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Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Susan G. Komen
Founded 1982 in Dallas, Texas
Founder Nancy Goodman Brinker
Headquarters 5005 LBJ Fwy., Ste. 250
Dallas, TX 75244
1101 King Street, Suite 520
Alexandria, VA 22314
Key people
Dr. Judy Salerno (President & CEO)
Nancy Brinker (Founder & Chair of Global Strategy)
Dr. George W. Sledge, Jr. (Chief Scientific Adviser)Linda P. Custard (Chair, Board of Directors)
Slogan "It all started with a promise."

Susan G. Komen, formerly known as Susan G. Komen for the Cure and originally as The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, often referred to as simply Komen, is the most widely known, largest and best-funded United States.[1]

Since its inception in 1982, Komen has spent (through 2010) nearly $1.5 billion[2] for breast cancer education, research, advocacy, health services and social support programs in the U.S.,[3] and through partnerships in more than 50 countries.[4][5] Today, Komen has more than 100,000 volunteers[6] working in a network of 124 affiliates worldwide.[7]

According to the cause marketing[11] and its use of misleading statistics in advertising.[12][13][14] In 2012, a Komen attempt to withdraw funding to Planned Parenthood for mammograms drew controversy, some believing that this led to a significant decline in donations and event participation.[15]


  • History 1
  • Philosophy 2
  • Activities 3
    • Use of funds 3.1
    • Grants and awards 3.2
    • Global activities 3.3
  • Fundraising 4
    • Cause marketing 4.1
    • Events 4.2
    • Mobile fundraising 4.3
    • Top corporate partners 4.4
  • Controversy and criticism 5
    • Pinkwashing in cause marketing 5.1
      • Donation criticisms 5.1.1
      • Health criticisms 5.1.2
    • Legal battles over trademarking 5.2
    • Relationship with Planned Parenthood 5.3
    • Embryonic stem cell research 5.4
    • CEO salary 5.5
  • See also 6
  • Notes 7
  • Further reading 8
  • External links 9


Susan Goodman, later Susan Goodman Komen, was born in 1943 in Peoria, Illinois. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 33.[16] She died of the disease at age 36 in 1980.[17] Komen's younger sister, Nancy Goodman Brinker, who believed that Susan's outcome might have been better if patients knew more about cancer and its treatment, promised her sister that she would do everything she could to end breast cancer.[17][18] To fulfill that promise, Brinker founded the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in Komen's memory in 1982.[18]

In 2008, the 25th anniversary of the organization, the name was changed to Susan G. Komen for the Cure and breast cancer awareness ("pink ribbon culture"): fear of breast cancer, hope, and the charitable goodness of people and businesses who publicly support the breast cancer movement.[1]

In December 2009 Brinker was appointed CEO of the organization.[22]


Komen advocates for breast self-awareness as a primary method for fighting breast cancer.[23][24] Komen supports universal screening mammography as well as ever-increasing levels of government spending on diagnosing and treating breast cancer.[25] They promote early detection as the primary tool for preventing breast cancer deaths.[26]

Many scientific reviews have concluded that indiscriminate screening mammography for all middle-aged and older women, regardless of each woman's individual risk of developing breast cancer, results in overtreatment of some women whose cancer would never harm them. For every one woman whose life is saved by screening mammography, 250 to 500 women will be told that they might have breast cancer when they don't (false positives), 125 to 250 will have biopsies performed, and between two and ten women will receive unnecessary treatment.[27][28][29] Komen's response is to "keep hammering away at our basic message, which is, early detection saves lives".[30]

By contrast, organizations like the cancer prevention.[25]


Use of funds

Komen's 2009–2010 Expenses

  Research (20.9%)
  Public health education (39.1%)
  Health screening services (13.0%)
  Treatment (5.6%)
  Fund-raising costs (10.0%)
  Administrative costs (11.3%)

In the 2009–2010 fiscal year, ending March 31, 2010, Komen reported approximately US$400 million in earnings. Of this, $365 million (91.3 percent) came from contributions from the public, including donations, sponsorships, race entry fees, and contributed goods and services. Approximately $35 million (8.8 percent) came from interest and dividends and gains on investments.[31]

