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Northeast Ohio Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure(R) Honored as Affiliate of the Year among 122 Nationwide

DALLAS, Mar 21, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Northeast Ohio Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure was honored Saturday night as the "Affiliate of the Year" by the global breast cancer organization. The award was presented in front of hundreds of staff, board members and volunteers from the 122 affiliates nationwide at Komen's Annual Affiliate Leadership Conference in Dallas, Texas.

Komen Northeast Ohio Executive Director, Sophie Sureau, acknowledged that the award reflected the hard work and dedication of hundreds of volunteers, thousands of supporters, and a small staff of seven. "We are humbled to be recognized among such an amazing group of talented professionals. From the dedicated office volunteers to the incredible Race committee, board members, committee chairs, staff and corporate partners - we are blessed to work among some of the most passionate promise keepers in this global movement," said Sureau.

The affiliate was nominated for applying many proven business strategies in a non-profit environment, as well as developing best practices that are now being implemented by other affiliates. They began by focusing on building organizational capacity and recruiting board members who possessed strong professional skills and vision of the community. With an investment in crucial infrastructure, they were able to create sustainability and improve the impact of their efforts.

Once capacity was expanded, the affiliate created an aggressive strategic plan which provided focus for all ongoing work. A key component was developing a strong talent pipeline for all positions; staff, board, and committee leadership. Investing in recruitment, training, engagement and recognition processes helped to ensure succession plans for solid leadership.

Diversifying revenue streams became a priority while still growing their signature event, the Race for the Cure(R). More emphasis was placed on developing an annual fund campaign and a major gift program. They invested in building relationships and providing recognition for top community fundraisers who also provide substantial financial support.

As the affiliate expanded from 15 counties to 22 in 2009, they sought to increase the visibility and understanding of the Komen mission throughout their service area. They ramped up communication efforts using social networking and email to connect with supporters more frequently which resulted in higher engagement in areas of advocacy and volunteerism. Also in 2009, Komen Northeast Ohio launched two initiatives creating additional ambassadors for their mission in the community. Both the Pink Tie Guys and Community Champions program helped expand outreach efforts.

With the goal of ensuring that all affiliate funded programs reach the highest possible impact, they established a highly competitive grants process. Their enhanced RFA process and in-depth grants writing workshops attracted higher quality applicants. The committee also created an engagement plan intended to broaden the grantees involvement in the mission.

Komen Northeast Ohio was also recognized for their ability to collaborate with other organizations and partners to make a greater impact. Working with the other Ohio Komen affiliates, they were able to secure a $5 million commitment in the state budget for the critical Breast and Cervical Cancer Program. In 2009, they worked to save $1.5 million dollars in screening dollars in Ohio. They also work with University Hospitals Ireland Cancer Center and The Gathering Place in the annual Beyond Breast Cancer Survivor Symposium, "It is gratifying to list all of the accomplishments over the past few years.

Although there is still much work to be done, we are grateful for this brief moment of recognition," said Sureau who was also honored this year as Northeast Ohio Executive Director of the Year by Smart Business.

All of these accolades come on heels of the recent announcement that Susan G.

Komen for the Cure ranked 1st for brand value and the charity people are most likely to donate to in a Harris Interactive poll. The organization also ranked #2 for most trusted charity, just behind St. Judes.

About Susan G. Komen for the Cure(R) Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen for the Cure is the world's largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure(R), we have invested nearly $1.5 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world. For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit or call 1-877 GO KOMEN.

About Susan G. Komen for the Cure Northeast Ohio Affiliate Since 1994, the Komen Northeast Ohio Affiliate has raised $17 million to provide funding and support to Northeast Ohio agencies working to create a world without breast cancer. The agencies provide mammograms and screening, breast cancer education and ongoing support to women, men, their families and friends. Up to seventy-five percent of the money raised locally funds programs in Northeast Ohio, and the remaining 25 percent helps fund the Susan G. Komen for the Cure National Research Grant Program. For more information about Komen Northeast Ohio, visit

SOURCE: Susan G. Komen for the Cure Northeast Ohio Affiliate CONTACT: Komen Northeast Ohio Affiliate Sophie Sureau, Executive Director, 440-488-1896 Copyright Business Wire 2010 -0- KEYWORD: United States

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General Health SUBJECT CODE: Award