Breast cancer is a serious health problem in society. But that doesn’t stop some people from using the illness as an excuse to siphon off money from emotionally distraught and charitable individuals. Or at least that’s the criticism some internet users shared after ‘exposing’ one breast cancer charity for being a ‘scam.’ There are some big, glaring holes in this belief, however, and it shows that some individuals rush to conclusions before doing their research.
Internet users shared a ‘fact card,’ stating that the largest and best-funded breast cancer organization in the United States, the Susan G. Komen charity is, allegedly, a ‘scam’ that is geared towards making a profit for its CEO and, supposedly, not meant helping out ill people.
The charity, which has been known by several different names throughout its 37 years of existence, is linked to some controversy. However, lots of people have also pointed out that the criticism the charity faces is outdated, taken out of context, factually incorrect, and not applicable.
To learn more about breast cancer, read through Bored Panda’s previous article on the topic that also includes an in-depth interview with the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF), as well as useful and informative resources about the illness.
This ‘fact sheet’ started an intense discussion online…
According to Snopes, the idea that Komen is using only a fifth of the money people donate to fund breast cancer research is technically (almost) correct, but the implication is wrong. In 2009 and 2010, Komen spent 20.9 percent of all proceeds on research. But it also spent 39.1 percent on public health education, 13 percent on health screening services, 5.6 percent on treatment, 10 percent on fund-raising costs, and 11.3 percent on administrative costs.
Not only is the criticism geared towards Komen outdated, but it’s also intrinsically flawed. Some people believe that charities only help the ill by funding research. This is not the case. Organizations like Komen deliver a wide array of services to support people with breast cancer. It’s not just the research that’s important.
…and some internet users rushed to criticize the charity
As for the criticism that the charity’s CEO earns 684,000 dollars a year, this is factually wrong. In September 2017, Paula Schneider became the president and CEO of Komen, and she earned 137,155 dollars in March 2018. But even if Schneider would earn more money, it wouldn’t make her corrupt or the charity’s mission somehow less important: large charities tend to have CEOs with large salaries, which is a question of size, not a question of transparency.
From 2011 to 2017, the Komen charity’s revenue dropped by four-fifths, which led to some state chapters having to be closed. It’s also no secret that the charity’s reputation in the US has had some ups and downs, which can be expected of any large organization. No company or charity is perfect, but they should be criticized based on facts, not opinions taken out of context.