That same fiscal year, Komen reported approximately US$360 million in expenses. $283.2 million of this went towards program services: $75.4 million (20.9 percent of total expenditure) went to research, $140.8 million (39.1 percent) went to public health education, $46.9 million (13 percent) went to health screening services, and $20.1 million (5.6 percent) went to treatment services. The other $76.8 million went to supporting services, including $36.1 million (10 percent of total expenditure) toward fund-raising costs and $40.6 million (11.3 percent) toward general and administrative costs.[31]

The Komen CEO salary in 2010 was $459,406 a year.[32] Komen paid founder and CEO Nancy Brinker $417,712 in 2011,.[33] After the Planned Parenthood controversy, donations dropped and the foundation canceled half of its races but Brinkler received a 64% increase to $684,000 a year which drew fire, and was considered "extremely high" according to Charity Navigator's CEO.[34]

Grants and awards

Since its foundation in 1982, Komen has provided funding for basic, clinical, and

  • Susan G. Komen for the Cure website
  • Komen Race for the Cure Series website
  • National Race for the Cure website

External links

Further reading

  1. ^ a b Gayle A. Sulik (2010). Pink Ribbon Blues: How Breast Cancer Culture Undermines Women's Health. USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 146–150.  
  2. ^ Mcdonald, Karen (2010-01-20). "U.S. House honors Nancy Brinker - Peoria, IL". Retrieved 2010-06-12. 
  3. ^ [3], Dallas Morning News, accessed May 4, 2008
  4. ^ "Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, Founder of the World’s Largest Breast Cancer Awareness Organization to Speak to Palestinian Audience" (Press release). U.S. Department of State. 2007-03-27. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  5. ^ EDT (2009-04-24). "Credo: Nancy Goodman Brinker". Washington Examiner. Retrieved 2010-06-12. 
  6. ^ "Our View: In Alexandria, it's time to run and make a difference".  
  7. ^ "Austin-based Convio helps Komen raise money, mobilize volunteers".  
  8. ^ "The NonProfit Times - The Leading Business Publication For Nonprofit Management". 2010-03-04. Retrieved 2010-06-12. 
  9. ^ Joslyn, Heather (2010-03-04). "Two Health Charities Rank as America's Most Trusted Nonprofit Brands - News - The Chronicle of Philanthropy- Connecting the nonprofit world with news, jobs, and ideas". Retrieved 2010-06-12. 
  10. ^ a b Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Charity Navigator. Retrieved August 27, 2014.
  11. ^ How the Susan G. Komen Foundation Lost Its Way
  12. ^ Komen Cancer Group Criticized for Ads Backing Mammograms (BusinessWeek)
  13. ^ Breast Cancer: Komen Oversells Mammograms, Doctors Say (ABC News)
  14. ^ BMJ OpEd Says Komen Ads False
  15. ^
  16. ^ Cunningham, Chris (October 1, 2010). "Promise heard around the world".  
  17. ^ a b "Susan G. Komen's story", Susan G. Komen for the Cure official site. Retrieved March 2, 2008.
  18. ^ a b "Palm Beacher Nancy G. Brinker to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom".  
  19. ^ a b "Susan G. Komen for the Cure: New name, renewed mission to fight breast cancer". Brainerd Dispatch. January 27, 2007. Retrieved March 11, 2011. 
  20. ^ a b "Local Komen affiliate gets new logo". Courier Press. January 22, 2007. Retrieved March 11, 2011. 
  21. ^ De Leon, Virginia (November 24, 2007). "Nun, 77, is a respected Ironman triathlete".  
  22. ^ "Susan G. Komen founder Nancy Brinker returns as CEO — Dallas Business Journal". 2009-12-02. Retrieved 2010-06-12. 
  23. ^ "Digital mammography reaches Worthington".  
  24. ^ "Understanding Breast Cancer | Breast Self-Awareness". Susan G. Komen for the Cure. 2012-10-22. Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  25. ^ a b c Sulik, 2010. pages 52–53.
  26. ^ Sulik, 2010. page 131.
  27. ^ Welch, H. Gilbert; Woloshin, Steve; Schwartz, Lisa A. (2011). Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health. Beacon Press. p. 149.  
  28. ^ BMJ OpEd Says Komen Ads False, By Charles Bankhead, Staff Writer, MedPage Today, Aug 2, 2012
  29. ^ Steven Woloshin, Lisa M. Schwartz (2 August 2012). "Not So Stories: How a charity oversells mammography". BMJ 345: e5132.  
  30. ^ Aschwanden, Christie (17 August 2009). "The Trouble with Mammograms".  
