What are Susan G. Komen donations really funding?
Every October, the signature pink ribbon decorates anywhere and everywhere it can find a viable place: on popular trending products, the uniforms of NFL teams and on the backpacks of Florida Gulf Coast University students wandering around campus.
But how much of what is donated actually goes toward treatment for all of those mothers, daughters, grandmothers and sisters fighting breast cancer?
Susan G Komen is a household name and is often associated with the most popular and highest-grossing organization in the fight against breast cancer. Unfortunately, the organization’s squeaky clean image has been under fire in recent years concerning a multitude of issues, including the public questioning how much of their donations go toward funding treatment, the extremely high increase in a CEO’s salary, and a decision to remove itself from a partnership with Planned Parenthood, another organization that makes access to procedures such as mammograms than can help with early diagnosis more accessible to the general public.
According to a report written by Sharon Begley and Janet Roberts on Reuters.com and financial reports published on Susan G. Komen’s webpage, research shows that the Susan G Komen’s funding for research is trending downward. Between the years 2009-10 funding broke down like this: 21 percent went toward research, 40 percent funded public education, 13 percent tended to screening services, 11 percent for administrative costs, 10 percent for fundraising, and only a fraction over 5 percent went toward actual treatment. In 2011, the cost for education and administrative costs increased while the costs for screening services, research and treatment all decreased.
In my opinion, these numbers look a little skewed.
What Susan G Komen should be focusing on is distributing the majority of its funds toward prevention, early detection, aggressive treatment and continuous research so that one day breast cancer will be a thing of the past. I like to think that Susan G. Komen has good intentions. In the 32 years since Susan G. Komen was founded, the organization has raised billions of dollars for its mission to find a cure for breast cancer. If the Komen group pushed more of it funding back to Planned Parenthood, an organization that could potentially provide millions of women with the opportunity for early detection, and funded research and treatment collectively more than a rough 25 percent, Komen could possibly win over all of those who criticize them in their funding decisions.