Attacking Cancer. How The American Cancer Society Does It With Empathy and Tech

Cancer is something we’re all familiar with. It’s big, it’s scary, and if the American Cancer Society has its way, it’s not here to stay! Meet Rob King, the CFO of the American Cancer Society and join us as we talk about about how they attack cancer using innovation and technology.

What Does The American Cancer Society Do?

Cancer touches everybody and the good news and the bad news is we know a lot about cancer now, and so at the Society, we are attacking cancer from all angles.” -Rob King

The American Cancer Society has a long history of battling cancer. Since 1946, they’ve funded over 4.8 million dollars in research across the whole cancer spectrum. However, research isn’t all they focus on.

Recently, the American Cancer Society has been focusing on advocacy in several different areas. A large part of their work is collaborating with individuals and organizations to push preventative care, such as HPV vaccinations, to prevent the threat of cancer before it has a chance to start.

Despite having so much going on, they’ve never lost sight of their priority–their patients. By working with organizations at the federal, state, and local levels, they’ve been able to push for healthier policies, such as the smoke-free air laws, as well as providing lodging and travel to cancer patients who would otherwise be stranded.

How Can Small Nonprofits Bring Attention To Their Cause?

Even as a large legacy nonprofit, the American Cancer Society has to work to bring attention to their cause. So, how can smaller nonprofits hope to compete? Rob has two pieces of advice:

  1. Maintain nimble, updated systems: As an older company, the American Cancer Society was coming from a place with outdated systems that made accessing data and communicating with customers challenging. By updating their systems to a modern Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software like NetSuite, they were able to keep up with modern demands and increase the overall effectiveness of the business.
  2. Innovate: A great idea isn’t going to be a great idea forever. It’s important for nonprofits to constantly be on the lookout for new ways to serve their clientele and boost productivity.

Using NetSuite to Attract Donors

“It’s all about how to have the right visibility in order for us to be able to tell our story. We’ve got to be able to demonstrate to donors that we’re being good stewards to their dollars and that we’re spending in the ways they expect us to spend and that we’re also able to demonstrate impact, so we need smart technology to enable us to do that.” -Rob King

As a nonprofit that’s been around forever, the American Cancer Society often found themselves using outdated systems that were hindering their productivity more than helping. They recently made the switch to NetSuite about a month ago and wholeheartedly embraced the change that smart technology brought with it.

Using NetSuite, they are now better able to track the money going in and out of their business, which puts them in a better position to attract donors for their cause. NetSuite also lets them track the impact their research has, another attractive feature to potential donors. In a world where donors have thousands of nonprofits to choose from, using smart technology can help you stand out.

The Takeaway

  • Never lose sight of the priority-taking care of your clientele
  • A great idea isn’t a great idea forever-use innovation to make sure your business doesn’t become stagnant
  • Use ERP software like NetSuite to create a trackable history that potential donors can refer to

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