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Aug 08

Introducing the Cancer Research Foundation – Chicago Chapter

The Cancer Research Foundation is pleased to announce the next "chapter" in its long and storied history of helping researchers gain ground in the fight against cancer. The Foundation is reorganizing the way it raises money and makes grants, dividing its current operation into a parent organization and a new Chicago Chapter.

The most important goal of this reorganization is to allow the CRF to grow the Young Investigator Award, our most important grant-making vehicle.  The Young Investigator Award was formally established more than 25 years ago to support young cancer researchers as they establish their careers and build their first data sets, allowing them to compete for major nationally funded research grants. 

The early part of a researcher's career is a particularly difficult time for new ideas and new scientists entering cancer research.  There is very little funding available for researchers who are not yet proven and for hypotheses that are not yet tested. However, without preliminary results, researchers have very limited access to substantial established research funding.  By supporting young investigators, the Cancer Research Foundation is able to make relatively small targeted grants in a highly leveraged way, allowing researchers to jump-start their scientific work in cancer and go on to successfully compete for much larger grants awarded by the federal government and other large institutions.

In establishing these chapter organizations, CRF intends to accomplish two major goals: 

  • To fund more Young Investigator Awards, and to make the case to other Cancer Centers and other potential donor groups that funding "seed capital" for early stage research is one of the best ways to support cancer science in a high leverage manner
  • To reach more potential donors and give them a way to fund cancer research and be able to see how their donations have the potential to create real advances in cancer research 
  • To increase the number of Comprehensive Cancer Centers with which the CRF maintains a funding relationship and to strengthen the CRF's ties to those centers

The Cancer Research Foundation, our parent organization, will continue to raise funds from individual donors, through direct donations and workplace giving programs nationally, with a particular focus on programs such as the Combined Federal Campaign.  Its main mission will be to provide start-up funds and early cycle grants to the local chapters as they are established.  Each of the chapters will maintain a relationship with an individual cancer center and will focus its fundraising in its particular market. 

Additionally, establishing the CRF- Chicago Chapter allows the Cancer Research Foundation to grow its team and to invest significantly in its online and digital presence.  We recently welcomed Carlo Navarro to our team as the head of the new Chicago Chapter.  Carlo will also oversee the digital strategy for the Cancer Research Foundation.  Please check out our twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds; we are looking forward to connecting with you!