The Best Cancer Charities

The Best Cancer Charities and Why

If you are looking for a place to donate your money for cancer research and helping people who have cancer this article should offer you some insight. In order to make sure that your donation is used to maximize it’s coverage you should choose where you make your donation wisely. uses a basic formula to rate cancer (and other) charities.  First, they examine how well the charity handles its’ funds. They next look at the organization’s policies—do they demonstrate accountability to their donors.  Finally, they rate success—did the charity meet its goals?

Financial Responsibility

Charities are a business, and like any business they have to use their funds prudently.  The goal is to raise money for cancer research.  If the charity spends too much money on administration costs—by paying high salaries to its CEO and staff, and not enough money on funding, they are not meeting donors’ expectations, and failing to meet their expectations.  People make donations in the belief that their money will help people.

In addition to keeping administrative costs at a reasonable level, they have to demonstrate effective fundraising. The more they spend on fund raising, the less money they have to fund cancer clinical trials, studies on how the immune system fights cancer, and fellowships for promising young clinicians and doctors.


Charities are accountable to their donors, because donors give the funds to keep the charity going.  It means that their website is clear about all their expenses and policies.  They file the required forms (990) with the Federal government.  Donors have every right to know how much a CEO and the board of directors earn; how much money is spent on administration, etc.  The charity’s website should have links to all the financial information—and be transparent about fundraising expenses and goals

The Best Cancer Charities Success Rates                                                                                                       

Charity Navigator gives two scores:  the first is a numeric score, from 1 to 70, and the second is one to four stars. So, when a Cancer charity excels in the business of raising funds, managing funds, and directing the revenue toward their charity, rather than their organization, they will earn a high rating. By doing a search on their website, three of the most highly rated cancer charities in the United States were:

  • The Damon Ruynon Cancer Research Foundation.  It funds promising young scientists who have the potential to develop innovative treatments for cancer.  They scored 65 out of 70 and 4 stars by spending 85 percent of their budget on research and only 15 percent on administrative costs.
  • Breast Cancer Connections—a group that provides medical, emotional and financial support for breast and ovarian cancer patients.  They scored a 68 on financial and accountability, which means they managed their funds so well that patients received badly needed support, and they earned a 4 star rating.
  • Another notable cancer center to donate is the St. Jude Children’s research hospital. They have a decent 3 star overall rating and a full 4 star rating for transparency. As you can see in the table below they are a popular cancer charity, taking in a total revenue of over 1 billion dollars.


   Contributions, Gifts & Grants $784,622,043
   Federated Campaigns $8,842,831
   Membership Dues $0
   Fundraising Events $1,863,422
   Related Organizations $0
   Government Grants $76,346,395
Total Contributions $871,674,691
   Program Service Revenue $95,536,676
Total Primary Revenue $967,211,367
   Other Revenue $99,325,837
TOTAL REVENUE $1,066,537,204


So when it comes time to donate to cancer, you should consider doing proper due diligence and ensure that your donation is well used and isn’t going to line the pockets of the receiver, while giving a minimal amount to the actual cause you believe in.