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Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada Responses to Star Questions

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada Responses to Star Questions

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Published by torontostar
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada responses to Star questions.
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada responses to Star questions.

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Published by: torontostar on Jun 09, 2014
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06/15/2014

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Home Office, Canada
 804
 –
 2 Lansing Square, Toronto, ON M2J 4P8 tel.
 416.661.9541
fax.
 416.661.7799
1
May 5, 2014 Dear Ms. Poisson, I am writing on behalf of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC) to respond to the questions posed in your email on April 30, 2014. Our organization has undergone significant transformation and growth in the past decade: first, in our very successful partnership with the leading American charity in our sector; then a series of changes in our approach to fundraising; and finally significant senior management change. I am thrilled to be leading the LLSC, after a long career in Canadian charitable management, as we embark on further innovation in the decade ahead. It is important to make clear that our Board takes their governance responsibility extremely seriously and we benchmark our performance regularly to ensure we are using precious donations effectively. According to CRA filings, the top ten Canadian health charities spend an average of 53.4% on their mission, as a percentage of gross revenue. From our 2013 T3010, you can see LLSC spends 57% of gross revenue on mission, and that is a number we have been improving and plan to continue to improve in my new role as President. Some of your questions indicate confusion about our mission as an organization and our resulting priorities in staffing and spending. Our mission, vision and goals on our website spell out the three-pronged approach to our role built around patient support, advocacy and research. Our structure, staffing and budget reflect those three priorities. We are proud of our nearly six million dollar contribution to Canadian researchers
 –
 made up of a significant contribution by our American partners as well as our own
 –
 that we made last year. But we are equally proud of the millions of program dollars we spend annually educating Canadians
 –
 including healthcare professionals
 –
 about the challenges of these daunting diseases and the resources that we provide to them for free. We are also extremely proud of the important work our staff and volunteers do to support the patients and their families who are facing the diagnosis of a blood cancer, to help them survive and, hopefully, be cured. Your questions about our relationship with our American partner afford me an opportunity to celebrate a valuable partnership. Of course several major Canadian charities have similar successful cross-border partnerships, but we believe ours is particularly effective. We benefit enormously from their scale and experience. As an example, the access to the training and knowledge they have gained in their much larger market over a much longer period is exceptionally generous and directly benefits Canadian patients, families and researchers. Finally, your characterization of our relationship with our outsourced marketing and design partners is unfair to them and to us. That relationship, of course, predates my arrival by many years. But in examining the work and costs, it strikes me that the quality of the service, the
 
 
Home Office, Canada
 804
 –
 2 Lansing Square, Toronto, ON M2J 4P8 tel.
 416.661.9541
fax.
 416.661.7799
2
diverse array of communication and marketing products and the professionalism with which we have been served would not have been possible to replicate internally for anything close to the expenditures made. Nonetheless, as part of my review of areas where we can lower costs, where we can take advantage of new technologies and models, I have been discussing ways to find further efficiencies with all of our suppliers. This is consistent with our commitment to being good stewards of the precious funds donors entrust to us. One of the advantages of being a veteran of charitable management in a variety of settings is that I can bring that lifetime of learning to this role. LLSC is a great organization doing invaluable work across Canada, but we can and will get better on every metric that I can find to make improvements. Please find below detailed responses to some of your questions. I am sure that you will understand that some of your queries
 –
 our relationships with researchers, for example
 –
 are not possible for us to respond to for reasons of privacy and or commercial confidentiality. However, I hope you will find that the transparency and granularity of the information below provides you with a clear and complete picture of the LLSC today. Sincerely, Shelagh Tippet-Fagyas President, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada
 
 
Home Office, Canada
 804
 –
 2 Lansing Square, Toronto, ON M2J 4P8 tel.
 416.661.9541
fax.
 416.661.7799
3
Responses to Toronto Star Questions, May 5, 2014
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC), headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, is affiliated with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), headquartered in White Plains, NY, USA, as of July 1, 2004. LLSC and LLS fund research to advance innovative, life-saving therapies; support patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals through free blood cancer information, education and support; and promote policies that help patients have access to quality, affordable and coordinated care. LLSC and LLS touch patients through our 5 regional offices across Canada and 56 chapters in the U.S. The shared mission of the two organizations is
to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma and improve the quality of life for
patients and their families.
To start off, could you please tell us, in as simple language as possible, how much of the
money raised by Canadian donors goes to the charity’s good works? Following that, could you
please address the specific questions below?
Based on CRA data, the average fundraising cost ratio for the ten largest Canadian health charities in 2013 was 41%. Our fundraising ratio as per our 2013 T3010 was 35%, with 57% going to mission and 8% to administration costs. The CRA says that a fundraising ratio over 70% i
s “a cause for concern” and we are far under that threshold
.
We would like to know how much of those donor dollars goes to research. The LLSC’s most
recent online T3010 states approximately $1.7 million was given to research. Your website states more than $6 million was given to research in 2012. Could you please specify where the $6 million comes from? Also, if it is $1.7 million given to research by the LLSC, that is about 11 per cent of total dollars raised in Canada. Considering the stated primary mission of the charity is to cure blood cancers, can you please explain this percentage?
The mission of LLSC is to: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Our strategy to achieve the mission is based on three areas of focus: research, patient support and advocacy. In 2013 we spent over $4.1 million on public education programs, over $2.8 million on patient support and over $1.8 million on research. Largely because of our strong relationship with our U.S. affiliate The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), Canadian scientists were also able to attract over $4 million in international funding for a total research investment of over $6 million. This reporting method for research investments is an industry standard that is endorsed by watchdog organizations like
Charity Intelligence
.

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