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Pittsburgh Komen chapter adds fundraising position

| Monday, June 23, 2014, 2:50 p.m.

The breast cancer advocacy organization Susan G. Komen Pittsburgh announced on Monday the hiring of its first full-time employee dedicated to fundraising.

Megan Dluhos, 30, will work to reverse a dip in donations that Komen officials attributed to a difficult economy and more competition for dollars, as well as fallout to the national organization's decision — subsequently reversed — to cut funding to Planned Parenthood in 2012.

“It's another step forward. We have been trying to bring on more professionals to accomplish as much as we can,” said Kathy Purcell, CEO of the local affiliate.

Dluhos of Bethel Park has a master's degree in nonprofit management from Robert Morris University. She has seven years of experience in nonprofit fundraising in the Pittsburgh area, working with YouthPlaces and Healthy Home Resources.

“I really think our cause speaks for itself,” Dluhos said. “There's a lot of support through the city.”

The Komen Pittsburgh chapter raised more than $2.4 million in fiscal 2013, compared with nearly $3 million the prior year, according to tax documents. As a result, Purcell said, it gave about $2.4 million in grants this year, compared with $2.7 million in 2012.

Affiliates across the country reported similar declines. The national group raised about $78 million less in gifts, sponsorships and race entry fees in 2013 than it did in 2012, according to its audit. Local chapters sponsor the organization's signature Race for the Cure, an annual Mother's Day event.

The national organization upset many donors by cutting off funding to Planned Parenthood, which refers women for mammograms, because of its involvement with abortion.

“We were pretty vocal at expressing where we stood. We were not in agreement with the national organization,” Purcell said.

Race for the Cure shares a crowded race calendar, too, Purcell said.

”When we started the Race for the Cure, we were one of the first walks around,” she said. “Now there are many of them.”

Bill Zlatos is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7828 or bzlatos@tribweb.com.

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