Komen Spends A Million To Be A Bully

Komen Spends A Million To Be A Bully

By: Shelly Kramer
January 25, 2011

Komen Spends a Million To Be a Bully

Shaking my head as I write, recalling numerous conversations with friends engaged in the nonprofit world – but there’s a hard, cold reality about The Susan G. Komen For a Cure Foundation. It’s a bully.

The Susan G. Komen For a Cure Foundation spends at least a million dollars in donor money EVERY year fighting off any charity who dares to use the words “for the cure” in their name. A MILLION DOLLARS.

When you donate to The Komen Foundation, is that what you’re hoping will be done with your money? The money that you give in memory of your mom, your sister, your daughter or your best girlfriend who either waged a battle with breast cancer and lost – or who’s currently fighting the fight of her life?

The Huffington Post reports that the Foundation’s trolling for violators – anyone who uses “for the cure” in their name, has resulted in legal actions being filed against more than a hundred charities. Many of them are simply too small and too underfunded to fight the huge corporate power that is Komen. And it’s probably safe to say that’s part of what the bully relies on. Bullies are predictable that way.

The Komen bully has battled against cupcakes, kites, surfing and golf and it seems that only those nonprofits fortunate enough to stumble upon a passionate law firm willing to take on the Komen machine on a pro bono basis have been able to fight any kind of fight.

I don’t know about you, but this bugs the heck out of me. People who want to donate money – to any nonprofit – are typically generous, big-hearted and genuinely want to make a difference. So they give money. Knowing that money is used for administrative purposes to run a charity is one thing. But knowing the money is used to wage battle against smaller organizations who primarily have but one goal – raising money to cure cancer (or something) – well, it seems unconscionable.

This is a big deal. I hope that the next time you consider participating in a Komen event and raising money for the organization – or buying sneakers or clothing or yogurt — or some other product that purportedly donates to The Komen For a Cure Foundation that you’ll stop and consider. Just for a moment. And know that part of every donation you – or anyone – makes, is earmarked to bully another charity. And make no mistake – I’m well aware of the good The Komen Foundation has done. But doing good isn’t enough. Doing the right thing is important, too.

Komen — when you become fodder for evening talk shows and when pundits like Steven Colbert set their sights on what you’re doing and you become a bit of a laughingstock, maybe it’s time to rethink your strategy. And brands who support The Susan G. Komen For A Cure Foundation – be aware of what your monies help fund.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
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Me? I want to cure cancer. And to my way of thinking, my donations are better funneled toward an organization who will actually focus on that, instead of picking fights with the little charities who are also trying to make a difference – about something as silly as the words “for the cure.” Maybe I got up on the wrong side of the bed. Maybe I’ve not yet had enough coffee. So if you disagree, let’s hear it. I’m always interested in hearing another side of the story.

Image credit: The Herbivore Clothing Company

  • I hadn’t heard of this actually, and wholeheartedly agree. Though I must concur a bit with mmwine because I think this is less about them spending their raised money on bullying, and more about the fact that they feel that it’s their duty to push others out of their arena.

    With the amount of money Komen makes and gives to research, the million is likely a drop in the bucket, but the unethical behavior should stop!

  • I completely agree with you Shelly. I have felt that their energy was sinister for years and all my girlfriends and daughters told me I was unreasonable, that they did good work etc. But when an institution becomes more interested in growing as an institution than in doing what they are meant to be doing, there is a problem there.
    I instinctively never trusted them as an organization and now I know why.
    Thank you for highlighting this!

  • They are not any other business, is the whole point. They are a health charity.

  • I totally agree!

  • Even if $1 million is a tiny fraction of 1% of a large budget, in this case, it is somebody’s $10 or $100 used on a law suit instead of research. I am sure that as people (women mostly) realize that, they won’t want to give so freely! Because even if that $100 does not mean anything in some organization’s large budget, it means something in the donor’s budget!

  • I completely agree!

  • I agree: I resent their logo being on everything I want to buy for my family. In the past couple of years, if it’s had their logo, I have purposefully NOT bought it.

  • Great idea Sandy! Thank you for sharing. That’s what I do: I donate my time directly to people who really need it rather than pay for huge medical staff salaries and research costs.

  • So true!

  • That is my #1 issue with most large non profits

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  • Rosanne Soifer

    There’s a great book that came our recently that covers the “cancer industry’ called PINK RIBBON BLUES. WHile it only touches on the legal aspects of SGK, this article made very clear poor taste involved in “branding” cancer. And as a cancer survivor I deeply resent this. Good work Huffungton Post!!

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  • Shelly Kramer

    Thanks Rosanne … and I agree!

  • Shelly Kramer

    Mine, too, Sophie!

  • Wow, interesting story. I am sure that you know tomorrow (2/4) is World Cancer Day. A great way to help raise money is to Download & register the SWAGG app on your iPhone or Android & $1.00 will go 2 Stand Up To Cancer. bit.ly/getSWAGGnow

  • Kirgal

    I’m apalled at this, wow…we give a decent amount of $$$$ to SGK and I am not happy that this is what they have come to. Very disheartened indeed.

  • Anonymous

    I’m very disheartened as well.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Britton .. I’ll do it!! Appreciate the heads up!

  • Wendylinder

    This is the first time I have been here, I am tired of pink every place I go!! and I NEVER see my color pin. What about all the other cancers? I do have cancer (it is not breat) and I feel let out. I will donate to an organization that will also help the patient, you have no idea what it is like to go through treatment and not be able to pay any bills or eat or get to your treatment because you can’t work.

  • bill

    We do a ride every year Giving Thousands a year to Relay for Life.Now they are Telling us we can’t  use.Ride For The Cure.Knowing were to small to fight for the name..Shame on you Susan G Komen.Do you Think Susan woul want this money going to Charity for treatment.Or to line the pockets of over paid LAWYERS over 3 words the cure.Pleeeeeez 3 words Get Over it!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    I’m so sorry, Bill. That just sucks.

  • Anonymous

    Bob, for some reason I didn’t see this comment. That’s appalling. Thanks for sharing.

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