Yesterday I accepted the role of volunteer Chair of The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. I am honoured and excited and look forward to supporting all of you in your work. It is critical to the success of The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and University Health Network that we continue to raise funds to support the care, research and teaching that goes on each and every day on behalf of the cancer patients in our hospital and cancer patients around the world.
||Stephen Bear, Chair of The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre|
I have chosen to serve as a volunteer for many reasons, but let me give you the most important one. The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre makes a difference! A difference in the lives of Canadians and for cancer patients around the world. I want to spend my volunteer time and energy supporting a place that matters – and Princess Margaret matters.
Why do I believe that?
Research done by our scientists and clinicians resulted in the discovery of the stem cell and the cancer stem cell. This means that bone marrow transplantation is now used throughout the world so that people with leukemia can recover and live long and productive lives. Excellence at the hospital has made it the only non-U.S. site funded by the U.S. National Cancer Institute to design, develop and conduct early-phase drug therapies. This is an important role for our hospital to play and will allow patients in Ontario to have early access to new therapies. And, our donors have supported such projects as the redevelopment of the chemotherapy day area at the hospital - a huge accomplishment that provides people having cancer treatment with more comfort, convenience and a welcoming atmosphere. Our donors also supported the creation of the Gattuso Rapid Diagnostic Centre, which provides a diagnosis and treatment plan for women with suspected breast cancer within just days of referral. These are only a few of the outcomes that our foundations work has resulted in and that we can be truly proud of.
I volunteer because the research we support will help conquer cancer in our lifetime. If we don’t fund research, we’re saying that things are just fine the way they are – and nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to cancer treatment.
We have all taken on the ambitious goal of raising a billion dollars to continue the fight against cancer. We will do this together by meeting or exceeding the targets we’ve set for ourselves and by continuing to innovate in the field of fundraising. As you’ll see in our Annual Report which is now online, we have seen remarkable growth over the past five years and your Board continues to steward the funds of the Foundation for maximum impact.
In 2008, our gross revenues, excluding lottery revenue were $61,678,000 and last year $80,299,000 came in to the Foundation. In addition $ 18,080,000 net revenue was raised from lotteries last year, compared to $13,714,000 in 2008. This is a remarkable achievement, especially considering that our direct fundraising costs, expressed as a percent, were 14.4% in 2008 and 17.7% in 2012 and our general fundraising and administrative expenses as a percentage of total net fundraising revenue were 9.8% in 2012 - well under the acceptable total fundraising costs of 35% suggested by CRA guidelines. Direct costs of our lottery programs of 68% are also among the lowest in the industry and below the acceptable costs of 70% or higher suggested by CRA fundraising guidelines.
I urge you to read the Annual Report. It is our report back to our donors and our community. We can all be proud of the funds we raise, the impact those funds have, and the fact that we keep our costs low. You also need to know that, when the right opportunities arise, our Board will consider investing money to raise additional funds. This is an important part of our social enterprise model, and we have a history of doing so, starting with the lottery program in the mid-nineties. We will continue to do so with the support and assistance of the leadership team, every member of the Foundation and our suppliers who bring their expertise and skills to the table.
Our Foundation stands out in its ability to create new ways of raising revenue. The success of all our fundraising programs, including our event program (The Shoppers Drug Mart® Weekend to End Women’s Cancers™, The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer® and Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer presented by Boston Pizza) is critical to the success of the research program at Princess Margaret and the Ontario Cancer Institute. As a result of the successful fundraising, as just one example– in 2008 the Foundation gave $54,637,000 in grants to our scientists. That amount was $63,484,000 last year! These details and others can all be found in our Annual Report.
I will close by saying that, as your volunteer Chair, and with the support and guidance of my fellow board members, my focus will be on supporting your professional fundraising, stewarding and managing the dollars you raise, and strengthening the relationships we have with all of our donors. It is important that our donors understand how we spend their money so we will continue to talk about the work that is done in the hospital, the equipment we buy so that researchers and clinicians can continue their work, and the differences we make to the lives of the cancer patients who are receiving their treatment today as well as in the future.
Together we are and will be a big part of the battle to conquer cancer in our lifetimes!
Chair – The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation