Saturday, August 25, 2012

Livestrong Lance Armstrong!

By now, we know the latest news from the world of sports about Lance Armstrong and I'm not going there.What I want to do, instead is honor a man who persevered as a cancer survivor and has done a world of good in the world as a cancer survivor. I got curious about a few things. Though he seems to have acted dishonorably in the sports world, how does his performance in the cancer world stack up?

I registered at Charity Navigator and compared Livestrong (The Lance Armstrong Foundation) with the American Cancer Society and the Melanoma Research Foundation.

Before I copy/paste what I found, let me share this with you, copied and pasted from Charity Navigator explaining what numbers should be high and which ones low:

"Organizational Efficiency:We assess four key indicators to determine how efficiently and responsibly a charity functions day to day.
1.Program Expenses: Percent of total functional expenses spent on programs and services. (higher is better)
2.Administrative Expenses: Percent of total functional expenses spent on management and general. (lower is better)
3.Fundraising expenses: Percent of total functional expenses spent on fundraising. (lower is better)
4.Fundraising efficiency: Amount a charity spends to raise $1. (lower is better)

We combine the scores in these four categories to obtain an overall efficiency score. Based on the score, we assign a rating of between zero and four stars to each charity (four being the highest)."

OK, now to compare. The chart, in its entirety, would not copy/paste well into this blog, so I'll have to do it one charity at a time. Sorry, I tried. To make your own comparisons of charities you have to register, add charities to your "My Charities," and then, from that page follow instructions.
Livestrong (The Lance Armstrong Foundation):

Program Expenses 80.4%
Administrative Expenses 6.1%
Fundraising Expenses 13.3%
Fundraising Efficiency $0.14
Primary Revenue Growth 3.6%
Program Expenses Growth 3.5%
Working Capital Ratio (years) 2.60

$321,821   1.01% of expenses   Douglas Ulman President  (salary)

American Cancer Society:
Program Expenses 70.8%
Administrative Expenses 7.2%
Fundraising Expenses 21.9%
Fundraising Efficiency $0.23
Primary Revenue Growth -5.1%
Program Expenses Growth -0.6%
Working Capital Ratio (years) 1.12

$2,081,246      0.21%  of expenses  John Seffrin  Chief Executive Officer


Melanoma Research Foundation:

Program Expenses 89.9%
Administrative Expenses 7.2%
Fundraising Expenses 2.7%
Fundraising Efficiency $0.02
Primary Revenue Growth 3.9%
Program Expenses Growth 12.1%
Working Capital Ratio (years)   0.55  

$160,000      5.55% of expenses  Timothy Turnham  Executive Director (salary)

There's much more information that can be looked at but I chose to not get into it any heavier than this for space sake. For the record, both Livestrong and Melanoma Research Foundation are rated as 4 Star charities and the American Cancer Society is rated as a 2 Star.

About Lance and his cancer, this is copy/pasted from Wikipedia:
"In October 1996 he was diagnosed as having testicular cancer with a tumor that had metastasized to his brain and lungs. His cancer treatments included brain and testicular surgery and extensive chemotherapy, and his prognosis was initially poor. In 1999, he was named the ABC Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year. In 2000 he won the Prince of Asturias Award in Sports. In 2002, Sports Illustrated magazine named him Sportsman of the Year. He was also named Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year for the years 2002–2005. He received ESPN's ESPY Award for Best Male Athlete in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006, and won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality Award in 2003. Armstrong announced his retirement from racing on July 24, 2005, at the end of the 2005 Tour de France but returned to competitive cycling in January 2009 and finished third in the 2009 Tour de France. He confirmed he had retired from competitive cycling for good on February 16, 2011."

Did he use performance enhancing drugs? I don't know. Frankly, to have raced at all after going through all he went through to live and to race, I'd be surprised if he didn't. I can't imagine having the stamina and ability to compete, on any level, after those surgeries and treatments without major "help." It would have been nice if he had been upfront, from the beginning and said, "I'd like to compete but cancer has drained me, can I use "this" to help?" IF he did, indeed, use drugs. Maybe allowances could have been made. Again, I don't know and I'm not sitting in judgement.

I just want to say "thank you" to a man who, while he may have made a series of grave mistakes and misjudgements, in the world of sports, has made major contributions in the world of cancer. Livestrong is a great organization and they also have a great website.

Thank you, Lance Armstrong.

Live strong

And be grateful!


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