LAST UPDATED: February 9th, 2020
Susan G. Komen For the Cure has grown from a sister’s efforts to memorialize her sibling to a front line organization for breast cancer research and education. The organization is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and has an international presence. Susan G. Komen For the Cure’s program is primarily focused upon awareness and education, but it has a secondary program that awards grants to aid in research. For each dollar received, Susan G. Komen For the Cure puts approximately 60 cents towards education and awareness, 20 cents towards research, and 20 cents towards administrative and fundraising costs.
- Total income
- Administrative expenses
- Fundraising expenses
- Program percentage
- Accessible financial information
- Donor communication
Susan G. Komen For the Cure reported a total income of $250,276,362 in its 2015 financial statement, which is lower than its reported income of $287,409,269 in 2014. It appears as if the organization's income is on a downward trend, with 2013 income totaling $325,202,243 and 2012 income totaling $398,964,568.
According to Susan G. Komen For the Cure's 2015 financial statement, $20,719,400 of its income was spent on administrative expenses. In 2014, Nancy Brinker, the organization's Global Strategy Chair, received a salary of $646,000 and CEO Dr. Judith Salerno received a salary of $475,000.
In 2015, Susan G. Komen For the Cure spent $31,992,548 on fundraising, which is about 10 percent of the organization's annual revenue.
On average, Susan G. Komen For the Cure uses about 80 to 86 percent of its income to support its program. The primary focus of the charity is education, with research being the secondary focus.
Accessible Financial Information
Susan G. Komen For the Cure has published its annual reports for 2009 to 2015, its audited financial statements for 2010 to 2015, and its Form 990s for 2010 to 2015 on the Financial Information page of its website. These reports are comprehensive.
In addition to receiving documentation of their tax-deductible gifts to Susan G. Komen For the Cure, all donors will receive the charity's national newsletter, which highlights current education campaigns and research. Donors have also reported receiving periodic communication from the charity requesting further contributions or alerting them about events in their area.
The most prestigious award given to Susan G. Komen For the Cure is the CEO Cancer Gold StandardTM accreditation, which has been annually awarded to the organization since 2010. This award recognizes the organization's focus on education and prevention in its fight against breast cancer.
Susan G. Komen For the Cure has received the following negative press:
In 2012, Susan G. Komen For the Cure announced that it would no longer provide grants to Planned Parenthood for breast care. This resulted in a drop of donations and the charity canceling some of their previously-scheduled races. The charity released a clarifying statement in 2015 stating that it supported breast cancer screenings and outreach at eleven Planned Parenthood locations with a grant of $465,000.
Nancy Brinker Salary
Another issue that has been frequently addressed in the press is the large salaries drawn by Susan G. Komen For the Cure's founder, Nancy Brinker. Ken Berger, the president and CEO of Charity Navigator, stated that her salary was "extremely high" for the size and scope of the charity.
There has been criticism about some of the products marketed with ties to Susan G. Komen For the Cure. Products range from water bottles to perfumes and are said to contain ingredients which supposedly increase the risk of breast cancer.
Trademarking the Phrase "For the Cure"
Susan G. Komen has controversially trademarked the phrase "For the Cure" and actively protects it legally. This has resulted in many smaller foundations receiving communication from Susan G. Komen's aggressive legal team threatening litigation. While trademarks should be protected, this is seen by many as being excessive and of bad form, considering that there are many diseases for which people want to help find cures to.
Susan G. Komen For the Cure states that its mission is primarily education and awareness. There is nothing wrong with this mission, but many people wrongfully assume that the primary focus of the organization is finding a cure for breast cancer.
The Bottom Line
Susan G. Komen For the Cure is transparent with its financial reports and has a respectable program delivery percentage. However, the organization has received a decent amount of negative press in the past.
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