Fallout from the Planned Parenthood controversy continues at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, with several executives at headquarters and affiliates departing, questions arising about fundraising ability, and structural changes underway to give affiliates more influence…. The chief executives of the Greater New York and Oregon affiliates, among the most outspoken in their criticism of Komen’s unsuccessful attempt to defund Planned Parenthood, are leaving. Three officials at the Dallas headquarters have left or announced their resignations, a spokeswoman said. Meanwhile, questions are being raised about the breast cancer charity’s ability to raise money after the public relations fiasco. The New York affiliate postponed two events, including its annual awards gala, “because we were not certain about our ability to fundraise in the near term,” spokesman Vern Calhoun said….
My antipathy for Susan G. Komen for the Cure is hardly a secret. In the wake of the controversy surrounding Komen’s disastrous decision to de-fund Planned Parenthood, I want no part of an organization willing to play politics with women’s health. What made Komen’s decision even more egregious is that the organization is run largely by women. The decision to cave to Conservative interests who decry Planned Parenthood for being an “abortion mill” demonstrated clearly that Komen is far more attuned to the political winds than their mission. And don’t even get me started on Komen’s inefficiency and high overhead.
I’ve advocated that the fight against breast cancer would be far better served by donating to organizations other than Komen…and it appears that may be exactly what’s happening. The impact varies by region, but Komen is clearly struggling to raise funds and attract support. Komen, whose fiscal year begins April 1, is faced with having to review and revise budgets in the anticipation of reduced revenues. Gee, perhaps this year they won’t be able to afford to spend $1 million of donor money on suing people to “protect their brand?”
Komen’s senior management, the same folks responsible for their current dilemma, are trying to rebuild trust…and finding it to be a tough go. Donors appear reluctant to give generously to a top-heavy organization with ridiculously high overhead and a penchant for playing politics.
It may seem that I’m gloating over Komen’s plight, and I suppose to a degree I am. The fight against breast cancer doesn’t depend solely on what Komen does, and I’d be happy to see Komen disappear altogether. There are plenty of organizations that can and will pick up the slack…and they’ll make women’s health, not satisfying the demands of Conservative ideologues, their top priority.
So, yes, you’ll have to excuse me for engaging in a wee bit o’ Schadenfreude. Komen is simply reaping what they’ve sown, and I won’t be happy until they’re having a liquidation sale at their headquarters in Dallas.