Greed…your donation goes in her pocket!

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Cancer fund raising is a big dollar enterprise, Brinker got a a 64 percent raise last year, according to the nonprofit group’s 990 IRS filings Specifically, Brinker made $684,717 in fiscal 2012, a 64 percent jump from her $417,000 salary from April 2010 to March 2011, Hall reports.

Equally interesting is that  the Komen website still shows Brinker as founder and CEO despite thiswidely-reported story of her resignation from the CEO role last year.

When the Susan G. Komen Foundation announced last week that it was canceling half of its 3-Day races next year, the charity blamed the economy. But it also acknowledged that its decision to stop providing funds to Planned Parenthood was a factor.

Ken Berger, president and CEO of Charity Navigator, which evaluates and rates charities, called Brinker’s salary “extremely high.”

“This pay package is way outside the norm,” he said. “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.”

The American Red Cross had revenue of about $3.4 billion, while Komen’s was about $340 million last year.  Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern makes $500,000, according to the most recent financial documents available for the charity.

Public corporations are designed to make a profit so how much a top executive gets paid ought to be tied to the overall success of the company with the board of directors and shareholders asking whether that is money well spent.  But  nonprofits operate in a different universe. It’s much tougher to measure their effectiveness. After all, what exactly does cancer awareness really mean, and how do high profile campaigns move the nation closer to a cure or behavior changes?

One of the more revealing stories on this issue was published in 2011. I’ve posted an excerpt from it below  The issue is breast cancer but these types of questions can and should be asked about scores of nonprofits involved in everything from education reform to “disease- of-the-month” awareness.

 Yet what many in the breast cancer community are loathe to admit, despite all these lifesaving developments, is that, in fact, we are really no closer to a cure today than we were two decades ago. In 1991, 119 women in the U.S. died of breast cancer every day. Today, that figure is 110 — a victory no one is bragging about. Breast cancer remains the leading cancer killer among women ages 20 to 59; more than 1.4 million new cases are diagnosed annually worldwide.

 Roughly 5 percent, or 70,000, breast cancer patients are diagnosed at a late stage, after the cancer has metastasized — that rate hasn’t budged since 1975, despite all the medical advances and awareness campaigns. For these women, the prognosis remains grim: Only 1 in 5 will survive five years out. Fundamental questions still elude researchers: Why do a third of all women considered cured by their doctors suffer recurrences? Why are breast cancer rates rising in Asia, where they’ve been historically low? Is it even possible to prevent breast cancer, and if so, how?

This should make us all ask tough questions about whether charities are truly fulfilling their mission.

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