There are over 1.5 million nonprofits in America, and all of them do important work. In such a crowded field, however, some organizations have a more significant imprint than others. CancerCare is a great example.
The organization celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2019. As every nonprofit knows, sustaining the mission for year after year is a considerable hurdle, so doing it decade after decade is a truly impressive achievement. Over that time CancerCare has grown into an organization with a national footprint and a widely-respected brand.
CancerCare provides counseling, support groups, and education to cancer patients, their families, and the public at large. They also offer financial assistance to patients who qualify and advocate on behalf of patients and survivors in the media and broader culture.
Many nonprofits are nobly advancing the fight against cancer. CancerCare is doing it at the front lines and reaching as many people as possible. They’re an unparalleled resource to cancer patients navigating an overwhelming experience. Equally so, they’re a model for nonprofits who want to lead instead of follow.
Providing a Beacon of Hope
A cancer diagnosis is the definition of a life-changing event. It affects people medically, of course. But there is also a serious financial, psychological, and logistical toll – on the patient and everyone close to him or her. Cancer is a very specific thing, yet it changes almost everything.
In 2017 Tamara had her first experience with cancer when a lump was discovered in her mother’s breast. Treating the cancer became the focus of the entire family, which meant driving to endless appointments, portioning out prescriptions, and providing extensive in-home care. The experience was stressful on all involved – then Tamara and one of her sisters were diagnosed with breast cancer themselves.
Suddenly Tamara was caring for her mother and providing emotional support to her sister all while trying to coordinate her own critical care. All these demands required her to leave her job at a law firm, adding financial stress to an already exhausting situation. Instead of giving in, Tamara reached out to an organization she knew could help.
CancerCare came recommended by another family member who had taken advantage of their support groups during her own cancer journey. Tamara could certainly have used support, but more immediately she needed financial assistance to cover expensive transportation costs to and from treatment. After a brief application process, CancerCare stepped up to provide that assistance, ensuring that everyone in Tamara’s family could reach the life-saving cancer treatments they needed. In her own words, “Thanks to CancerCare, my family was able to stay afloat while I fought the hardest battle of my life.”
Tamara’s experience is unique, but so is everyone’s experience with cancer. CancerCare is the rare nonprofit that provides customized resources to help people overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. In that way, CancerCare is not just another nonprofit. They are a beacon of hope for people in dire need.
Measuring the Impact of CancerCare
Measuring a nonprofit’s positive impact empirically is never easy. But with CancerCare, it’s clear how much they’re helping cancer patients and the networks they rely on. Consider some statistics from 2019 that illustrate their wide-ranging outreach efforts:
- Financial Assistance – Over 24,000 people received nearly $40 million in financial assistance. Each small award helped someone continue their battle against cancer.
- Social Services – Social workers with a special emphasis in oncology worked directly with 79,842 people to answer in-depth questions and connect them with local resources.
- Online Outreach – The CancerCare website received 2.4 million visitors over 12 months. The resource portal on the website fielded 59,581 searches for practical and financial assistance.
- Media Impact – Over the course of one year the organization distributed over 1.2 million publications to healthcare professionals, cancer patients, and caregivers.
CancerCare aims to do a lot, yet in all things, it succeeds. So it’s not surprising this nonprofit has been operating continuously for 75 years. It’s also not surprising that CancerCare was recently awarded a $700,000 grant from the New York Community Trust. With a long track record and a robust internal administration in place, this is a nonprofit people trust to do good works.
To learn more about CancerCare, its mission, and how to get involved, you can visit their website at cancercare.org.
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