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11 Top Cancer Charities Leading the Charge Today


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Published January 12, 2023 Reading Time: 7 minutes

Cancer is an ongoing battle faced by millions, and today, we honor the nonprofit organizations committed to ending it.

In 2022, an estimated 1.9 million individuals received a new cancer diagnosis, and over 609,000 died from complications of cancer in the United States. People worldwide want to do their part to support patients, caregivers, survivors, and cancer research. That’s why organizations like the American Cancer Society and the Cancer Research Institute exist.

Below, you’ll find a list of the ten top cancer charities with innovative fundraising approaches to inspire you.

How Do Cancer Charity Organizations Make an Impact?

Supporting Cancer Research

Cancer charities raise money to fund critical research, oncology studies, laboratory equipment, and scientists. The more this research is supported with adequate supplies, the more likely it is to result in clinical trials and, eventually, new effective treatments.

Supporting Cancer Patients

A more impactful way to support those affected by cancer is to help patients directly. Many cancer charities find creative ways to make it easier for patients to access resources, monetary assistance, emotional support, and advice while they undergo treatment and journey to survivorship.

Supporting Cancer Caretakers and Families

For every cancer patient, there are loving family members and communities that support them during the traumatic time of diagnosis and treatment. Many cancer charities extend support to caretakers and loved ones.

Supporting Cancer Survivorship

Cancer survivors now need to learn how to navigate a life that’s forever changed. That’s why many cancer charities focus on the aftercare of a cancer diagnosis and treatment. These nonprofits offer resources such as financial aid, mental health support groups, and ways to recognize the battle they overcame.

11 Leading Cancer Charities

1. The Livestrong Foundation

The Mission: “We have a mission question, not a mission statement because we believe we can only achieve the best solutions by asking the right questions. We ask survivors and caregivers what they need, we ask the system how it can be more person-centered, and we ask innovators how we can bring impossible ideas to life.”

The Work: Livestrong provides free personalized services to cancer survivors, caregivers, and loved ones. It also develops community programs to address the day-to-day concerns of survivors and partners with institutions and policymakers to change how the world fights cancer.

The Impact: The Livestrong Foundation has supported the fight against cancer for 25 years. It currently holds recognition from Charity Navigator, GuideStar Gold Seal of Transparency, and the CEO Cancer Gold Standard.

How to Connect: @livestrong

2. Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation

The Mission: “Fund research to power cures that reduce the percentage of children who perish from cancer until that number reaches zero.”

The Work: The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation raises money and awareness for groundbreaking advances in the treatment of pediatric cancer. It works to champion and nurture researchers who work daily to identify a more insightful future. Some examples of its research’s results include curing advanced B-cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in children, chimeric antigen receptor or CAR-T cell infusions, immunotherapy advancements for osteosarcoma, and diagnostic testing for Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia.

The Impact: After 40 years, the organization awarded 225 scientific research grants, funded 42 leading institutions, and invested $57 million in pediatric cancer research.

How to Connect: @pcrf_kids

3. Lustgarten Pancreatic Cancer Foundation

The Mission: “The Lustgarten Foundation funds the world’s preeminent pancreatic cancer researchers, leading the pursuit of bold and innovative science with a singular mission: transforming pancreatic cancer into a curable disease.”

The Work: The Lustgarten Foundation focuses on research across three pillars: early detection, new drug development, and personalized medicine. Its main concentration is on translating our understanding of the underlying biology of pancreatic cancer into clinical applications for patients.

The Impact: One of the largest private funders of pancreatic cancer research worldwide, the nonprofit organization has invested more than $250 million in research since its inception.

How to Connect: @lustgartenfdn

4. Pablove Foundation

The Mission: “Improve the lives of children with cancer through the arts and invest in underfunded, cutting-edge pediatric cancer research.”

The Work: The Pablove Foundation does what parents can’t do alone—creating community for kids with cancer. The nonprofit believes that providing kids with an outlet and the opportunity to develop a creative voice during their treatment is crucial, which fuels its unique approach to addressing childhood cancer through art and science.

The Impact: The organization has awarded $3.5 million to childhood cancer research, raised an additional $12.9 million, and contributed a total of 40 publications from Pablove-funded research. Additionally, Pablove Shutterbugs, the nonprofit’s healing arts photography program, is offered virtually and in person for kids aged 6-18 with cancer, serving over 2,000 cancer kids across the country.

How to Connect: @pablovefoundation

5. Breast Cancer Research Foundation

The Mission: “The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is dedicated to ending breast cancer by advancing the world’s most promising research.”

The Work: BCRF is funding more than 250 researchers across 14 countries and five continents. Their research focuses on heredity and ethnicity, lifestyle and prevention, metastasis, survivorship, treatment, and tumor biology. Additionally, BCRF helps power several large, multi-year research efforts across institutions and industries.

The Impact: With more than a billion dollars raised to fuel its mission, BCRF is the largest private funder of breast cancer research—and metastatic breast cancer research—worldwide and is the highest-rated breast cancer research organization in the country.

How to Connect: @bcrfcure

6. Colorectal Cancer Alliance

The Mission: “To empower a nation of allies who work with us to provide support for patients and families, caregivers, and survivors; to raise awareness of preventive measures, and inspire efforts to fund critical research.”

