The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute – Development Strategy

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Re: The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute – Development Strategy

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is a state of the art research facility with a patient focus and an ultimate goal of eradicating cancer. This goal comes with a tremendous and ever increasing price tag. Finding a cure for cancer may be the primary challenge but financing this endeavor remains the other. Current financing leaves approximately 20% of the institute’s expenses at the mercy of fund raising efforts coordinated by the Development Office.

Susan Paresky, Chief Development Officer for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute had her work cut out for her. Not only did the goals of the organization require continuously increasing financing but she also faced the challenge of convincing generous contributors to allow for less restrictive donations.
When taking into consideration the three different fund raising opportunities available to Dana-Farber it would be the $1 million from the major medical products company that has the best advantages for the institution. Although this generous donation has some restrictions, it also had additional added value that neither of the other two options offered. The diagnostic testing, developed by this company, could easily be viewed as a bonus attached to this million dollar contribution. This opportunity’s focus mirrored the institute’s mission of “dedicated to discovery”. This company was also in the business of cancer research. Additionally, the added value of a funded researcher and rights to the intellectual property identified by this position make this seem like a very lucrative offer.

The unrestricted $1 million gift from the food company seemed like a very tempting offer however, its association with the cigarette business was certainly a recipe for disaster. Currently the Dana-Farber Institute had the brand asset of an emotional connection with its superior reputation. Association with a donor whose business is perceived with...
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