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Fundraising and the Society

06 July 2011

Toronto -

At the Canadian Cancer Society, we are passionate about furthering our mission to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of people living with cancer.

To fulfill our mission, we contribute to research funding, provide information and community support to more than 75,000 patients and their families (including peer support and driving patients to treatments), engage in prevention activities and advocate for healthy public policies.

As a key way to fight back against cancer, the largest portion of what we spend on our mission is directed to impactful cancer research. However, as our population grows and ages, more people are being diagnosed with cancer and the need for our services is increasing. We are committed to helping people living with cancer and that’s why the next largest portion of our mission is spent on valued community services, followed by prevention, information and advocacy.

Fundraising efforts enable us to contribute to cancer research as well as community services, prevention and advocacy. Our investment in efficient effective fundraising means we can direct more money to make an impact in the fight against cancer. While fundraising costs have risen over the years for a number of reason, we are proud to say that in the past 10 years the dollars directed to our mission has increased from $82 million to $127 million, an increase of 55%. We have expanded and diversified our fundraising activities across the country so we can continue to be as effective as possible in raising money to support the full breadth of our mission work. It is through these fundraising initiatives that we reach more Canadians and attract more donors so we can ensure our fight against cancer remains strong and helps as many Canadians as possible.

Last year, our administration costs were only 4.3% of expenditures, thanks to thousands of volunteers. It's also important to understand that fundraising costs include lottery expenses, which raises millions of dollars and is funded by ticket purchases, which are not considered donations. Expenses for lotteries include the purchase of prizes, which are not donated, and promotion. The net proceeds from lotteries are directed solely to cancer research and is money we would not otherwise have. Since 2001, lotteries have raised more than $36 million for cancer research.

Thanks to our success in fundraising, we are making a significant impact. Examples of the impact we have made include:

  • Our Cancer Information Service has helped almost one million people since 1996. We touched many at the most critical point in their cancer journey when first diagnosed
  • We are advocating for a ban on asbestos as all forms of asbestos cause cancer. We are also lobbying the federal government for a national caregivers strategy so this important group of people receive more financial support
  • We contributed $48 million to cancer research last year, alone.
  • More than 6,600 people across Canada were helped by the Society’s CancerConnection telephone-based peer support program.

Thanks to our donors, volunteers and supporters, we’re proud to say the Canadian Cancer Society is the largest national charitable funder of cancer research in Canada. Thanks in large part to cancer research, today more than 60% of Canadians diagnosed with cancer will survive at least five years beyond their cancer diagnoses. In the 1940s, survival was about 25%.

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

For more information, please contact:

Christine Harminc

Senior Manager, Communications & Media Relations

Canadian Cancer Society

Phone: 416 934-5340