Throughout our 70-year history, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has existed to find cures for blood cancers and provide support for patients and families.
Each year, we raise significant funds to invest in cutting-edge research and world-class patient education and support programs, which are free of charge to patients. This lifesaving work can be done only with the support of generous individual donors, companies and foundations who trust LLS to invest donated funds wisely, responsibly and for the greatest impact for cancer patients and families.
Each year we assess and address the most critical patient needs and balance our investment in patient-focused services and ground-breaking research, to achieve the best outcome for patients. Our guiding principal is a steadfast commitment to helping patients and families dealing with a blood cancer diagnosis and treatment.
How did we raise money in FY2019?
Donations were derived from four main sources:
- Peer-to-peer fundraising
- Corporate support
- Individual gifts and
- In-kind contributions.
In total, LLS received $414.3 million from donors to support our mission and operations. These donations, making LLS the 2nd largest cancer-focused voluntary health organization in the world, allow us to work at significant scale, and in the best interest of patients.
How did we spend those precious dollars?
In fiscal year 2019, we spent $284 million or 73% of our expenses on specific programs designed to find new treatments for blood cancers and to serve blood cancer patients. To make these programs possible, we spent a total of $103 million or 27% of our expenses on operations and fundraising. The chart below provides a graphic representation of these expenses.
But let us give you a deeper appreciation of how these dollars were invested or spent:
$71 million or 18% of our expenditures was invested in cutting-edge research at major medical centers and biotechnology companies. This adds to the $1.3 billion investment LLS has made in research since our founding, which will continue to drive the next generation of therapies for blood cancer patients.
Services for Patients:
$153 million or 39% of our expenditures were invested in services to blood cancer patients. These services include social and emotional support through counselling from oncology nurses and social workers, dietary counselling provided by a registered dietitian, navigation to clinical trials, referrals for second opinions and financial aid for transportation, insurance and co-pay, and emergency expenses.
Public Health Education:
$45 million or 12% of our expenditures were made to educate patients and their families about the blood cancers. Education was offered, free of charge, to patients at 10 Blood Cancer Conferences held in major cities around the U.S. We educated more than 132,400 patients, caregivers, healthcare professionals and others through live web-based and local in-person programs that featured blood cancer experts describing the latest treatment options and answering participant questions. Blog posts and web-based education materials were supplemented with printed educational material for all of the blood cancers published in, at least, English and Spanish. We distributed more than 855,000 educational booklets and fact sheets about blood cancers and survivorship topics last year alone to patients, caregivers and medical centers.
$14.5 million or 4% of our expenditures were invested in educating healthcare professionals (physicians, oncology nurses, social workers and pharmacists) about the blood cancers to be certain they have the most up-to-date knowledge about these rare diseases and are best equipped to assist patients.
$48 million or 13% of our expenditures supported LLS fundraising efforts. These dollars fueled our fundraising campaigns and the marketing that we do to solicit funds. With donations in FY19 totaling $414 million, this means it cost LLS just 13 cents to raise each dollar.
$54 million or 14% of our expenditures were spent for business operations that make delivering our mission programs possible. These dollars supported IT infrastructure, our local offices across the U.S. and Canada that deliver patient services to the local community, and our national office that houses our research and patient support teams, along with shared service teams like Finance and Accounting, Human Resources and Communications. This investment allows us to engage directly with patients, caregivers, researchers and donors.
How does this compare with last year?
In FY2019 we spent a higher percentage on business operations because we made a significant investment to improve our IT infrastructure. We moved software and data into the cloud and provided laptops to staff in chapters across the country to enhance productivity. As fate would have it, in the era of COVID-19, this was a wise investment that has allowed LLS to continue to deliver and fund its mission, even as staff sheltered-in-place and work from home. You can see the year-to-year comparison illustrated below.
We hope this helps you to understand better our impact as an organization.
Should you have further questions, please reach out to Andrea Greif, VP Communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org.