Reshaping the Landscape of Cancer Research Funding: Unleash the Power of Volunteers

Focusing on the power of volunteer-driven initiatives to bridge the financial gap and propel the mission forward.

Charitable giving plays a pivotal role in advancing most causes, with cancer research being one of the most crucial. Unfortunately, recent trends indicate a concerning decline in charitable donations, particularly towards cancer research funds. As the funds dwindle, so does the potential for groundbreaking discoveries and advancements in treatments that can save lives.
As we stand at the intersection of progress and potential setbacks in the realm of cancer research, recent data from the American Cancer Society paints a concerning picture. According to their reports, funding for cancer research was down by a staggering $200 million by the end of 2020. This decline in financial support is particularly significant, considering that the American Cancer Society is second only to the United States government in championing the cause of cancer research.
In this critical juncture where funding is dwindling, the importance of innovative solutions cannot be overstated. In this article we explore an alternative approach to supporting cancer research, focusing on the power of volunteer-driven initiatives to bridge the financial gap and propel the mission forward.
Medical students working with microscope at the university-1

The Unequal Distribution of Funds

In addition to the funding struggles many cancer charities are undergoing, it is worth noting that not all cancers receive the same level of financial support. This can lead to disparities in research progress. Well-known cancers often attract more donations, leaving lesser-known or rarer types of cancer in the shadows. This unequal distribution hinders the holistic progress of cancer research, leaving gaps in our understanding and potential treatment options.
In the intricate landscape of cancer research, the distribution of funds plays a pivotal role in determining the trajectory of advancements and breakthroughs. A recent study sheds light on the intricate dynamics of funds allocated to various cancer types.
The study, involving 119 organizations that collectively reported $6 billion, outlined a stark contrast in the funding received by different cancer types. Breast cancer emerged as the highest recipient, garnering a substantial $460 million, followed by leukemia with $201 million, pediatric cancers with $177 million, and lymphoma with $145 million. These figures, while illuminating the financial landscape, raise critical questions about the correlation between funding and the impact of specific cancers on mortality rates.
The study's findings prompt us to scrutinize the disparities in funding and the potential consequences on addressing the deadliest cancers. Notably, lung cancer, responsible for a quarter of all cancer deaths, received disproportionately low funding. Despite being a leading cause of mortality, lung cancer struggles to attract the financial support necessary for research, awareness, and patient care.
The top cancer killers—lung, colon and rectum, prostate, and breast cancers—reveal a disconcerting trend. Among them, only breast cancer emerges as a top revenue generator. The shortfall in funding for lung cancer, in particular, becomes alarming when considering its substantial impact on mortality rates. The study underscores that nonprofit cancer donations are not proportionate to the real-world impact of different cancer types.
Amidst these disparities, there is a silver lining—the overall death rate from cancer in the U.S. has steadily declined over the past 25 years, according to the American Cancer Society. As of 2016, the cancer death rate for both men and women combined had fallen by 27% from its peak in 1991, equating to a 1.5% annual decline and over 2.6 million lives saved between 1991 and 2016. This positive trend highlights the potential for progress when concerted efforts are made in the realm of cancer research, but it also emphasizes the critical need for more innovative solutions to address the diverse landscape of cancer types and their impacts on human lives.

The Impact of Decreased Funding

Cancer research is a costly endeavor that requires substantial financial resources. As charitable giving declines, researchers face challenges in conducting experiments, clinical trials, and maintaining the infrastructure necessary for cutting-edge studies. This decrease in funding directly impacts the pace of discovery and the development of life-saving treatments.
It is essential to highlight the undeniable connection between cancer research funding and the decrease in cancer death rates. Research leads to innovations in early detection, personalized treatments, and improved patient care. Without adequate financial support, the progress in cancer research will stagnate, and the potential for saving lives will diminish.
According to a Giving USA report, charitable giving in the United States experienced a decline across the board in 2022 — only the fourth time in forty years that donations did not witness a year-over-year increase.
The figures present a sobering reality, with total giving falling by 3.4% in 2022 to $499.3 billion in current dollars. When adjusted for inflation, the decline deepens to 10.5%. This downturn in giving unfolds against the backdrop of an increase in requests for assistance reported by many nonprofits, especially those serving vulnerable populations.
Blue ribbon for prostate cancer on white background

