A Message from the Chairman

On Saturday, 22 October 2016, The Age published a series of articles concerning dubious fundraising practices used by third-party fundraisers acting on behalf of some Australian charities.

I would like to assure all supporters of the Children’s Cancer Foundation that none of the allegations concern the Children’s Cancer Foundation, which has never contracted with third-party fundraisers to raise funds on its behalf or adopted any of the practices highlighted in The Age. Particularly, the Children’s Cancer Foundation:

  • has never entered an arrangement with any person or company to raise funds on its behalf where that person or company is authorised to retain a percentage of the funds raised;
  • has never used direct marketing methods such as call centres and junk mail;
  • has never solicited donations by door knocking or accosting people in the street;
  • has never run large scale raffles by selling tickets in shopping centres where the vast bulk of revenue is spent on overheads including the purchase of the prizes themselves.
  • In recent years, the Children’s Cancer Foundation has declined to accept donations from or partner with foundations which raise funds using these types of methods.

Further, not a week goes by when the Children’s Cancer Foundation is not approached by a commercial operator seeking to attach the name of the Foundation to what is essentially a commercial scheme where the vast bulk of revenue would end up in the pocket of that operator. All such approaches are rejected.

The Children’s Cancer Foundation at all times endeavours to raise funds ethically and minimise costs. We have a small paid team led by our chief executive, Aileen Boyd-Squires, but otherwise rely upon volunteers. We benefit from pro bono office accommodation, website development, branding and graphic design, legal services, auditors, insurance and much more. The Foundation’s directors are of course unpaid.

The most vivid expression of our commitment to effective charity fundraising is The Million Dollar Lunch. The 2015 and 2016 events raised gross revenue of $3,721,600 with costs limited to $328,4701. The net result is that 91% of the $3.72 m gross raised is directed to project funding.

Our fundraising endeavours have enabled us, together with our sister organisation My Room, to fund 24 projects in clinical research, clinical trials, clinical care and family support. I urge you to take a moment to consider the list of projects which are reducing suffering and saving lives. The Children’s Cancer Foundation’s commitments for these projects total $3,643,617 over the next few years. In coming months, the Foundation’s grants committee will consider funding applications for additional projects to the value of approximately $13 million.

Please accept my thanks for your ongoing support and my assurance that the Children’s Cancer Foundation will never adopt fundraising practices which conflict with its commitment to fundraising which is both efficient and ethical. Should you wish to discuss any aspect of the Foundation’s activities, please do not hesitate to contact me on 0418 392 972 or Aileen Boyd-Squires on 0448 423 233.

Download the Chairman's message

1Miscellaneous expenses of $12,470, an event contractor retained for $77,000, a one off software and website upgrade of $59,000 (which will serve us for many years to come), and a notional apportionment of $180,000, which is our best estimate of the time spent on the events by our small paid team.
Jeremy Smith, Chairman of the Children's Cancer Foundation