I'm sure you've begun to notice the pink ribbons, shirts, gloves and shoes that are slowly popping up on your favorite sport or talk shows, worn by players, coaches and tv personalities. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and this year it seems like people are getting a bit of a head start. While I'm certainly not a fan of rushing into October (goodbye summer, we hardly knew thee), it is good to be prepared. So why not order custom breast cancer awareness wristbands now so you can get the fundraising started right on October 1?

While getting a head start is important to achieving success, that doesn't mean you shouldn't do your due diligence. It's very important to know where your donated money is going, and doing proper up-front research is integral to a successful fundraiser.

Here is a list of some highly recommended breast cancer charities who could use your help:

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute - http://www.dana-farber.org/
Susan G. Komen for the Cure - http://ww5.komen.org/
Living Beyond Breast Cancer - http://www.lbbc.org/
Young Survival Coalition - http://www.youngsurvival.org/
National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. - http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/

All five of the above charities are rated very highly on charitynavigator.org (one of several trusted websites that vet charities). Of course, it's up to you to decide where your donated money goes. Please research the charity you choose thoroughly to make sure your money is going to the people who truly need it.

For more information on questionable charities, check out this great piece of investigative reporting by the Tampa Bay Times. Several breast cancer charities appear on the list: