Funding for ground-breaking childhood cancer research fueled by analytics
SAS helps charities optimise fundraising efforts.
in fundraising with targeted campaigns
The Kids’ Cancer Project uses SAS® to improve fundraising efforts for vital cancer research
Nothing is more heartbreaking than seeing a child with cancer. What a cruel twist of fate to befall someone so innocent, with so much life yet to live. Childhood cancer is particularly brutal in Australia, where three children die from cancer every week, and nearly half of children diagnosed with cancer are under age 5.
To make matters worse, the prevalence of childhood cancer in Australia is rising. According to The Australian Childhood Cancer Registry (ACCR), childhood cancer incidence rates increased by 11% from 2006 to 2014 in those aged 0 to 14 years. Yet, despite this negative trend, a sliver of hope has emerged. Although childhood cancer remains one of the leading causes of death in this age group, survival rates are significantly improving.
This is thanks in part to The Kids’ Cancer Project, an independent charity that has donated tens of millions of dollars to medical research. It all started when founder Col Reynolds had a chance encounter with two children outside a Sydney hospital. On a whim, he parked his tour bus and walked inside. Reynolds’ experience that day formed the basis of a mission that is three decades and counting – to eradicate childhood cancer by funding medical research.
Analytics gives us the insight to know whether we need to go wider or tighter in our donor communication. Every dollar we raise means more money channeled to fighting childhood cancers, finding less intensive treatments and finding a cure. Owen Finegan CEO The Kids' Cancer Project
Using data for good
Cancer research is a costly endeavor. Identifying better treatments, building capabilities and developing support programs are all resource-intensive and time-consuming. To truly make an impact with its financial contributions, The Kids' Cancer Project needed a better way to grow its donation pool and operate more effectively.
In 2017, Henry Yuen, IT and Database Manager at The Kids’ Cancer Project, came across a story about how Australian nonprofits were using SAS analytics to solve a range of humanitarian issues. This sparked a conversation that later developed into an altruistic partnership.
Today, The Kids’ Cancer Project uses a powerful analytics solution from SAS that includes SAS® Visual Analytics for SAS® Cloud and a structured training program to improve the efficiency of its donor management process.
Over the years, The Kids’ Cancer Project has built up a database of 1.3 million donors, of which some 300,000 were underutilized when SAS got involved. Duplicate records and high list churn were evident in the database – hampering decision making and reporting across the organization.
By switching from Microsoft Excel to SAS, The Kids’ Cancer Project had a cleaner database to make better decisions and automate financial reports. Reporting time dropped from eight days to just two hours – significant operational savings the charity could funnel into helping sick children.
The Kids' Cancer Project – Facts & Figures
donated to cancer research between 2004-2019
raised in 2019 through a regular giving program
Regular giving breaks million-dollar barrier
While key campaigns serve as inflection points for The Kids’ Cancer Project, regular giving is the heartbeat of the organization. Recurring donations finance long-term plans to fund the best childhood cancer researchers in Australia.
By optimizing each donor’s journey, the charity was able to grow its regular giving totals to AUD$1.2 million in FY2019 – a 34% increase over the previous year and the first time the regular giving program raised over $1 million in a 12-month period. The charity will be using SAS to further improve on these results.
“This is a wonderful, across-the-board result for The Kids' Cancer Project,” says Owen Finegan, CEO of The Kids' Cancer Project. “Every dollar we raise means more money channeled to fighting childhood cancers, finding less intensive treatments and finding a cure."
A natural partnership
Perhaps the most valuable change, according to the CEO, is how SAS has shifted mindsets within the organization. “The partnership with SAS had challenged us to think differently and changed how we operate for the better,” Finegan says. “It’s a true partnership and collaboration … SAS is deeply invested in our organization.”