In light of recent events (2012), it is time for Charity Navigator to take a hard look at the actions of this reprehensible organization. The Komen Foundation is not working in service of its mission, rather, it has politicized and capitalized upon the suffering of women and their families. The actions of the leadership (particularly the Vice President) have endangered the organization, potentially putting it at risk of losing its 501(c)3 designation. Furthermore, Komen's fundraising strategy of marketing any and all products with a pink ribbon (pink handgun anyone?) has put them in bed with companies who produce items known to cause cancer-- Komen's Pink Ribbon perfume contains chemicals knowns to cause cancer. They have exerted significant influence in limiting public access to information on the cuases, and cures for cancer. This organization has spent a significant part of its budget and staff time taking legal action against any other organization that dare use the term "For the Cure" in their marketing. NONE of these actions speak of an organization worth one dollar of your hard earned money. Give local, and pass on donating to this corporation masquerading as a charity.
Wish there was a choice of former donor! Here's what Komen needs to do to win back my support: CLEAN HOUSE by getting rid of staff who care more about politics than women's health: EMPOWER health advocates & professionals by hiring more senior leadership from that background; BACK OFF other crazy political decisions like stem cell research ban. It's sad that they have so betrayed their own mission.
I will never donate to this foundation again. I cannot believe so little money is actually used to fund cancer research. With this foundation pretty much everywhere you turn in the United States, there should already have been a cure. But, 16 people in the foundation are paid almost 4 million dollars a year. 4 MILLION DOLLARS FOR 16 PEOPLE. Disgusting.
Given recent events MUCH more scrutiny needs to go into assessing where SGK is putting their money and who is benefiting. The fact that they oppose stem cell research and their recent attempt to defund Planned Parenthood has made it VERY CLEAR that they are operating from a political agenda--the hiring of V.P. Karen Handel is confirmation of that. Politics has no place in research or providing heath care services so SGK will never receive donations from me again. They have shown their true colors and it's not "Pretty in Pink"...it's partisan politics.
I have walked in the Susan G Komen 3-Day in San Diego and supported a team of walkers for the last three years. I will never give to this organization again. 1. They require an exorbitant amount ($2300!) for event participation and afterward have a history of holding donations and making it hard for walkers to meet fundraising deadlines. It happened to me personally in 2009. 2. The organization which purports to be about a cure should spend more than 20% supporting research. 3. A credible national non-profit would not be wasting money on frivolous lawsuits suing small non-profits for their use of the phrase 'for the cure'. 4. Finally, their decisions to cease funding stem cell research and Planned Parenthood's' breast screenings for low income women seals the deal for me. Even though they later reversed the decision to fund PP they are not committed to funding the exams in the future and it seems like they are more about politics than women. Cancer is not about left or right, both breasts get it just the same. They are not about a cure, and as such, they do not deserve my money.
No more donations to KOMEN ever. Particularly galling was reading that they're opposing ALL STEM CELL research and have pulled funding from various research centers for same...which clearly informs us that they could not possibly be interested in "finding a cure" for much of anything. Along with their 81% "overhead"...they belong in the dumpster along with Ari, Handel, Karl and the rest of these political Opportunists.. and good riddence...Health care is too critical to further politicize --take PROFIT out of humane quality health care for all.
The recent events offer a good lesson in the need to check out charities (especially large ones) and not just accept their PR statement and past history. Changes can be made quickly, and sometimes not even made public. Henceforth I shall always check out the spending of charities, especially administrative costs and political focus. And despite the potential course reversal to support Planned Parenthood, I will now make my woman's health donations to smaller local charities. This one is too big to be properly accountable.
Since Komen's political agenda has come to light, I have not only removed them from my favorites charities here, but I will NEVER donate to them again. Politics has NO place in women's health issues. By their actions of defunding Planned Parenthood and then giving us some lame answer(lie) as to why they reversed their decision, they have violated a trust with their supporters that as far as I am concerned, can never be repaired, I will continue to support the National Breast Cancer Foundation and the Breast Cancer Site. Shame on Karen Handel, Ari Fleischer and especially Nancy Brinker for pulling partisan politics into their "mission" to find a cure for breast cancer. And it's not just me as as a supporter who feels this way, friends of mine who have had breast cancer were angry and hurt by their shameful, hypocritical and ignorant behavior. The damage has been done by and to this one lauded organization.