  31. ^ a b The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. (2010). "Consolidated Statements of Activities" (PDF). Consolidated Financial Statements and Supplemental Schedules. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  32. ^ A new book takes down Breast Cancer Awareness Month (Slate, Oct. 29, 2010)
  33. ^ Komen charity under microscope for funding, science (Reuters)
  34. ^ Susan Komen CEO's salary draws fire as donations drop, races are canceled (NBC News)
  35. ^ a b "Komen Grants & Awards". Susan G. Komen for the Cure official page. Retrieved 2007-03-30. 
  36. ^ "Research Grants". Susan G. Komen for the Cure official page. Retrieved 2007-02-18.
  37. ^ Komen charity under microscope for funding, science, By Sharon Begley and Janet Roberts, Reuters, Feb 8, 2012
  38. ^ Breast cancer charity Komen's spending (Reuters)
  39. ^ 2010-2011 Final Audited Financial Statements
  40. ^ "Cancer Fact Sheet". World Health Organization. Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  41. ^ "Susan G. Komen for the Cure: Our Global Reach". Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  42. ^ "About Us".  
  43. ^ "Washington, DC | Susan G. Komen For The Cure Pushes Global Awareness". Retrieved 2010-06-12. 
  44. ^ Eglash, Ruth (2010-10-28). "‘Race for the Cure’ braves J'lem traffic in historic march". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  45. ^ "Cindy Schneible, VP Cause MarketingSusan G. Komen Breast Cancer Fndn. - Cause Marketing Forum - Cause Related Marketing Source". Cause Marketing Forum. 2003-06-19. Retrieved 2010-06-12. 
  46. ^ Sulik, 2010. pages 133-146.
  47. ^ "Topic Galleries - South Florida". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  48. ^ Susan G. Komen for the Cure
  49. ^ "Niet compatibele browser". Facebook. Retrieved 2010-06-12. 
  50. ^ a b About Us, Komen's "I am the Cure" website, accessed 10 June 2011.
  51. ^ "Komen Race for the Cure". Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  52. ^ "Bowl for the Cure". USBC. Retrieved 2011-01-25. 
  53. ^ "Charitable Arm of Bowling". The Bowling Foundation. Retrieved 2011-01-25. 
  54. ^ Komen Launches Text Message Based Breast Cancer Donation System
  55. ^
  56. ^ a b Szabo, Liz (2010-09-29). "A 'Promise' spurred Susan G. Komen, breast cancer fight". USA Today. 
  57. ^ Singer, Natasha (2011-10-15). "Welcome, Fans, to the Pinking of America". New York Times. 
  58. ^ Stacie, Stukin (2006-10-08). "Pink Ribbon Promises".  
  59. ^ "Sick of pink". The Boston Globe. 2009-10-04. Retrieved 2013-06-11. 
  60. ^ a b  
  61. ^ Orenstein, Susan (2003-02-01). "The Selling of Breast Cancer Is corporate America's love affair with a disease that kills 40,000 women a year good marketing--or bad medicine?". Business 2.0 (CNN Money). Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  62. ^ No Family History: The Environmental Links to Breast Cancer, Sabrina McCormick, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, July 16, 2010 ISBN 978-0-7425-6409-1 page 52
  63. ^ Gambles, Sarah. "Are all the pink ribbons helping to cure cancer?". Deseret News. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  64. ^ "Dedicated to Fighting Breast Cancer: We're fighting breast cancer". Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  65. ^ "Real Water launches limited-edition pink bottle to support Susan G. Komen". Beverage Industry. September 24, 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  66. ^ University of Texas at Arlington (March 6, 2014). "BPA linked to breast cancer tumor growth". ScienceDaily. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  67. ^ John Neff RSS feed Google+. "Ford reveals 2008 Mustang with Warriors in Pink package". Autoblog. Retrieved 2013-06-11. 
  68. ^ "Jennifer Aniston, Ford ‘Warriors in Pink’ team up to fight breast cancer".  
  69. ^ Capra Ovidiu (2008-03-19). "Ford Warriors In Pink Mustang". Zer Customs. Retrieved 2013-06-11. 
  70. ^ Tuesday, June 11, 2013 12:39 p.m. EDT Facebook Twitter RSS (2012-11-19). "Auto plastics industry linked to breast cancer, new study shows".  
  71. ^ "Study finds breast cancer risk for women in auto plastics factories". NBC News. Retrieved 2013-06-11. 
  72. ^ "Scientists & KFC". The Colbert Report. Comedy Central. 2010-04-29. Retrieved 2011-04-27. 
  73. ^ Black, Rosemary (2010-04-22). "Eat fried chicken for the cure? KFC's fundraiser with Susan G. Komen group raises some eyebrows".  
  74. ^ "KFC Presents to Susan G. Komen for the Cure® a Check for more than $4.2 Million: Single Largest Donation in Organization’s History". Susan G. Komen for the Cure. 2010-08-24. Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  75. ^ Szabo, Liz (2010-07-00). "Komen's pink ribbons raise green, and questions". USA Today. Retrieved 2014-11-16. 
  76. ^ Weiss, Jeffrey (2011-10-06). "Dallas-based Komen for the Cure in a stink over perfume". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2011-03-08. 
  77. ^ Meyers, Rhiannon (3 October 2014). "Breast cancer awareness heads to oil patch on a pink drill bit". Fuel Fix (Hearst Communications Inc.). Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  78. ^ Karuna Jaggar (21 October 2014). "Komen is supposed to be curing breast cancer. So why is its pink ribbon on so many carcinogenic products?". Washington Post. Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  79. ^ Sulik, Gayle (2010-12-20). "The Battle "For the Cure": The Phrase, That Is".  
  80. ^ Marks, Clifford M. (2010-08-05). "Charity Brawl: Nonprofits Aren't So Generous When a Name's at Stake". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2010-09-01. 
  81. ^ a b Bassett, Laura (2010-12-07). "'"Susan G. Komen Foundation Elbows Out Charities Over Use Of The Word 'Cure. The Huffington Post. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  82. ^ Sulik, 2010. pages 146–150.
  83. ^ Leopold, Ellen (2001-10-07). "Shopping for the Cure". The American Prospect. Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  84. ^ "Lawsuits for the Cure: From the Archives". Awesome Cancer Survivor. 2012-10-07. Retrieved 2013-06-11. 
  85. ^ Staley, Alicia C. (2010-12-08). "Lawsuits for the Cure". WegoHealth. Archived from the original on 2012-05-10. Retrieved 2012-02-08.  cited by
  86. ^ Komen for Cure, Planned Parenthood sparks fly (CBS News, February 2, 2012)
  87. ^ Komen’s House of Cards
  88. ^
  89. ^
  90. ^  
  91. ^ a b c Reactions heated on Planned Parenthood-Komen rift (AP)
  92. ^ Editorials on Komen vs. Planned Parenthood
  93. ^ , January 31, 2012SlateMarcotte, Amanda, "Susan B. Komen's Act of Cowardice."
  94. ^ Komen for the Cure sells out women, again (Salon, Feb 1, 2012)
  95. ^ Susan G. Komen Loses Support After Planned Parenthood Decision
  96. ^ Breaking: Two dozen Senators call on Komen to reverse Planned Parenthood decision (The Washington Post, 02/02/2012)
  97. ^ NYC mayor gives Planned Parenthood $250K matching grant (CNN), February 02, 2012)
  98. ^ Planned Parenthood Replaces Komen Grant With Online Push (Bloomberg Businessweek), February 02, 2012)
  99. ^ Statement from Susan G. Komen Board of Directors and Founder and CEO Nancy G. Brinker (February 3, 2012)
  100. ^ Top official quits, some affiliates upset as Komen cancer fund cuts Planned Parenthood grants (Chicago Tribune, February 1, 2012)
  101. ^ "Komen Official Quits". ABC News (US). Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  102. ^ "Komen Foundation VP resigns, blasts Planned Parenthood -". CNN. 2012-02-08. 
  103. ^ Reuters (August 8, 2012). Susan G. Komen Founder Nancy Brinker To Leave CEO Role.
  104. ^ Hensley, Scott (2012-06-01). "Planned Parenthood Controversy Hangs Over Komen's Fundraising Races : Shots - Health News". NPR. Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  105. ^ Lisa DeJong (Sep 2012). "Komen Race for the Cure sees drop in participants in Cleveland". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  106. ^ "Komen breast cancer charity cancels three-day events".  
  107. ^ Abramovitch, Seth (August 13, 2012). Executive Behind Susan G. Komen's Planned Parenthood Defunding Announces Memoir. The Hollywood Reporter
  108. ^ Stengle, Jamie (3 January 2014). "Komen sees big drop in 2013 contributions". USA Today. Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  109. ^ The Madeleine Brand Show (2012-02-03). "Post-Planned Parenthood, stem cell research may be Komen's next controversy | The Madeleine Brand Show". 89.3  
  110. ^ Komen's Position on Stem Cells Remains Unclear
  111. ^ Cancer Stem Cell Research Shows Promise (Komen's frontline newsletter, Fall 2006)
  112. ^ Hall, Cheryl (May 3, 2013). "Nancy Brinker gets big pay raise". Dallas News. 
  113. ^ a b Lisa Myers; Talesha Reynolds (June 10, 2013). "Susan Komen CEO's salary draws fire as donations drop, races are canceled".  
  114. ^
  115. ^ [4]


