The decision by Susan G. Komen for the Cure to cut its funding to Planned Parenthood has swelled to a PR nightmare for the breast cancer foundation.
For Planned Parenthood, it’s turned into a fundraising bonanza.
The nonprofit organization said it had raised $400,000 from about 6,000 people since word broke of Komen’s decision. Wealthy supports have pledged large dollar amounts, with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg matching donations up to $250,000.
The $400,000 is nearly as much as Komen gave to Planned Parenthood to conduct breast exams and related services. Last year, it pledged $680,000 to Planned Parenthood, the year before it gave $580,000.
Links on the Planned Parenthood website take visitors to pages where they can donate and where they can learn more about Komen’s decision.
Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Andrea Hagelgans told the Associated Press that the donations “will continue to help expand Planned Parenthood’s critical health care services nationwide, especially those affiliates impacted by the Komen cuts.”
Donations to Komen have also increased, according to the foundation’s CEO Susan G. Brinker. She told the media on Thursday that Komen’s donations had risen 100 percent since Tuesday when it announced that it is no longer partnering with Planned Parenthood due to new, stricter rules about which organizations receive funds. Many have called it a political move, due in large part to the arrival of Komen’s new vice president Karen Handel, a prominent abortion foe who ran for governor of Georgia in 2010. Handel has said she opposes Planned Parenthood.
Politicians have been quick to weigh in on the issue, with at least 26 democratic senators signing a letter to Brinker to reconsider the decision. Petitions on MoveOn.org and CredoAction.com with similar calls to action have more than 250,000 and 350,000 signatures, respectively.
Brands are also feeling the heat. Energizer and Yoplait, both of which donate money to Komen, are getting taken to the woodshed by many of its Facebook users, who insist they will boycott the companies as a result.
Komen has unleashed a barrage of tweets in defense of its decision, and made its CEO Brinker available for media interviews. The foundation posted a YouTube video featuring Brinker, a move that drew criticism from several PR Daily readers.
A number of people have also taken to Komen’s Facebook page and elsewhere to express their support for the foundation.