For years, 14 cities have hosted a three-day procession of pink-clad walkers, some playful and others quite serious, raising money for breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Amid ongoing backlash over a controversial move to cut funding to Planned Parenthood and, more recently, attention to the lavish salary paid to founder and outgoing CEO Nancy Brinker, that number of cities will drop to seven.
Effective next year, the 3-Day walks, as they are called, will no longer take place in Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Phoenix, San Francisco, Tampa, or Washington, D.C. A spokesperson for the group told the Washington Post that economic uncertainty has been driving fewer donations.
However, as an Avon spokesperson told the Post, donations to Avon’s Walk for Breast Cancer have remained steady, and the group plans to continue offering walks in its current eight cities in 2014.
Indeed, studies show that overall, U.S. nonprofits saw at least modest year-over-year growth in charitable giving last year. And in metropolitan Washington, D.C., for instance, the economy is reported to be in an upswing; the Wall Street Journal reported as such less than a week ago in an article headlined What Sequester? Washington [D.C.] Booms as a New Gilded Age Takes Root. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Washingtonians give an average of 5.5 percent of their income to charities, compared to a 4.7 percent average nationally.
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Local Susan G. Komen affiliates across the country have noted precipitous declines in donations in the wake of the groups controversies.