Posts tagged American Cancer Society
Posts tagged American Cancer Society
(in reply to my initial email and inquiry)
First, please accept my condolences on the loss of your step-father. Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with the American Cancer Society. As an atheist who has been so personally touched by the disease, your feelings about what you read are certainly understandable. Thank you for the opportunity to address this matter concerning the offer from the Foundation Beyond Belief.
The American Cancer Society did not turn down very generous donation offer from Foundation Beyond Belief because they are a non-theist organization. We know well that people of every conceivable background, culture, belief and life experience are affected by cancer and are interested in fighting this disease. We believe diversity and inclusion are critical to our mission to eliminate cancer as a major health problem.
Todd Stiefel, a humanist philanthropist and supporter of Foundation Beyond Belief, offered a $250,000 matching gift in 2012 if Foundation Beyond Belief teams could raise $250,000 at 2012 Relay events. The matching gift offer was dependent on his and the Foundation Beyond Belief’s request to become a Relay For Life National Team Partner as part of Relay’s National Team Partner program for clubs and organizations.
The American Cancer Society eliminated the National Team Partner program for clubs and organizations program at the end of our fiscal year (August 31, 2011) in order to put more resources into community-based efforts. The Society maintains a National Team Partner program for commercial entities.
We notified the former clubs and organizations which were National Team Partners of this decision and are working with each of them to ensure their continued participation in Relay For Life and the Society’s mission. For this reason, we respectfully but regretfully declined Todd Stiefel’s and the Foundation Beyond Belief’s request to become a National Team Partner.
Our representative offered them alternatives that are consistent with the way Relay For Life is working with other clubs and organizations across the country that do not meet the criteria of the National Team Program. Our representative also encouraged participation by Foundation Beyond Belief in Relay For Life at the community level and offered to make introductions to local Relay events in communities wherever the Foundation has affiliates across the country. The Society has similar working relationships with many clubs and organizations nationwide.
The American Cancer Society remains committed to discussing with Todd Stiefel and the Foundation Beyond Belief ways in which we can work together. We have and continue to encourage the group’s participation in Relay For Life. We are grateful for Mr. Stiefel’s and the Foundation’s interest in saving lives from cancer. In managing Relay For Life, with thousands of community events and millions of passionate participants nationwide, we strive to deal fairly and consistently with everyone.
Thank you for contacting your American Cancer Society.
Online Cancer Information Specialist
I am disappointed. My step-father died of cancer - squamous cell carcinoma, to be exact. My recent reading of the news has informed me that nearly a half a million dollars was turned down by your organization simply because the organization donating was of atheist origin. My understanding has always been that disease knows no religion. Disease doesn’t care if you are “god fearing”, pagan, wicca, or other.
Please tell me your organization really had other reasons behind a declination of funds that can go toward studies and funding to cure a horrific and death-dealing disease. Please tell me hundreds of thousands of women who face breast cancer on a daily basis aren’t going to be deprived simply because your organization has a religious problem with the receipt of funds. Please tell me you don’t readily accept funds from other organizations with overtly religious ties. Please restore my faith in a foundation that should be all about curing a disease with every bit of funding it receives. Please tell me the death of my step-father wasn’t in vain.