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The Cancer Foundation’s fundraising work was carried out in line with the aims of the strategy of the Cancer Society of Finland, by collecting funds for cancer research and support for cancer patients and their loved ones.

In June 2018 organisational changes were introduced in which the Cancer Society’s communication and fundraising and communication of the Cancer Foundation were unbundled under two separate managements. Combining the activities of the society and the foundation a year ago did not bring about the necessary synergy. The foundation’s increased fundraising and communication work required greater management input.


The common theme of Cancer Foundation’s fundraising in 2018 was the foundation’s 70th anniversary. The anniversary’s major fundraising campaign titled Finland’s Most Important Grant boosted fundraising and increased the income to be distributed for cancer research and – through the Cancer Society of Finland – support for cancer patients.

Revenue from fundraising in 2018 totalled €11 365 842 (€10 610 672 in 2017). The most important source of income was donations. The Pink Ribbon fundraising campaign also broke a new record of €2,3 million. Income on monthly donations doubled to over €1 million.

Legacies in 2018 amounted to € 5 326 942 (€5 863 231 in 2017). The audited income from the Pink Ribbon campaign was € 2 250 642 (€1 845 113 in 2017).

Legacies. The donations the foundation received in the form of legacies continued to constitute the most important source of fundraising revenue. Two evening events were organised in 2018 for donors on the theme of legacies, one in April the second in September. One of the events was held for the first time in Swedish. Fundraising will increasingly focus on dealing with new legacies.

Pink Ribbon. The Pink Ribbon fundraising campaign to support research into women’s cancers and counselling services was more extensively visible across the country as a result of donated media space and earned media coverage. Some 455 000 of the pink ribbons designed by Anna Puu were sold, bringing in for the first time over a million euros. According to the Suomi Tänään, (Finland Today) survey (Taloustutkimus market research 3/18) the Pink Ribbon became imagewise the number one fundraising campaign.

The number of partner businesses involved in the fundraising campaign increased to 28. Ribbon sales and other partnership support increased by 30 per cent. The €2,3 million fundraising campaign yield consisted not only of ribbon sales, but also of Pink Ribbon merchandise sales by partners, as well as donations made by individuals and businesses online, by self-fundraising campaign, bank transfers and fundraising campaign boxes. The main partners continued to be the retail companies SOK, Kesko and Lindex. All of them sold pink ribbons and Kesko was again involved with Pirkka products. Business cooperation and ribbon sales brought in €1,9 million for the fundraising campaign.

The fundraising campaign kicked off nationwide through the member associations of the Cancer Society of Finland, which collect funds for their own work in supporting people with cancer and their loved ones. The associations were actively involved in ribbon sales, fundraising campaign box fundraising, and various Pink Ribbon events held throughout Finland. The sum from the fundraising campaign box donations doubled compared to 2017.

Monthly donations. In 2018, efforts continued to recruit monthly sponsors and get commitments from donors. Debit orders from monthly donors doubled, with donations reaching over a million euros – a record. The Cancer Foundation recruits monthly supporters mainly through teleshopping, television, face-to-face street fundraising, and websites. The number of donors associated with the Dancing with the Stars TV programme increased to 13 000 (7 000 in 2018), of which 9 800 were activated in 2018. The rest of the new ones were activated immediately after the turn of the year.

The Research Exploration launched last year was further refined. Under it, donors could more often receive greetings from researchers and hear the results of Research Explorations that had been made possible thanks to the donors.

Customer-relationship management was further developed to speed up and streamline the donation process. Processes were refined according to the criteria of the new EU General Data Protection Regulation to maintain the quality of customer data processing.

Direct marketing petitions were made four times and their revenue increased by 47 per cent from the previous year to €847 348. This was influenced by the visibility of Finland’s Most Important Grant campaign and the continuous development of customer understanding.

There were also more major donors during the 70th anniversary campaign.

The most significant change in online donations was the increase in monthly donors who signed up online to over 1 000 individuals.

Business cooperation. Along with the 28 partners of the Pink Ribbon fundraising campaign, the Cancer Foundation’s business partners in 2018 were LähiTapiola and Paletti, as well as the media partner for the 70th anniversary Alma Media. Cooperation with LähiTapiolan concerned support for research projects and the Finnish Cancer Society’s Hyvä Päivä (Good Day) project on health promotion for young people. Paletti produced memorial cards decorated with the Cancer Foundation’s symbols, as well as Christmas and congratulations cards.

The Cancer Foundation was a charity partner in two running events, the Helsinki City Running Day and the Naisten Kymppi. The participation of volunteers at the running events’ service points enabled the Cancer Foundation to be a fundraising campaign point at them.

Cancer Foundation’s jubilee committee. The jubilee committee is the Cancer Foundation’s most important form of voluntary activity. Also, the jubilee committee spent 2018 in celebrating 20 years of work on beating cancer. It organized three fundraising events during the year, the largest of which was the November Science Ball. In connection with the Cancer Foundation’s 2018 grant allocation, a jubilee committee grant of € 100 000 was also disbursed.


Communications work during the 70th anniversary focused on the importance of research funding, both through researchers, our own experts, people with cancer, and public figures. The main goal of communications work was to support fundraising. Its target audience via the media were donors. The most important face of the grant fundraising campaign campaign in Finland was the chair of the board together with two other researchers. The year ended with a celebratory event sponsored by our partner Alma Media for researchers, business partners, donors, and other important stakeholders.

The Cancer Foundation’s means of communication include media relations, newsletters, web pages and active content production, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram, events, publications and brochures, and bought media space.

Our goals in terms of earned media coverage were met. The survey on research funding provided the background for the interviews provided by researchers on the 70th anniversary, which features greatly in the media. The communications work on the Pink Ribbon fundraising campaign campaign focused on the benefits of the mammography screening programme, as well as on early detection and triple diagnosis. In the case of the Pink Ribbon campaign, the goals concerning media space and the tone of the stories by experts, patients and public figures were also met. Communications aimed for proactive, fast and multi-channel activities around the themes of publicity raised during the fundraising campaign period. One of the most noteworthy communication activities of the year was the King’s Way walk, where the Secretary General and his group celebrated their anniversaries and raise the profile of World Cancer Week’s exercise and cancer prevention, and of the Cancer Foundation.

The research journal Focus presenting the Cancer Foundation’s grant disbursal and research groups was replaced by the multichannel Research Exploration concept.

The development of the digital channels of the Cancer Foundation and Pink Ribbon was postponed due to resource problems. The number of users of the Cancer Foundation’s website was 108 979. The social media channels used are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram: the most prominent of which on the websites of the Cancer Foundation and Pink Ribbon were Facebook. The number of Facebook followers of the Cancer Foundation increased by 13 per cent during the year and the number of Pink Ribbon followers grew by five per cent.

The Cancer Foundation’s communications work is managed by the director of communications and fundraising and is part of the job description of the and, as part of his job description of the head of private fundraising.