Review from CharityNavigator
I am disturbed and disgusted to see an organization turning something so basic, so necessary, so fundamental as health into a political and profitable pawn. It's bad enough that Nancy Brinker admits is a Republican donor and ambassador, but to hire and pay politicians and Republican strategists like Karen Handel and Bush former press secretary Ari Fleischer to help guide their policy on de-funding Planned Parenthood and thus de-funding breast cancer screenings... I am disturbed and disgusted that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation has the gall to call themselves a partisan "non-profit" - while raking in lavish salaries and lifestyles, and paying political strategists. I will NEVER support any event, product, or time for the Komen foundation ever again. Board members that fly around in first class, hold lavish parties, get plastic surgery with their salaries, taking money away from research. For shame, Nancy Brinker. You have sold your sister out for a personal profit. I will never buy anything that bears the Komen foundation's name on it. I support breast cancer research and will donate elsewhere. But I'm left to wonder why with as much power and wealth the Komen foundation has, that a cure has yet to be found. Perhaps it is because it will put Brinker out of a job, and put an end to her half a million a year salary (plus benefits).
From the mission statement of SGK for the cure:"Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever." But she does not do everything in her power. She refuses to support embryonic stem cell research, and even though she has apologized for cutting off funding from Planned Parenthood (4 star rating) she has not confirmed that the funding will continue in the future. The apology was self-serving and only in response to a huge negative reaction.
Review from CharityNavigator
SGK's policy of politicized grantmaking makes it a rather poor excuse for a charity.
I know so many people who like myself gave time sweat and money to this organization in the belief that they wanted to help all women beat breast cancer. Now I find out that they are choosing not to fund one of the most accessible screening facilities for those in need. This is not responsible stewardship of the public trust. This is reprehensible and abusive to those whose hard work and generosity were offered based on your previous operating standards. We will find other organizations to support. Shame on you and your board of directors.
Susan G. Komen has shown their political ties, putting religion and politics before the health of women. Having lost close friends and family to breast cancer, I've obviously been a huge supporter of SGK in the past. While I am thankful that the decision against Planned Parenthood has been reversed, I fear it may simply be lip service in an effort to stop the massive outcry against SGK. Furthermore, those responsible for the decision against Planned Parenthood still sit on the board of Susan G Komen. Without major change within the organization, their image is permanently tainted. My donations and time will be redirected to Planned Parenthood and other, ethical organizations (Doctor's Without Borders, etc).
My friend, a pro-life advocate, walked 60 miles in Seattle and raised $2500 for this charity. I now hear that you contribute money to Planned Parenthood. What in the world does that have to do with breast cancer? I can no longer donate with my conscience intact and I am sure my friend will not walk again.
This should say "past donor." Even though you reversed your decision, I will NEVER, EVER support your organization. You've shown your true colors. I'm 26, so I would have a lot of years of contributions ahead of me too. My hard-earned cash is going to Planned Parenthood. They are actually THERE for women when we need them the most, and without judgement too.
There are no politics in breast cancer. Because several close friends have died from breast cancer, I gave money to the SGK Foundation through friends doing the walk for a cure. However, I am dismayed to learn that they are politically motivated in their grants. I ask that Karen Handel, a politician who doesn't seem able to change her hat, step down from her position with Komen. Sue Bishop
Letting petty politics get in the way of helping women is not something that a responsible charity should allow. I'll no longer be supporting their walks for the cure. I'd rather give my money to an organization that puts women's health above politics.
Never again will Komen get donations from me. And all those pink ribbon products, forget it, if there is an alternative product, that is what I will buy. Yes, you reversed your politically motivated decision, but I want to support an organization that serves women, regardless of what the politicians say or do. Planned Parenthood gets all of my donations from now on.