Lottery proceeds ensure Canadians all win in the fight against cancer

14 November 2013

Toronto -

For more than a decade, Canadians have looked to Canadian Cancer Society charitable lotteries as a way to make a difference in the fight against cancer. Today, armed with better research and improved programs directly resulting from lottery proceeds, the Canadian Cancer Society is pausing to remind Canadians that their efforts are having an impact.

“Every year thousands of Canadians will hear the words “You have cancer,” explains Rowena Pinto, Vice-President, Public Affairs and Strategic Initiatives, at the Society’s Ontario Division. “They won’t face their cancer journey alone, due in large part to the research and programs funded though the Society’s lotteries.” Last year, an estimated 187,000 new cases of cancer were diagnosed, and 75,500 Canadians died from the disease, highlighting the growing need for this vital fundraising initiative.

“Quite simply, the key to our lotteries is that they create funds we otherwise would not have had,” Pinto explains. “Our research tells us that lottery participants on average would not have otherwise donated to the Society. However, by participating in a lottery, they are taking a chance to win fabulous prizes while supporting the growing needs of Canadians with cancer.” The Society currently operates profitable lotteries in Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta, raising approximately $11 million in the past year.

There are also many misconceptions related to the lottery efforts of all Canadian charities, says Pinto. In the case of the Society, it is important that Canadians understand that our lotteries pay for themselves without using donor dollars and generate millions of dollars for our mission work across Canada.All lottery-related costs are paid for by ticket sales, which are not considered donations. As such, charitable receipts are not issued for lottery tickets.

Lottery prizes are not donated and must be purchased through money raised by ticket sales. Operational costs such as advertising are also deducted from the final tally, meaning that on average between 20% and 30% of funds raised go to the Society. While that number may be surprising to some, it represents an excellent return on the Society’s investment.

“Of course, lotteries are merely one of many different fundraising tools used by the Society, Pinto explains. “For Canadians interested in ensuring that a greater percentage of their donations go to charity, we recommend a direct donation or planned monthly giving or one of our many other donation arrangements. Canadians may also wish to participate in one of our fundraising events such as Relay For Life or Daffodil Month as a way of supporting the Society’s efforts to eradicate cancer.”

Many Canadians increasingly opt to donate to the Society through their time by making a difference as a volunteer. The important thing to remember is that the Society, through its many different fundraising initiatives, represents the best option for Canadians wishing to change cancer forever.

About the Canadian Cancer Society

For 75 years, the Canadian Cancer Society has been with Canadians in the fight for life. We have been relentless in our commitment to prevent cancer, fund research and support Canadians touched by cancer. From this foundation, we will work with Canadians to change cancer forever so fewer Canadians are diagnosed with the disease and more survive. Visit or call us at 1-888-939-3333 (TTY 1-866-786-3934).

For more information, please contact:

Brooke Kelly

Communications Coordinator

Canadian Cancer Society

National office

Phone: 416-934-5321