Would you donate to the Livestrong Foundation if Lance Armstrong weren't a part of it? That's the hope behind his resignation from the board the cancer charity he helped to found. According to Bloomberg's Drew Armstrong his last day was November 4 and the move severs all formal ties between the foundation and the cyclist who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles due to accusation of doping. The thought behind the move is that if there's enough psychological space between the cheater and a really great cancer organization, perhaps the latter can survive a donation downturn following his scandal.
The second pressing question isn't unlike the fallout from controversy involving the Susan G. Komen Foundation earlier this year: Is the damaged charity even worth saving? It is. The amount of work Livestrong has done and the amount it has raised to fight cancer is enough to make you wonder if Armstrong's cheating was worth it. New York's Gary Blesky recapped the foundation's impact earlier this month:
His Livestrong Foundation—created as the Lance Armstrong Foundation two years before his first Tour win—has raised nearly $500 million to fight cancer; it’s rated A- by the American Institute of Philanthropy’s Charity Watch. Roughly 82 percent of the nearly $36 million that Livestrong reportedly spent last year went to programs rather than overhead. That’s impressive for any nonprofit and better, for example, than the beneficent St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which is rated B+ by Charity Watch and passes along only 81 percent of its donations to research and treatment.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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