See also

After the release of this information, Doctor Judith Salerno was named CEO, with Brinker named Founder and Chair of Global Strategy.[115]

This pay package is way outside the norm. It's about a quarter of a million dollars more than what we see for charities of this size. This is more than the head of the Red Cross is making for an organization that is one-tenth the size of the Red Cross.
— Ken Berger of Charity Navigator, a group that evaluates and rates charities[113]

According to Komen's 2011–2012` IRS Form 990 declarations, then-CEO Nancy Brinker made $684,717 in that fiscal year,[112] a 64 percent raise. Komen stated the last CEO salary hike had taken place in November 2010.[113] While Charity Navigator continued to give Komen very favourable overall ratings[10] on the basis of figures Komen had declared to the IRS,[114] Charity Navigator president and CEO Ken Berger described this remuneration as "extremely high".

CEO salary

Komen has not clarified its current position on embryonic stem cell research, which it supported in 2006.[111]

Potentially affected are millions of dollars funding cancer research at institutions such as Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the U.S. National Cancer Institute, which also conduct research using embryonic stem cells.[110]

Komen has also been criticized for ending funding for embryonic stem cell research, beginning late in 2011, for suspected political reasons.[109]

Embryonic stem cell research

In January, 2014 it was reported that the foundation saw a decline of 22% in contributions in the year following their decision (which was reversed shortly thereafter) to stop funding for Planned Parenthood breast cancer screenings.[108]

Karen Handel, the Republican Brinker protégée whose opposition to abortion was at the center of the Planned Parenthood controversy, resigned and has published a book on the controversy titled Planned Bullyhood.[107]

Four days later, Komen's Board of Directors reversed the decision and announced that it would amend the policy to "make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political".[99] Several top-level staff members resigned from Komen during the controversy.[100][101][102] In August, Brinker announced she would leave her CEO role.[103] The number of participants at various Komen fundraising events dropped 15-30% in 2012, compared to the previous year.[104][105] The Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure event was scaled back to seven US cities in 2013, from a former 14 cities, due to a 37 percent drop in participation over the preceding four years.[106]

In the 24 hours after the news broke, Planned Parenthood received more than $400,000 from 6,000 donors,[91] followed by pledges of a $250,000 matching grant from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg[97] and a $250,000 gift from a foundation run by the CEO of Bonanza Oil Co. in Dallas to replace the lost funding.[98]

[96][95] and politicians.[94][93][92][91] it was denounced by several editorials, women's health advocacy groups,[91] While the move was applauded by conservative religious and pro-life groups,[90] On January 31, 2012, Komen stopped funding Planned Parenthood, citing a congressional investigation by Rep.