The Work: Colorectal Cancer Alliance works to screen for colorectal cancer, empower patients with care, and support research to find a cure. It offers screening resources to help people find the best option for them and helpful information about securing aid for families and patients. Regarding research, it offers innovative treatment options, convenes experts to improve patient experiences and clinical outcomes, collects and analyzes outcomes, and invests in new ideas.

The Impact: The organization has raised over $1.6 million to support lifesaving programs in cancer prevention, research, and patient and family support services. It has also coordinated over 800 hours of volunteer work to change the course of cancer for so many.

How to Connect: @colorectalcanceralliance

7. Children’s Cancer Network

The Mission: “We support children and families throughout their cancer journey with programs and services designed to provide financial assistance, promote education, encourage healthy lifestyles, and create an awareness of issues they face related to childhood cancer.”

The Work: Children’s Cancer Network began in 2005 and has several programs to benefit children with cancer and their families. It offers admission bags, gas and food cards, adopt-a-family programs, and scholarships for survivors, siblings, and parents. It also hosts an Honoring Our Peer Everyday (H.O.P.E) program to help schools learn about and build compassion for those undergoing cancer treatment.

The Impact: The organization has provided more than $4.8 million in financial assistance and family-centered support to Arizona families battling childhood cancer. It serves over 800 families annually and empowers over 9,000 students through the H.O.P.E program.

How to Connect: @childrenscancernetwork1

8. Global Resource for Advancing Cancer Education

The Mission: “Provide expert-mediated information on current and emerging cancer management options to empower patients, caregivers, and health professionals to become direct partners in cancer care.”

The Work: GRACE provides cancer information that is high-quality, easy to understand, and specific for families and patients, empowering them to become partners with their healthcare provider in their cancer care. They work to break the barrier between information for physicians and education for patients across a wide array of cancer topics. They distribute this information in a variety of formats such as articles, videos, podcasts, and live webinars.

The Impact: For each type of cancer, there is a library of educational content presented in a variety of formats that is regularly updated, along with archives of prior posts arranged by date and subject. All information is searchable, so patients and caregivers can find what they need quickly and educate themselves with the over 16 years of credible educational information available on the GRACE website.

How to Connect: info@cancergrace; 888-501-1025

9. Tower Cancer Research Foundation

The Mission: “Our mission is to perform and facilitate innovative and collaborative research while translating science to engage the public as informed partners.”

The Work: The Tower Cancer Research Foundation focuses on the studies that lead to a promising future free of the disease. It looks to understand the body and how breast cancer forms within it to develop methods that prevent it.

The Impact: Rated the number one breast cancer research organization in the nation, Charity Navigator designated it a four-star charity. The Tower Cancer Research Foundation, formally known as the Dr. Susan Love Foundation, is also a Best in Classy winner for having a robust fundraising campaign portfolio to build awareness and raise funds for its critical mission.

How to Connect: @towercancerresearch

10. Breastcancer.org

The Mission: “To help people make sense of the complex medical and personal information about breast health and breast cancer, so they can make the best decisions for their lives.”

The Work: Breastcancer.org brings trusted educational content, research news coverage, and multimedia resources to people impacted by breast cancer. It provides personalized recommendations based on diagnosis and treatment information, making it a community conversation that welcomes everyone.

The Impact: The organization has helped 193 million people around the world in 22 years, with its site surpassing 25 million visits in 2021. Over 230,000 registered users engage in the Breastcancer.org discussion boards across 160,000 topics.

How to Connect: @breastcancerorg

11. The National Pediatric Cancer Foundation®

The Mission: “Our mission and purpose is to fund research to eliminate childhood cancer. Our focus is to find less toxic, more effective treatments through a unique collaborative research initiative called the Sunshine Project.”

The Work: The National Pediatric Cancer Foundation® (NPCF) formed the Sunshine Project™, an innovative collaboration with one goal: to bring together the nation’s top doctors and researchers to find a faster cure for pediatric cancer. Through the establishment of the Sunshine Project, the NPCF has developed a business model that capitalizes on the strengths of researchers from all different fields of science and streamlines the process to accelerate the development of new treatments. Since 2005, the NPCF funded multiple clinical trials and translational studies valued at $37+ million. New compounds continue to be tested and hold great promise for children who have not experienced positive results under the standard treatment protocol.

The Impact:  Through the Sunshine Project, the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation has launched several clinical trials, and many new combinations of drugs and therapies. Since 2005, the NPCF funded multiple clinical trials and translational studies valued at $37+ million. New compounds continue to be tested and hold great promise for children who have not experienced positive results under the standard treatment protocol.

How to Connect: @nationalpcf

What Is the Best Way to Donate to a Charity for Cancer?

You’ll find cancer charities fundraising year round to fund life-changing work through a wide variety of campaigns. Now is a great time to find organizations that resonate with your personal story or an area of cancer support that feels most aligned with your passions.

Classy Tools Fuel the Fight Against Cancer

Classy supports over 50 cancer charities to make it easier for passionate donors to connect to organizations doing incredible work. With Classy, cancer charities can build relationships that result in more funding that is in turnused to help save even more lives.

If you are interested in jumpstarting a nonprofit to further advance cancer research and clinical treatment, be sure to check out our blog to discover new and innovative cancer fundraising ideas to help you build awareness and inspire supporters near and far.

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