Rosterfy's Revolutionary Solution

In the face of declining donations and the urgent need for increased support in cancer research, innovative solutions are essential. Rosterfy, a leading volunteer management platform, presents a game-changing approach to fill the void and support vital cancer research initiatives.
Rosterfy's platform is designed to streamline and optimize volunteer management for organizations. A robust volunteer program can be a lifeline for charitable organizations navigating the challenging landscape of funding shortages. When financial resources are limited, the power of dedicated volunteers can make a significant impact, offering invaluable support in various aspects of the organization's operations.
By building a volunteer program with a significantly expanded participant base, volunteer management software offers a sustainable solution to the declining charitable donations affecting cancer research. Volunteers, passionate about making a difference, can contribute their time, skills, and energy to support various cancer research projects.
A robust volunteer program can be a lifeline for charitable organizations navigating the challenging landscape of funding shortages. When financial resources are limited, the power of dedicated volunteers can make a significant impact, offering invaluable support in various aspects of the organization's operations.
  1. Labor and Expertise Contribution: Volunteers bring diverse skills and expertise to the table. Whether it's administrative tasks, event planning, marketing, or even specialized skills like graphic design or IT support, volunteers can fill crucial roles that might otherwise require paid staff. This contribution helps the organization maintain essential functions without the financial burden of additional salaries.
  2. Expanded Reach and Awareness: Volunteers often have extensive networks and social circles. By engaging in community outreach, events, or online campaigns, volunteers can help raise awareness about the organization's mission, programs, and the impact it seeks to make. This expanded reach is particularly vital when traditional fundraising efforts are constrained.
  3. Enhanced Program Delivery: Many charitable organizations operate programs and services that directly impact their communities. Volunteers can play a pivotal role in the delivery of these programs, whether it involves distributing resources, organizing events, or providing support to individuals in need. The additional hands-on-deck can amplify the organization's ability to fulfill its mission.
  4. Cost-Effective Operations: Volunteers contribute their time and skills without a financial cost to the organization. This enables nonprofits to allocate existing funds more efficiently, directing resources toward critical areas that require financial investment, such as research initiatives, program development, or outreach campaigns.
  5. Community Building: A robust volunteer program fosters a sense of community and camaraderie. Volunteers who believe in the organization's mission become passionate advocates, spreading the word and attracting more supporters. This community building not only enhances the organization's visibility but also creates a supportive network that can weather financial challenges.
  6. Flexibility and Adaptability: Volunteers often bring a level of flexibility that can be crucial during uncertain times. They can adapt to changing circumstances, fill gaps in staffing, and provide a dynamic response to evolving needs. This flexibility is especially valuable when organizations face unexpected challenges, such as the economic downturns seen in recent years.
  7. Innovative Fundraising Initiatives: Volunteers can be instrumental in brainstorming and executing innovative fundraising ideas. Whether it's organizing virtual events, crowdfunding campaigns, or creative partnerships within the community, volunteers can inject new energy and ideas into the organization's fundraising efforts, helping to overcome financial shortfalls.
  8. Long-Term Sustainability: Building a robust volunteer program creates a foundation for long-term sustainability. Volunteers can become long-time supporters and advocates, forming a dedicated core that remains committed to the organization's success. This sustained support can help the organization weather temporary funding challenges and establish a more resilient future.
In the face of declining donations and economic uncertainties, a well-managed volunteer program emerges not just as a temporary solution but as a strategic investment in an organization's resilience and continued impact. By harnessing the passion and dedication of volunteers, charities can navigate funding shortages while continuing to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those they serve.

Why Rosterfy?

  1. Cost Savings for Volunteer Management: Rosterfy is not just a volunteer management platform; it's a strategic investment in cost efficiency. With Rosterfy, organizations can save over $7,000 per year for each volunteer manager. By automating and streamlining day-to-day tasks, our platform optimizes resource allocation, allowing your team to focus on what truly matters—making a difference.
  2. Reducing Operational Costs: Managing a successful volunteer program comes with its own set of costs. Rosterfy addresses this challenge by automating critical components such as scheduling and communications. This not only saves time but also reduces the overall costs involved in the seamless orchestration of events. The result is a more streamlined and cost-effective volunteer program.
  3. Seamless Onboarding Process: Rosterfy redefines volunteer recruitment by creating step-by-step onboarding processes for volunteers. The platform automates the journey, ensuring a seamless experience for volunteers from sign-up to active participation. This not only enhances the efficiency of volunteer recruitment but also sets the stage for a positive and engaging volunteer experience. Rosterfy also offers different onboarding options for different roles. Add a driver's license requirement for driving roles, background checks for roles involving children, or onboarding for adults-only roles.
  4. Amplifying Fundraising Efforts with Merchandise: Curate an immersive experience for your dedicated volunteers by integrating merchandise purchasing capabilities. This strategic approach has the potential to amplify fundraising efforts, generate additional funds, and cultivate a stronger community of supporters. Rosterfy empowers you to harness the purchasing power of your volunteers, turning them into ambassadors for your cause.
  5. Valuable Data and Insights: Rosterfy goes beyond mere numbers and charts by providing valuable data and insights into the overall impact of your volunteer program. Our cutting-edge platform empowers you to unlock the full potential of reporting capabilities. Gather qualitative feedback, collect compelling testimonials, and showcase the positive social impact of your program. This data-driven approach not only demonstrates the effectiveness of your initiatives but also helps cultivate ongoing financial backing and support.
Rosterfy is not just a solution; it's a strategic ally in your mission. From optimizing costs to seamlessly onboarding volunteers and amplifying fundraising efforts, Rosterfy is designed to maximize the impact of your organization. Embrace efficiency, engage your community, and showcase the success of your cause with Rosterfy at the forefront of your volunteer management strategy.

What You Should Measure From Your Volunteer Program

Creating a solid framework and process for measuring the impact of your well-run and successful volunteering program is the key to making it even more effective and sustainable.



In the face of declining charitable giving and the critical funding shortages experienced by cancer research organizations, the importance of innovative solutions cannot be overstated.
A solution emerges in the form of a robust volunteer program. In the current economic climate, where every dollar counts, Rosterfy provides a beacon of hope for organizations grappling with financial constraints. It not only streamlines and optimizes volunteer management but also addresses the broader challenges associated with decreased funding.
By reducing the costs involved in managing a successful volunteer program, Rosterfy streamlines day-to-day tasks and automates critical events such as scheduling and communications. This efficiency not only stretches the impact of existing resources but also allows organizations to focus on their core mission—advancing cancer care.
By embracing innovative solutions, streamlining volunteer management, and amplifying fundraising efforts, organizations can navigate the complexities of the philanthropic landscape with resilience and purpose. In the journey toward a future free from the burden of cancer, Rosterfy shines as a beacon of efficiency, community, and impactful change.

About Rosterfy

Rosterfy is used by nonprofits, charities, sporting federations, local governments, and more to better manage their volunteer programs by improving how they can recruit, screen, train, and retain volunteers.

Our market leading technology helps you create an engaging experience throughout the whole lifecycle of your volunteer journey.

Book a call today.


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