January 12, 2018
Dear Komen Utah Friends, Supporters and Partners:
As some of you may have heard, Komen Utah’s Board of Directors has voted to close the Utah Affiliate’s office and transition fundraising and mission program responsibilities to Susan G. Komen’s national organization based in Dallas, Texas. Over the past several months and after a thorough analysis of our long-term financial status, our board and staff researched several options, including merging with another affiliate or closing the affiliate and shifting operations to national. We are notifying you before our official public announcement because we are mindful of how this change may impact many of you.
Despite a successful, fun and well-attended gala last November, the financial forecast for the next two years does not demonstrate sustainability. For example, participation at our signature fundraising event, Race for the Cure, has significantly declined over the past several years, resulting in 60 percent less revenue. The board’s vote was not an easy decision, but a necessary one at this time.
While talking with our National colleagues to see how together we can continue to serve our community, we’ve recognized the need to evolve our structure to respond to the new environment in which Komen and other nonprofits operate, including the changing healthcare landscape, rapid changes in treatment and delivery, a competitive event environment, and tighter competition for donor dollars. Across the country, National has been working to improve efficiency in operations by streamlining the Affiliate network, primarily through merging of neighboring affiliates that serve the same region and can operate stronger together. For us in Utah, we need to work with National to explore a new model for geographically-distant affiliates like ours that need additional support. This concept would enable us to serve the Utah communities more efficiently by pooling resources and providing the possibility of expanding regionally in the future.
So, what do these changes mean for Utah? As we wind down our local operations, our prime focus is to continue to maximize the funds available for the local organizations that we have served over the years. Organizations that were already slated for grants this past grant cycle will receive their full funding grant as planned through March 31. Those grantees provide screenings, patient navigation, diagnostic service, and other support services. Women and men facing breast cancer in Utah will continue to have access to financial assistance programs, screening support, treatment assistance, and education and support resources through Komen’s national programs.
We express our sincerest thank you to all of you who have supported Komen Utah over the years through your generous donations and sponsorships, your volunteer efforts, your community fundraising events, and your services to breast cancer patients and their families. With your tremendous help we were able to contribute $7M in mammograms, treatment assistance and psychosocial support programs, and over $3M in research grants to help find cures for breast cancer. A significant percentage of the research dollars raised in Utah for national research was returned to Utah to the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
While we no longer will have a local office in Utah at this time, Komen’s commitment to the people of Utah remains strong. Volunteer and event fundraising opportunities will continue as Komen National re-establishes a local team and programs. Residents can continue to call on Susan G. Komen through its national helpline and other resources. The Komen Advocacy team also will continue to call on Utah advocates to support legislative or public policy positions benefiting breast cancer research, treatment and access to care at the federal and state levels.
We know this news may raise questions and possible concerns, but hope you’ll understand this was a necessary decision based on our financial situation, and that building a stronger, more sustainable organization that continues to fulfill local breast cancer needs is first and foremost in our minds. We encourage you to continue your interest in and support of Susan G. Komen’s mission to end breast cancer. Thank you all!
Komen Utah Board of Directors
Note: The Utah office will remain open through January as we wind down operations. Any correspondence or questions should be directed to the local office at firstname.lastname@example.org, 801-733-4815, or to Sean Tuffnell with our Komen National team at 972-855-4375 or by email at email@example.com.