of its funds to programs and is able to do so by spending just $10 for fundraising for every $100 raised. In addition to providing free mammograms to women in need, NBCF also funds breast cancer education programs, awareness campaigns, and research.

You can donate to NBCF online or through the mail, join as a corporate partner, give stocks, or set up a charitable trust or bequest.

Among its various fundraising efforts, NBCF created Game Pink, an innovative, year-round fundraiser in which online gamers can raise funds by putting their gaming skills to test.

METAvivor

METAvivor is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of women with metastatic breast cancer. Still considered incurable, metastatic breast cancer affects up to 30 percent of women with early-stage breast cancer and is diagnosed in 6 percent of women on their very first diagnosis, according to a 2013 study in the Journal of Internal Medicine. These figures highlight how vital an organization like METAvivor is to women who are often isolated and in need of support and the latest research information.

In terms of governance and delivery, METAvivor ranks among the top charities overall. In 2017, 94.8 percent of funds were directed to charitable programs. Even more impressively, less than one dollar was spent on fundraising for every $100 raised.

You can donate to METAvivor by making a one-time cash donation (which can be made in someone's name) or setting up a recurring monthly donation with a credit card.

Among its fundraising efforts, METAvivor holds annual Metsquarade parties in various cities in the United States as well as the annual Metabash Party in New York City.

Why Donate to Breast Cancer?

Some people argue that there has been more than enough attention given to breast cancer in the United States. After all, most people know what the pink ribbon represents or have seen women shave their heads in support of those affected by the disease.

While it's true that the cause gets a spotlight, it remains a deserved one: Roughly 40,000 American women (and some men) die from breast cancer each year. In fact, breast cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer in American women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

If this cause is important to you, know that your donations are not only still welcome, but needed.

A Word From Verywell

These five top breast cancer charities each received top ratings from Charity Navigator, an independent nonprofit organization that tracks and rates the governance and budgetary utilization of over 5,000 registered charities. It is an excellent resource that can help you decide which charity can best utilize your charitable dollars, be them for breast cancer or another cause close to your heart.

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