World Cancer Day 2021: The importance of partnerships in the cancer funding process
As the CEO of Cure Cancer, Nikki Kinloch sees the direct impact of cancer funding on saving millions lives all over the world. It is an incredibly uplifting prospect that she and her team are committed to sharing with the global community. World Cancer Day presents an opportunity to reflect on the significance of brand and company partnerships as an integral element in the funding process, reminding us that our donations and continued support makes all the difference in striving for a cancer free future.
Can you explain the importance of partnerships in securing funding for cancer research?
For me partnerships are vitally important. Cancer affects everyone, we all know someone who has had cancer or who is fighting cancer. From my perspective aligning ourselves with organisations that can help spread the word and get the message out about what we’re doing is essential. Nobody is immune to cancer. Sadly 9 million people are expected to be diagnosed this year. The more awareness we can generate about cancer research through our partnerships the better.
How do Cure Cancer’s partnerships usually come about? Are they something you are always actively seeking out?
Our partnerships come about in a few ways. Quite often people or companies will come to us because we’ve been around for 54 years and we have a track record. People know we are the only charity that funds early career cancer researchers. People also approach us for partnerships because we fund research across all cancers, including new mutations and rare cancers.
We do also approach new organisations that we feel have a strong alignment with what we do. We know that when corporate organisations work with a charity like ours for example, they benefit in terms of employee motivation and morale. The partnerships are mutually beneficial.
What makes an ideal partnership in your experience?
At the end of the day it’s about having the same goal. When we work with partners we have the mechanism of funding researchers and we live in that world, and they have the mechanism of reaching out to donors, supporters and customers. We both have the same goal and we want to achieve one thing, which is to fund as many cancer researchers as we possibly can.
How do you think World Cancer Day empowers and inspires people all over the world to support the vision for a cancer-free future?
It’s really about getting the message out. Sadly, cancer has become normalised, with a lot of the conversation focussing on COVID now. But cancer doesn’t stop during a global pandemic. Often what we’ve found is that hospitals are being shut or overrun, or you can’t get in as an outpatient to have chemotherapy treatment. People are still getting cancer and dying of cancer. It’s a global issue that continues.
While the researchers we fund live here in Australia, when they find a breakthrough or element of success in their work that’s shared all around the world. We have a childhood brain cancer researcher from Pisa in Italy, who has made breakthrough in how we treat children with brain cancer.
His finding means children with brain cancer don’t need to undergo chemotherapy, which is very brutal for children. This will change the treatment course for children with brain cancer all over the world. Although we are funding researchers here in Australia, the impact of their research will improve cancer results globally.