Stretching Every Dollar
Every year, hundreds of thousands of givers nationwide are faced with a question: “Which organization will make the best use of my money?” No one wants most of his or her donation to simply pay an organization’s operational costs - employees’ salaries, office supplies or rent. All organizations face costs like these, however it’s critical that donors see proof that their preferred charity is keeping those costs to a minimum and spending most of their donated funds directly on the programs that do the most good. We also want to clarify for our supporters the difference between our true operating costs and the overhead rates listed with the Combined Federal Campaign.
Your Donations Employed Wisely
The good news is that the Cancer Research Foundation remains an excellent investment for givers who want to see their money spent well. Low operating costs will always be a top priority and we are happy to report that these costs have remained steady.
CRF’s unique role in fighting cancer starts with you. Your donations are critical to the success of exceptional programs such as the Young Investigators Awards or the Fletcher Scholars Program. These programs and the scientists they support create the link between ground breaking research and successful medicine. The CRF works tirelessly to ensure that as much of your donated dollar as possible is focused on these critical research efforts – regardless of whether the donations come from employer supported programs like the CFC or from generous individual donors.
How CFC Rankings Work
As a charity, we are required by the CFC to file an overhead figure using a very strict formula including all costs that are not directly program related. In September of 2008 the U.S. financial markets took a deep plunge and investors lost huge amounts, including non-profit organizations that held endowments and other funds in the market. Many lost as much as 50% of their market holdings. The Cancer Research Foundation was very lucky and had been invested very conservatively; our holdings were only reduced by approximately 20%. Unfortunately, the CFC application formula categorizes this type of investment loss as a cost of operation, lumping it in with the cost of office supplies, rent or salaries for reporting purposes. Although we have since made back much of the value lost, the cost reported for the year was many times our actual operating budget. Thus, the overhead reported in our Combined Federal Campaign application shot from under 8% to over 50%.
If you’d like to know more, we’re ready to help and proud of our tradition of penny-pinching in the name of groundbreaking cancer science. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
"I owe a great deal to the Cancer Research Foundation for giving me a head start. This financial help made the difference between my getting a fast and successful start, and my other wise struggling to obtain the necessary funds to get my research program started."Elaine Fuchs, Ph.D.
Professor, Departments of Medicine and Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology and Human Genetics University of Chicago
April 30, 2010