Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Speaking of philanthropy--what about Race for the Cure

Saying anything negative about the various races for this or that cause or disease in which volunteers raise funds from family and friends and sponsors is like being against motherhood and apple pie in this country. But let's look at the facts. It IS called "Race for the CURE." A cure would imply some heavy duty research, right? The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was founded in 1982 by Nancy Goodman Brinker after losing her sister, Susan Komen, to breast cancer. According to their latest annual report, the Foundation and its affiliates have raised, in sum total (2009 figures) $1.3 billion dollars and have awarded more than 1,000 breast cancer research grants totaling approximately $190 million. (from the Komen web site) Cha-ching. That means the Foundation has spent $1.12 billion on expenses. Could you stay in business with figures like that? Would you sponsor a runner if you knew that in 2007 total revenue was $274,875,945, and total functional expenses were $239,544,000, and that the COO, Patrice Tosi, was paid $513,095 (2007 figures latest available in Charity Navigator).

Even the small amount that isn't used to keep the organization up and running with well paid staff, is primarily used for education and screening grants, not research that will really benefit women in the long run. Yes, mammograms are important, as are printed brochures and posters reminded women of the signs, but folks, unless the English language has really changed more than I realize, "education" is not "cure."

Lop a few zeros off those figures so you can understand the problem. If the Boy Scouts took in $1,300 selling Christmas trees, and $180 went into the fund for the trip to Yosemite, and the leaders kept $1,120 for their own expenses, the cost of the trees, advertising the tree sale and you and your son were also asked to volunteer to help, wouldn't you think something was funny if all you raised for all your efforts was $180?

I would love to have someone prove these numbers somehow make sense and not just get nasty and sling mud because I've pointed out another idol with clay feet.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Several affiliates of the Komen Foundation have given grants to Planned Parenthood, the largest single promoter and provider of abortion in America. Research has linked breast cancer to abortions.