Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I've never donated to Komen, and I never will...

thought I'd get that out of the way right up front.

Big charities have always made me a bit apprehensive.  I can well remember working at places that pressured you into having money deducted from your check for United Way, which always struck me as some sort of big community organizing group doling out the money as they saw fit after skimming off a big chunk for salaries and whatnot.  

Susan G. Komen may have started with the very best intentions.  Early on when they got in bed with Planned Parenthood, they were promptly dumped from my list of charities to support.  I never bothered to do any more research because the Planned Parenthood connection "ended the discussion" for me.

So now we have this big brouhaha over Komen funding, then not funding, and now, once again sort of funding, Planned Parenthood.  I thought a deeper look into Komen was in order and that's what I've been doing for the past 3 or so days.  There was lots of information available, and none of it (IMO) reflected too well on Komen.

On the second day, I bumped into a post that included some of the same thoughts and had put together the facts and figures.  I thank them, because it saved me a bunch of time.

I did, however, take many hours verifying their links and information plus looking at more current figures.   As always, "Trust, but verify."  And while their leanings over at Butter Believer decidedly have more of a "natural medicine" direction, the figures don't lie. 


Butter Believer: I Will Not Be Pinkwashed: Why I Do Not Support Susan G. Komen for the Cure

I think most women who are riding the Komen wagon are there because they believe the majority of the money goes to research.  This is far from the reality of what they do.  I'm not saying what they do is wrong.  What I am saying is that they tend to present themselves as an organization that is helping to fund a "cure."  After all, isn't their biggest event every year the "Race for the Cure?"  In order to find a cure you need to spend money on research, no?

In fiscal year ending March of 2011, they had revenues of 438,965,760.  Of that amount only 75,301,537 went toward research.  The bulk of Komen's money goes toward education (181,092,283).  I'm not going to get into compensation of the top people in the organization, which would definitely place them in the high end of Obama's evil rich. All of this is public knowledge and easily accessible by reading their public financials (pdf) and checking out the verifiable figures from the blog link above for fiscal year 2008. 

According to Komen's own figures  here's what goes into research:

From Butter Believer:
Susan G. Komen does indeed provide millions of dollars to fund research — but what exactly are they researching with those grants? One blogger diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer who had serious doubts of the intentions of the Komen foundation, dug through the research grants herself, and found the following information about how Komen’s research money is spent:
click to embiggun
I don't see too much money going to actual research. 

And then we move on to the corporate sponsorships and all that ugly pink crap they sell.  Think you're "helping" the cause by purchasing a pink T-shirt?  Think again.  Most of the money donated to Komen from the sale of the "sea of pink" stuff has a either a time limit or an amount limit.  Once the criteria is reached, the flow of funds to Komen is caput.  If you really wanted a pink T-shirt or one of those ugly rubber bracelets (who ever thought up the "rubber band as statement" is a genius), and don't care who profits, then all is well and good.  If not, at least you have the consolation of making a public statement that you care about breasts.

To add to the mayhem, vice president Karen Handel resigned today.  After perusing the comments on both liberal and conservative sites, it appears I'm not the only one asking the "how much does Komen really spend on research" question.  

So I will continue my status as a non-contributor of Susan B. Komen and find a better way to fund research. 

Read the entire article at Butter Believer and thank them for their hard work.


The Blaze:   Pro-Life Komen VP Resigns After Planned Parenthood Defunding Debacle

American Thinker:   Komen Disgraces Its Own Cause

Standing on my Head:   Money and Sex

WSJ:   Charity Brawl: Nonprofits Aren't So Generous When a Name's at Stake

Proof Positive:   Private Charity, Public Coercion

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