Beginning in 2007, Komen granted money to pay for 170,000 clinical breast exams and 6,400 mammogram referrals at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and affiliates.[86][87] Komen had said its affiliates provide funds for screening, education and treatment programs in dozens of communities in which Planned Parenthood is the only place that poor, uninsured or under-insured women can receive these services.[88][89]

Relationship with Planned Parenthood

Critics have also asserted that the slogan itself implies the majority of Komen's funds go to research, specifically research to find a means to cure (and not merely treat or detect) the disease. By Komen's own figures, however, 21% of the total budget goes to research.[83] In the words of [85]

Others suggest that the trademark issue is more about dominating the pink ribbon market.[82]

Komen says that the organization protects its trademarks as a matter of financial stewardship and that they want to prevent confusion among donors.

In 2007, the organization changed its name to Susan G. Komen for the Cure and [81]

Legal battles over trademarking

In October 2014, Houston-based oil field services company Baker Hughes was reported to have produced 1,000 pink drill bits to raise breast cancer awareness. The land drill bits are used to break up geologic formations in oil patches for hydraulic fracturing.[77] These ties have been criticized, because of the more than 700 chemicals used in fracking more than one third are endocrine disruptors and at least one quarter increase the risk of cancer.[78]

In April 2011, Komen introduced its own perfume brand, "Promise Me", promoted by Komen CEO Nancy Brinker on the Home Shopping Network,[75] only to encounter opposition due to coumarin, oxybenzone, toluene and galaxolide as potentially harmful ingredients. Komen stated its intention to have the product reformulated but failed to withdraw existing stocks of the "Promise Me" product from distribution.[76]

[56] The partnership with KFC, which has since ended, allowed Komen "to reach many millions of women that they had been unable to reach before," said Brinker.[74] In April 2010, Komen paired with

Several water bottle retailers have partnered with the Komen Foundation.[64][65] Single-use plastic water bottles commonly contain BPA, which has been linked to breast cancer tumor growth.[66] For the 2008 model year, Ford Motor Company built a branded limited edition of 2500 Ford Mustang motorcars with a "Warriors in Pink" package[67] as part of their long-running association with Komen;[68] an additional 1000 were offered for 2009's model year.[69] A longitudinal study found that women employed in the automotive plastics industry are almost five times as likely to develop breast cancer prior to menopause, compared women in a control group.[70][71]

Bisphenol A is primarily used to make plastics, such as this polycarbonate water bottle.

Health criticisms

In 2006 Major League Baseball partnered with Komen by selling and donating amounts from pink MLB Louisville Slugger bats, pink baseballs, and necklaces sold. On Mother's Day, breast cancer survivors were eligible to be used as bat girls in games where pink bats were used. MLB is a $1.2 billion industry, donates around $100,000 a year.[63]

Some campaigns require that consumers mail proof of purchase for a promoted item before the manufacturer donates a few cents per purchase to charity; some have a cap on the maximum amount donated, with all sales beyond this fixed limit benefiting only the company, not the promoted cause.[59] Since their Save Lids to Save Lives campaign began in 1998, Yoplait has donated more than $25 million to Komen. In 2010 their annual maximum commitment was raised to $1.6 million.[60] In return, a major sponsor such as Yoplait obtains an exclusive contract; no other yogurt manufacturer (such as Dreyer's, who inquired in 2000) has the opportunity to use the branding.[61] In 2002, credit card operator American Express launched a "Charge for a Cure" campaign which claimed that "in the search for a cure, every dollar counts." The amount donated per qualifying transaction, regardless of purchase amount, was one penny.[62]

Komen benefits from corporate partnerships, receiving over $55 million a year[56] from 216 corporate sponsors.[57] However, critics say many of these promotions are deceptive to consumers and benefit the companies more than the charity.[58]

Donation criticisms

Ribbon Branded Stadium

Komen is a key entity in the controversy over pink ribbon to promote products that may be carcinogenic.

