How Komen Operates

Up to 75 percent of the Affiliate’s net income funds grants to local organizations that provide breast health support and services. Our funding focus is based on Komen San Diego’s Community Profile Report which identifies Affiliate grant processdisparities and existing gaps in breast health services within San Diego County and serves as the basis for our competitive grant making process.

Komen San Diego invests in nonprofit organizations (501(c)(3), through our community grants program to provide an array of breast health and breast cancer services with an aim to create seamless systems of care for medically underserved women and men living in San Diego County.  Grant applications must address our priorities and fall into one of the funding areas as indicated in the Request for Application (RFA) and the community profile.

Interested grantee applicants are required to first submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) to indicate interest in Komen San Diego funding. These LOIs are then reviewed, and selected applicants are notified and sent the RFA to include an invitation to a Grant Application Workshop. These applicants are then invited to submit a full Grant Application.

Reviewing Applications

Grants are reviewed by Affiliate staff to ensure all applications comply with the granting criteria listed in the RFA. For example, to verify the non-profit status of applying agencies or to ensure the project is specific to breast health.

The Grants Committee selects an independent peer review panel made up of volunteers from the community to read and score the applications. Individuals with knowledge or background in grant writing or reviewing, nonprofit management, finance, medicine, public health or related fields and breast cancer survivors are considered to serve as volunteer members of this group. The panel members review, score, and rank the applications. The review panel then convenes to discuss and consider the applications as a group in order to recommend a grant slate for funding. Komen San Diego staff and Board members are NOT involved in the scoring and ranking of applications. Each reviewer receives training so they may better understand the community needs and funding priorities identified in the Community Profile.

Review panel members cannot have a current application submitted for consideration or be directly affiliated with any organization that has a grant application submitted for consideration.

Approve and award the grants: February through March

Once the independent peer review panel has finalized their recommendations, the ranked list of applications (slate of grants) is submitted to the Komen San Diego Board of Directors for approval. The Board has authority only to accept or reject the entire slate; they may not remove individual grants from the slate. If the funding slate is rejected, the entire slate is then set back to the independent peer review panel to address the concerns of the Board. If the slate is approved, grants are awarded in rank order to as many applicants as funding allows. Komen San Diego is not an endowed foundation, as such all the money that is granted out each year was raised during the previous fiscal year. In March applicants are notified of funding decisions.

Manage and monitor the grants: Grant Cycles run April 1 to March 31  

The Affiliate closely monitors all grantees to guarantee the awarded funds are used as intended and NOT used outside the scope of our promise to save lives and end breast cancer. This monitoring includes quarterly, 6-month and final reports and site visits with each grantee.

Please contact Lizzie Wittig, Director of Grants and Public Policy, at (858) 573-2760 x 104 or via email at if you have any questions or are interested in being part of the Peer Review Panel next year.