Report: Knoxville Charity Among Nation's Worst

Jun 13, 2013

Cancer Fund of America headquarters in Knoxville.
Credit Cancer Fund of America

A Knoxville-based cancer charity raises millions of dollars, but sends only a pittance to the people it claims to help.

A Tampa Bay Times/Center for Investigative Reporting investigation calls Cancer Fund of America one of the nation’s worst charities. Records show the group sends only two cents per donated dollar to cancer patients. The Times reports Cancer Fund of America founder James T. Reynolds, Sr., and his family run five charities that pay executive salaries to nearly a dozen relatives.

In the past three years alone, Cancer Fund and its associated charities raised $110 million. The charities paid more than $75 million of that to solicitors who help raise more money.

Salaries in 2011 topped $8 million — 13 times more than patients received in cash. Nearly $1 million went to Reynolds family members.

In the last two decades, regulators in at least six states have looked into allegations against Cancer Fund. The charity has paid more than $525,000 to settle charges that include lying to donors.

Members of the Reynolds family declined requests from the Times for interviews, but defend their programs in emails.