Pinkwashing in cause marketing

Controversy and criticism

Top organizations include:

Susan G. Komen for the Cure has a following by large organizations, who provide financial contributions as well as getting customers and employees to support the cause.[55]

Top corporate partners

In October 2008, Susan G. Komen for the Cure launched a mobile donating campaign, allowing supporters to donate money by texting.[54]

Mobile fundraising

  • Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure — a 60-mile walk for women and men: participants walk 60 miles (96.6 km) in three days to help raise millions of dollars for breast cancer research and patient support programs
  • Susan G. Komen Marathon for the Cure — a grassroots fundraising program offering fitness enthusiasts the chance to join in the fight against breast cancer by running or walking a full (26.2 mi) or half (13.1 mi) marathon.
  • Susan G. Komen Passionately Pink for the Cure — a year-round fundraising and education program allowing participants to choose any date, invite friends, wear pink, have fun and raise money for the cause.
  • Susan G. Komen Bowl for the Cure — a year-round fund-raising and breast cancer awareness initiative founded in 2000 and sponsored by USBC[52] and The Bowling Foundation.[53]
A group participating in a Komen Race for the Cure event

Komen's other nationwide events include:

[50] The primary source of revenue for the event is

The first race was run in Dallas, Texas in 1983, with 800 participants.[48] The 25th Anniversary of the Race was celebrated in 2008. In 2009, it was renamed as Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.[49] In 2010, there were about 130 races worldwide.[50] Additionally in 2010, over 1.6 million people participated in the race, which utilized over 100,000 volunteers.[51]

The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is the world's largest fundraising event for breast cancer.[47] It consists of a series of 5K runs and fitness walks to raise money for breast cancer, to raise awareness of the disease, to celebrate those who have survived breast cancer, and memorialize those who have not.


Cause marketing allows Komen to associate the breast cancer conscientious consumption.[46]

The Organization raises over $36 million a year from over 60 cause marketing partnerships. These include prominent campaigns, such as those with Yoplait, which runs the Save Lids to Save Lives program, and a partnership with American Airlines.[45]

Cause marketing


On October 28, 2010, Jerusalem held its first Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Over 5,000 Christian, Muslim and Jewish people walked and ran to show solidarity in what was described as an historic event.[44] The main goal of the race was to raise awareness of breast cancer and establish the organization as a permanent fixture in Israel. Prior to the Race the Old City walls of Jerusalem were illuminated pink by Komen founder Nancy G. Brinker, Jerusalem's Israeli Mayor Nir Barkat and the Prime Minister of Israel's wife Sara Netanyahu.

Today, Susan G. Komen for the Cure is active in over 50 countries with its largest affiliates in Italy and Germany.[43]

In 2006, Susan G. Komen for the Cure announced their involvement with the US-Middle East Partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research, a Middle East Partnership Initiative program that unites leading breast cancer advocates in the U.S. and the Middle East with the goal increasing early detection of breast cancer and reduce mortality through improved awareness, increased clinical resources, and research.[42]

Around 458,000 people worldwide die from breast cancer every year.[40] Komen for the Cure states that its aim is to "reduce the burden of breast cancer on a global level". Believing that no single approach to breast health will prove effective around the world, Komen works with local communities and organizations to develop programs for particular groups or cultures.[41]

Global activities

In recent years, Komen has cut by nearly half the proportion of fund-raising dollars it spends on research grants, according to a 2012 Reuters analysis. In 2011, the foundation spent $63 million (15 percent) of its donations on research grants and awards.[37][38][39]

Since 1992, Komen has also annually awarded work in the field of cancer research with the Komen Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction.

Komen awards three-year postdoctoral fellowships to individuals working under the guidance of experienced cancer researchers in order to recruit and retain young scientists in the field of breast cancer research. In addition to funding research, Komen and its affiliates fund non-duplicative, community-based breast health education and breast cancer screening and treatment projects for the medically under-served.[35]

As of 2007, research grants are available for basic, clinical, and translational research; postdoctoral fellowships; and breast cancer disparities research.[36]

. National Cancer Institute Komen adheres to a peer-review process that is recognized by the US [35]

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