(NaturalNews) In the previous installment of this multi-part series, we examined the cozy relationship between the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the cancer drug industry. In this segment we will take a look at how the ACS has performed as a non-profit organization.
The American Cancer Society's Questionable Non-Profit Performance
The American Cancer Society has been aptly referred to as "the world`s wealthiest non-profit organization". It is the largest non-religious charity in the world and is the largest charitable organization in the United States. Second largest is the Salvation Army. However there is a big difference between the two. The Salvation Army is rated as one of the best charities; this is based on their programs and the amount of funds they use as opposed to "dead" money for such things as salaries and administrative overhead. Meanwhile the ACS has performed poorly by comparison.
When Smart Money.Com ranked the largest charities in order of which ones spent the public's money wisely, the ACS was rated number 93 out of 100. In 1992, the "Chronicle of Philanthropy" reported that the American Cancer Society was more interested in accumulating wealth than in saving lives. At the time, the ACS had about $700 Million in net assets on hand. By 2009, net assets on hand at the end of the year had almost doubled to over $1.3 Billion.
Much of the funds raised by ACS go to pay overhead, salaries, fringe benefits, and travel expenses of its national executives in Atlanta. They also go to pay Chief Executive Officers, who earn six-figure salaries in several states, and the huge number of other paid employees, who work out of over 3,000 regional offices nationwide. Aside from high salaries and overhead, much of what is left of the ACS budget goes to basic research and research into profitable patented cancer drugs with industries it has close relationships with, as outlined earlier in this series.
The ACS's far-flung and aggressive fund raising appeals routinely plead poverty and tell us that the ACS needs more funds to support its cancer programs. However, all the while the American Cancer Society holds over a billion dollars in cash, investments and real estate assets.
Big salaries, company perks and high overhead are not the only ACS expenses which have been questioned. An Associated Press Release back in March 30, 1998 shed unexpected light on ACS expenditures on lobbying. At the time, National Vice President for federal and state governmental relations Linda Hay Crawford admitted that the ACS was spending money on direct lobbying, which she said was "less than $1 million a year". She also admitted that the society had used its own employees to lobby during the previous year.
ACS lobbying expenses remained "below $1 Million" annually from 1998 to 2003. Then they climbed all the way to $2.7 Million in 2004. In 2005 the figure grew to $3.5 Million and then jumped to almost $10 million in 2006. The past five years, ACS lobbying expenses have averaged $5 Million a year.
Previous ACS lobbying has included tens of thousands of dollars in donations to Democratic and Republican governor associations. As Crawford explained back in 1998, "We wanted to look like players and be players."
Others sharply disagreed with the practice. Tax experts have warned that these contributions may be illegal, as charities are not allowed to make political donations. Marcus Owens, director of the IRS Exempt Organization Division, also warned that: "The bottom line is campaign contributions will jeopardize a charity's exempt status."
The Charities Information Bureau was quoted as stating that it "does not know of any other charity that makes contributions to political parties."
In the following installment we will conclude this series with observations about how the problems identified with the American Cancer Society are symbolic of the problems that permeate virtually all of the organizations and entities involved in the 40 year old "War on Cancer" and about how those problems are preventing us from ever having a chance to win the war.
Tony Isaacs, is a natural health author, advocate and researcher who hosts The Best Years in Life website for those who wish to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. Mr. Isaacs is the author of books and articles about natural health, longevity and beating cancer including "Cancer's Natural Enemy" and is working on a major book project due to be published later this year. He is also a contributing author for the worldwide advocacy group "S.A N.E.Vax. Inc" which endeavors to uncover the truth about HPV vaccine dangers. Mr. Isaacs is currently residing in scenic East Texas and frequently commutes to the even more scenic Texas hill country near Austin and San Antonio to give lectures and health seminars. He also hosts the CureZone "Ask Tony Isaacs - featuring Luella May" forum as well as the Yahoo Health Group "Oleander Soup" and he serves as a consultant to the "Utopia Silver Supplement Company".
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