DALLAS – Susan G. Komen for the Cure saw a 22 per cent drop in contributions in the year following the controversy over its decision, quickly reversed, to stop giving grants to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screenings.
Citing audited financial statements posted on its website this week, a spokeswoman for the Dallas-based breast cancer charity said contributions — including donations and corporate sponsorships — dropped from about $164 million from the fiscal year ending in March 2012 to $128 million in the year ending March 2013.
After news of the plan to quit offering grants to Planned Parenthood broke in January 2012, several executives left the organization and fewer people took part in its fundraising Races for the Cure across the country. The organization announced last summer that it would cancel half of its three-day charity walks for this year because of a drop in participation.
The statements also showed that revenue from Race for the Cure and three-day events had a 19 per cent drop for the same fiscal period, falling from about $258 million to $208 million. Total revenue, which included the race fees, contributions, other fundraising and interest, dropped 18 per cent in that time period, from $399 million to $325 million.
Komen spokeswoman Andrea Rader attributed the drops to the Planned Parenthood controversy, in addition to economic uncertainty and other events vying for charity dollars.
But she also said the organization now is seeing its numbers stabilize and noted Komen currently has 150 corporate sponsors. She said even people angered by the Planned Parenthood issue are coming around because they know what Komen does for their community. “They tend to say, ‘OK, we were mad about that but we’re not mad anymore,'” she said.
“We just hope that people will continue to understand that our work is very important,” Rader said.
Komen founder Nancy Brinker, whose promise to her dying sister begat the fundraising powerhouse that has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in cancer research, announced in the summer of 2012 she would step down as CEO when a replacement was found. It was announced in the summer of 2013 that Dr. Judith A. Salerno would replace her as CEO. Salerno was formerly executive director and chief operating officer of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.
The organization also this week disclosed 2013 salary information, saying that Brinker has taken a $158,700 pay cut with her move from CEO to global strategy chair. Brinker’s annual salary for her new role is $390,000, down from $548,700 in 2012. Salerno, named president and CEO in June, has a salary of $475,000.